Contract rule comment period extended

Proposed Payments Rule

The public comment period on proposed new rules regarding time-and-materials and labor-hour contracts has been extended to Dec. 9.

One proposed new rule implements a provision of the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003 to explicitly authorize the use of such contracts under certain conditions, while the other makes several changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation regarding payments under the contracts.

The use of such contracts is somewhat controversial because payments to contractors are based on the time worked and cost of materials used, rather than on a fixed price established in advance. Some critics worry that allowing contractors to leave the final cost open-ended creates the potential for fraud.

The original comment period had been set to end Nov. 25.

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