Education Department revamps obsolete acquisition regulations

Officials make first large-scale revisions to buying rules since Reagan administration

Education Department officials are reviewing their purchasing regulations, which have not been updated in 23 years, according to a new notice.

A number of provisions in the Education Department Acquisition Regulation are outdated or obsolete because of changes in the law and rules since 1987. The department’s regulations are old enough that they don't deal with governmentwide rules on buying information technology, according to a notice in today’s Federal Register.

Officials are accepting comments on the changes through Sept. 22.


Related story:

Education Department sets up new Web site for data display


Officials are proposing language to require all solicitations for IT hardware and software be capable of working in an IPv6 environment and to ensure that any system on which software is developed and operated complies with the Federal Desktop Core Configuration, according to the notice. The configuration is a governmentwide standard for computer security settings to protect agencies’ information.

These proposed changes are intended to apply the IT initiatives and standards developed in the past several years by the IT industry and the government, including the Office of Management and Budget, the notice states.

Among numerous other proposed changes, contracting officers would be required to send out more information to the public when considering a sole-source award. The changes also would clarify terminology and describe procedures for how Education officials would suspend or debar contractors, according to the notice.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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