OFPP wants to edit cost accounting standards exemptions

OFPP head Joe Jordan

Joe Jordan is administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, which is seeking to better align acquisition rules with statutory language.

The Obama administration has proposed adopting more general language for specifying which contracts are exempt from cost accounting standards, saying the change would more closely align the regulatory language with existing laws.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Cost Accounting Standards Board want to clarify which contracts or subcontracts for commercial items are exempt from cost accounting standards by replacing a list with the phrase "contracts and subcontracts for the acquisition of commercial items."

The current text reads: "firm fixed-priced, fixed-priced with economic price adjustment (provided that price adjustment is not based on actual costs incurred), time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts and subcontracts for the acquisition of commercial items."

The revision better reflects the statutory language, officials wrote in a Nov. 19 Federal Register notice.

Acquisition rules have changed over the years as bills such as the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003 have become law. The exemptions have had to evolve as well. Now the board says the regulatory language is inconsistent with the description of the exemptions and contract types as defined in related laws.

OFPP and the board are accepting comments on the proposed rule change through Jan. 18, 2013.

About the Author

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

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