By Heather Mims,
On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (2019 NDAA), which sets funding levels and outlines policy priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD). The 2019 NDAA allocated $616.9 billion for the DoD’s base budget, $69 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, $8.9 billion for mandatory defense spending, and $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Department of Energy.
The funding levels are interesting, but the Act’s impact on government procurement is also of importance. Notably, Section 816 of the NDAA amends a justification requirement for certain single-award task and delivery contracts. The Act amended the Section by permitting award to a single source if a single source can efficiently perform the work. The old language merely required a single source to be able to reasonably perform the work.
Membership grounds have already expressed concern about this change, noting that it would inject ambiguity into the standard as the Act does not provide any definition of the term “efficiently.”
Another significant change is the removal of the requirement for agencies to compete determinations and findings prior to using an Office of Management and Budget approved Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). Section 875 thus encourages agencies to utilize existing contracts and will hopefully reduce contract duplication.
Finally, Section 876 is drafted so as to increase competition at the task order level. Specifically, this Section would allow prices to be established through competition at the task order level for certain ID/IQ contracts rather than at the contract level. As such, the contracting officer has discretion to consider price as an evaluation factor for contract award.
About the Author:
Heather Mims is an associate attorney at Centre Law & Consulting. Her practice is primarily focused on government contracts law, employment law, and litigation. Heather graduated magna cum laude from the George Mason School of Law where she was the Senior Research Editor for the Law Review and a Writing Fellow.