Imagine if a DoD agency could purchase commercial-off-the-shelf products of any value simply by placing an order at an Amazon-like website – no need for solicitations, quotes, evaluation, or detailed price analysis and absolutely no government-unique terms and conditions.
That is the vision of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) in a bill introduced on May 18, 2017. If enacted, this reform would revolutionize the way the Department of Defense acquires commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and likely diminish DoD’s use of GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules.
However, as explained below, the prospects of the Bill being enacted into law without significant revision seem low because, as currently drafted, it contravenes many ingrained strands of Federal procurement policy and exposes DoD to unintended consequences and risks.
Proposed Acquisition Streamlining “on Steroids” by Bringing the Online Shopping Experience to Federal Procurement
The proposed use of online marketplaces is set forth in § 101 of the “Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act” (H.R. 2511) (the Thornberry Bill). The Thornberry Bill directs the DoD Secretary to establish contracts with one or more “online marketplace providers” to enable DoD-wide use of such marketplaces. For reasons that are not clear, the Bill authorizes DoD to award contracts to marketplace providers without the use of full and open competition.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=603722