For all its significance, you would expect to hear it mentioned more often. However, the term “fair and reasonable” is sprinkled throughout the Federal Acquisition Regulation and dramatically affects government outcomes. Its interpretation ultimately affect how billions are spent, jobs are created, stock prices are valued, products or services are delivered, disputes are settled, and other laws and regulations work together to meet government mission.
Government contracting can create various forms of dispute, litigation, and protests, but this occurs after the contracting officer makes a determination as to whether, for example, supplies and services are coming from responsible sources at fair and reasonable prices. Source selection officials, attorneys, auditors, program managers, agency senior executives, and others all play important roles, but the beauty of the process is in shielding contract decision-makers from external influence, either irrelevant or political. A “fair and reasonable” determination is not made in a vacuum and involves far more than arriving at the cheapest price. Instead it should be in writing and includes other “factors” that together comprise a proper assessment of the propriety of a contract award. Despite much guidance, nothing obviates the need for an independent, fair and reasonable determination based on the totality of information and expertise available.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140210/BLG06/302100006/A-fair-reasonable-approach-contract-reform