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Acquisition Policy Flash! 16-06

What's New?

Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Principles

Purpose:  To notify the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acquisition workforce of the issuance of the following memorandum:

Memorandum from the Principal Executive Director for Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction (003) on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Acquisition Principles (VAIQ 7638597), dated December 22, 2015.

Dated:  February 23, 2016

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Parts Impacted:  FAR Part 1

Effective Date:  Immediately

Background:  One of the keys to a successful acquisition operation is to have a strong foundation from which we base our acquisition efforts.  VA Acquisition Guiding Principles provide that strong foundation so that the enterprise strategic vision is guided by sound program management principles and is reflected in proper procurement execution.  These Guiding Principles for VA represent a concise statement designed to be user-friendly for all participants in the VA acquisition community.  All participants in the VA acquisition community have a responsibility to use these principles as we make decisions that lead to the delivery of products or services in the best interest of our Veterans, taxpayers, and our employees.

Applicability:  This notice applies to contract specialists, warranted contracting officers, Head of Contracting Activities, and members of the acquisition workforce.

Action Required: Below are VA’s Acquisition Guiding Principles that are to be utilized by the VA’s acquisition community:

  1. Conduct business with integrity, fairness, and openness;
  2. Good requirements make for good contracts;
  3. Decisions should be delegated to the lowest appropriate level;
  4. Industry engagement enables better proposals and better execution;
  5. Speed matters;
  6. Competition is our default strategy;
  7. Commercial products and services should be maximized;
  8. Use of contractors who have a track record of successful past performance or who demonstrate a current, superior ability to perform is preferred;
  9. Existing contracts should be used whenever possible; and
  10. Meeting our public policy objectives is important.

VA Acquisition Teams consist of all participants in VA acquisition including not only representatives from the program management, technical, supply, legal and procurement communities but also the internal customers they serve.  Each member of the acquisition team must exercise personal initiative and sound business judgment in providing the best value product or service to meet the mission needs.  In exercising initiative, members of the acquisition team may assume that if a specific strategy, practice, policy, or procedure is in the best interests of the Government and is not addressed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive Order, or other regulation, that the strategy, practice, policy or procedure is a permissible exercise of authority.

Additional Information:  Questions or concerns should be addressed to the Office of Acquisition and Logistics (003A), Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Service (003A2A) at (202) 632-5288 or va.procurement.policy@va.gov.