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Acquisition Policy Flash! 17-29

What's Changed?

Class Deviation from Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) - Implementing Revised Statutory Conditions for the Exercise of Special Emergency Procurement Authorities (FAR Parts 2, 10, 12, 13, 18, and 26)

Purpose:  To issue a class deviation, in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 1.404 Class deviations to expand conditions under which the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) may increase acquisition thresholds in certain emergencies.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Impacted:  FAR Parts 2, 10, 12, 13, 18, and 26

Effective Date:  Immediately

Background:  On December 23, 2016, the President signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2017.  Section 816 of that Act expanded the permissible uses of special emergency procurement authorities to include facilitating international disaster assistance and supporting domestic emergency or natural disaster relief efforts as defined by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.  In addition, Section 1641 of that same Act made special emergency procurement authorities applicable to defense against or recovery from a cyber attack.  The NDAA was effective when enacted and was not contingent upon any implementing regulation.  This deviation is needed because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cannot predict when the statutory requirements will be fully implemented in the FAR.

The States of Texas and Louisiana have been declared by President Trump to be major disaster areas on August 25, 2017 and August 28, 2017, respectively.  In order for contracting officers to provide immediate relief, a Class Deviation to FAR parts 13.201(g) and 2.101, Micro purchase threshold and simplified acquisition threshold (1)(i), need to be increased to meet emergency acquisition requirements.

Applicability:  This class deviation applies to all contract actions where the special emergency procurement triggers listed in 41 U.S.C. § 1903(a) are in effect as determined by the SPE or designee.

Action Required:  Contracting officers shall comply with the attached class deviation which provides immediate actions required to provide emergency acquisition procedures.  Upon the determination of the SPE, or designee, to increase acquisition thresholds or apply other FAR Part 18 acquisition flexibilities, VA contracting officers may apply the FAR as revised by this deviation as shown in Attachment 1.

The following thresholds have been increased as indicated below for contract actions in support of Hurricane Harvey:

  • Micropurchase threshold is increased to $20,000.
  • Simplified acquisition threshold is increased to $750,000.

Additionally, when reporting contracting actions issued in response to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, enter code H17H in the National Interest Action (NIA) data element in the Federal Procurement Data System, as explained below.  This new NIA Code will be used strictly for reporting purposes related to Harvey and involves the exercise of the emergency authorities identified in FAR Subpart 18.2 Emergency Acquisition Flexibilities.  FPDS system details for this NIA follow:

  1. NIA Value Name:  ‘Hurricane Harvey 2017’
    • Web Portal/Graphical User Interface (GUI) service users may select the value ‘Hurricane Harvey 2017’ in the National Interest Action drop-down field.
    • Contract Writing Systems shall use the code of ‘H17H’ when creating/updating documents associated with the Hurricane Harvey 2017 through Business Services.
  2. NIA Start Date:  08/28/2017
  3. NIA End Date:  06/30/2018

When reporting contracting actions issued in response to Hurricane Irma, enter code H17I in the National Interest Action data element in the Federal Procurement Data System, as explained below.  This new NIA Code will be used strictly for reporting purposes related to Hurricane Irma.  FPDS-NG system details for this NIA follow:

  1. NIA Value Name:  ‘Hurricane Irma 2017’
    • Web Portal/GUI service users may select the value ‘Hurricane Irma 2017’ in the National Interest Action drop-down field.
    • Contract Writing Systems shall use the code of ‘H17I’ when creating/updating documents associated with the Hurricane Irma 2017 through Business Services.
  2. NIA Start Date:  08/28/2017
  3. NIA End Date:  06/30/2018

Additional Information:  Direct any questions or comments regarding to Procurement Policy and Warrant Management services via email at va.procurement.policy@va.gov or (202) 632-5288.