Policy Letter

Defense Department Needs Certified Contracting Information to Prevent Waste

Defense Acquisition Regulations System
Attn: Ms. Amy Williams
Room 3B941
3060 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301–3060

Submitted via Regulations.gov

Subject: DFARS Case 2017–D009: Only One Offer

Dear Ms. Williams,

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) supports the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposed rule to provide certified cost or pricing information to the Department in circumstances where only one bid is expected.1 POGO has a long-standing interest in federal contracting issues, and has long advocated for government access to certified cost or pricing information.2 This information substantially improves contract pricing, negotiation, and accountability.

DoD’s proposed rule is a step in the right direction; however, it deviated from the statutory language stating that certified cost or pricing information must be supplied by contractors in circumstances where DoD “only expected to receive one bid.”3 DoD instead proposed that certified cost or pricing information shall only be requested “if only one offer is received.” This shift in language could prevent DoD from obtaining that vital information during the award phase and could create obstacles to obtaining the information at a later date.

Additionally, the proposed rule should apply to contracts and subcontracts for commercial item acquisitions. Numerous DoD Inspector General reports,4 as well as contractors,5 have identified instances in which commercial items in fact are only sold to the government. DoD must limit the circumstances where contractors deny the Department access to certified cost or pricing information—especially in all instances where there is no genuine competitive market to ensure the reasonableness of prices.6

The proposed rule should be rewritten to apply to circumstances when DoD only expects to receive one offer, as required by statute, and be expanded to apply to all sole-source and one-offer-expected contracts and subcontracts above the simplified acquisition and the commercial product and services thresholds. If this rule is not so modified, DoD will be denied access to certified cost or pricing information and, as a result, will continue to enter into bad deals for the Department and taxpayers.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at [email protected] or (202) 347-1122.


Scott H. Amey
General Counsel