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  • Question

    If no other utility source is available due to government regulation and the utility service must be provided, why is there a need for CPARS reporting, especially for a service that is provided to all other customers in the exact same manner?


    Answer

    To deal with your situation you need to revisit two issues in particular.
     
    The first issue is whether an electric utility comes within the requirement for mandatory CPARS reporting.  Reading
    FAR 42.15 together with Class Deviaton 2013-O0018, it appears you are assuming that electric utilities fall within the requirement for mandatory reporting on “services and information technology contracts that exceed $1 million.”  (There are other contracts that mandate CPARS reporting, but this is the only one with a $1M threshold that you cite in your question.)

    “Service contract” is defined in
    FAR 37.101 as “a contract that directly engages the time and effort of a contractor whose primary purpose is to perform an identifiable task rather than to furnish an end item of supply.”  Clearly the delivery of electricity does not fall under this definition. 

    “Information technology,” defined
    FAR 2.101, is fundamentally “equipment” or systems of equipment that are used “in the automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.”  The definition specifically excludes equipment whose principal function is “not storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.”  Since electric utilities aren’t “equipment” and furthermore they are merely incidental to (not the principal function of) the storage, analysis, etc. of information, electric utilities are not information technology. 

    Therefore the requirement in Class Deviation 2013-O0018 for reporting on “services and information technology contracts that exceed $1 Million” does not apply to electric utilities.

    The second issue you should look at is that
    FAR Part 41, which covers the acquisition of utilities, specifically addresses the procedures to follow if a public utility refuses to sign the federal government written contract.  See FAR 41.202(c), (d) and (e).  These procedures dictate the necessary documentation and notifications that permit ordering the utility services and paying invoices from the utility provider.

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