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  • Question

    Is there any circumstance when citing multiple FAR 6.302 authorities is allowable or even necessary?


    Answer

    1. The FAR references quoted below in pertinent part are applicable to this response.

    FAR 1.108 -- FAR Conventions
    The following conventions provide guidance for interpreting the FAR:
    (a) Words and terms. Definitions in Part 2 apply to the entire regulation unless specifically defined in another part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Words or terms defined in a specific part, subpart, section, provision, or clause have that meaning when used in that part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Undefined words retain their common dictionary meaning.

    FAR 6.301 -- Policy
    (b) Each contract awarded without providing for full and open competition shall contain a reference to the specific authority under which it was so awarded. Contracting officers shall use the U.S. Code citation applicable to their agency (see 6.302).

    FAR 6.302-1 -- Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements
    (b) Application. This authority shall be used, if appropriate, in preference to the authority in 6.302-7; it shall not be used when any of the other circumstances is applicable.

    2. The following reference is also applicable to this response:

    Definition of “specific” at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specific
    Specific: (adjective): special or particular; relating to a particular person, situation, etc.
    2a: restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect

    3. As set forth in FAR 6.301(b), each contract awarded without providing for full and open competition shall contain a reference to the specific authority under which it was so awarded. Based on the common dictionary meaning of the word “specific”, the term “the specific authority” as used in FAR 6.301(b) can only mean that just one of the seven Circumstances Permitting Other Than Full and Open Competition described under FAR 6.302 would apply to a given acquisition situation. Furthermore, FAR 6.302-1(b) expressly states that this authority shall not be used when another authority for using other than full and open competition applies. Therefore, the authority in FAR 6.302-1 could never be used in conjunction with the authority in FAR 6.302-2, Unusual and Compelling Urgency, in the same J&A.

    4. Based on the above, we disagree with the premise of this inquiry that the FAR “doesn't expressly prescribe the limitations for citing multiple authorities to justify circumstances for permitting other than full and open competition” because the above citations clearly do specify such limitations. Therefore, there are no situations where a properly written J&A would cite more than one authority under FAR 6.302 to authorize the use of “Other Than Full and Open Competition”.


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