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  • Question

    Use of time-and-materials and labor-hour contracts for the acquisition of commercial items is authorized as outlined in para 5 of DFARS 212.207 (and is clear). 5) Installation services, maintenance services, repair services, training services, and other services. However, DFARS 212.207 requires head of the agency approval for commercial services as defined in paragraph (6) of the Commercial Item definitition. 6) Services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed or specific outcomes to be achieved and under standard commercial terms and conditions. With that, we are trying to get to the root difference between the language in para 5 & 6 of the "Commercial Item" definition at FAR 2.101 (substantial quantities? catalog/market pricing?)


    Answer

    The commercial item definition in paragraph (5) requires that the service be provided IN SUPPORT of another commercial item. However, the commercial item definition in paragraph (6) does not include that qualifier, i.e., the "commercial" service under paragraph (6) does not have to be provided to support another commercial item which the Government purchased or will purchase. That's why the DFARS requirement to obtain head of agency approval applies to services acquired under paragraph (6), as that part of the definition is more open to interpretation and thus requires higher-level approval.

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