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  • Question

    If part of the equipment can be brought by the general public, but one piece cannot because it was made only for the government. Is it still a commercial item.


    Answer

    There is a difference between a "commercial item" and a "commercially available off-the-shelf" (COTS) item. The former can have a component that is not strictly commercial in itself, whereas the latter does not provide for ANY modifications or components that cannot be considered commercial. If the waiver depends on the item only being a "commercial item" in the broader sense, then the waiver may be appropriate based on the definition of a commercial item in FAR Part 2. However, if the waiver depends on the item being a COTS item, it appears the waiver would not be appropriate.

    If the contracting officer determines the item does in fact meet the definition of a commercial item, he/she should document the contract file with the supporting rationale.

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