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    Why does the FAR not define procurement as the act of buying goods and services for the government per the DAU glossary? Why does the FAR define acquisition different than the DAU glossary?


    Answer

    I discussed your concern with the editor of the DAU Glossary.  He reminded me of the disclaimer that is attached to the Glossary.  It says:
     "The Glossary: Defense Acquisition Acronyms and Terms provides an extensive list of Acronyms and Abbreviations (Appendix A) and Glossary of Terms (Appendix B) commonly used in the systems acquisition process within the Department of Defense (DoD) and defense industries.  Many of the terms in the Glossary may be defined in other documents in a different fashion.  For example, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contains upwards of 600 definitions of words and terms.  Definitions that are applicable to all parts of the FAR are contained in FAR Part 2, Definitions of Words and Terms, which contains close to 250 definitions.  Other words and terms may be defined for a particular part, subpart or section.  Some terms, such as “United States,” have multiple definitions.  United States is defined 11 different ways in the FAR, due to how it is defined in various pieces of legislation.  Some of those definitions differ from the ones contained in the Glossary.

    The reader may want to use definitions that are provided in the Glossary in solicitations and resulting contracts to help clarify the Government’s requirement. 
    In doing so, keep in mind the FAR requires that all solicitations and contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold incorporate the definitions in
    FAR 2.101 Definitions.  See FAR 52.202-1, Definitions, for the appropriate clause. " 
     
    Just because there are several definitions of acquisition and procurement, does not mean that any of them are wrong or right.  It just means that there is a changing, expanding explanation of the terms.  If you are forced to differentiate between Acquisition and Procurement, I suggest you use the Glossary definition.  Based on my review of many documents on this topic, many authors suggest that Acquisition is a broader concept than Procurement.  Acquisition covers the life cycle of a system, from cradle to grave and includes varied functional areas such as budgeting, logistics, testing, engineering, contracting and program management.  Procurement deals  with contracting for a supply or service.  Obviously the FAR writers are trying to make the point that individuals contracting for a supply or service must take into account the life cycle of the item or service.  Certainly that is how we teach contracting (it’s not just procurement, its acquisition) to our contracting professionals at DAU.
     
     

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