If an AFI identifies a squadron as being able to purchase specialized gear and DLA does not provide that specialized gear, is that squadron authorized to use a source other than DLA? And if so, can a BPA be utilized to meet this mission need?
In short, I have very good news for you – you have correctly understood how to apply the requirements, guidance, and procedures of the AFI you referenced and the FAR; excellent research on your part!!
Open full Question Details
But just one word of caution first; you can use a non-mandatory source (e.g. Acme Inc.) only for those uniform or equipment items that are not available through DLA. This is not a blanket waiver for all uniform items because of your BA Squadron status. But I think you knew that already.
Although FAR 8.002 appears very straightforward; it can be a challenge once you get to 8.002(a)(1)(v) to find/research what constitutes a:
“Wholesale supply sources, such as stock programs of the General Services Administration (GSA) (see 41 CFR 101-26.3), the Defense Logistics Agency (see 41 CFR 101-26.6), the Department of Veterans Affairs (see 41 CFR 101-26.704), and military inventory control points.”
The DFARS and AFFARS do not provide any additional guidance on this. But in your case the USAF policy (via AFI’s) is to utilize DLA for Uniform and other items. That’s what that means.
So, your next step will be to review FAR 8.004 – Use of Other Sources (because it is obvious 8.003 does not apply due to your question background). Specifically look at 8.004(a) Supplies. If agencies are unable to satisfy requirements through mandatory sources, they are encouraged to consider satisfying requirements through one of the non-mandatory sources listed. Quick market research should reveal if the items you need are available via FSS or the FSSI or other agency contracts (SOCOM perhaps?).
If they are available through FSS, then yes you can establish a BPA, See FAR 8.405-3. If not available through FSS, or if you prefer to use simplified acquisition procedures instead, you could also establish a BPA, see FAR 13.303.
One final word of caution; uniform items may be covered by the Berry Amendment (if your action is above the simplified acquisition threshold), see DFARS 225.7002 and/or CLC 125 Berry Amendment.