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  • Question

    What are the ordering procedures for direct acquisitions under a Multi-Agency Contract (MAC)? As stated under FAR subpart 17.5, direct acquisitions are allowed under MACs. However, I am looking for clarification on how a direct acquisition is possible under the Economy Act. FAR 17.502-2(c)(3) states "The requesting agency shall furnish a copy of the D&F to the servicing agency with the request for order." And FAR 17.502-2(d) talks about payments to servicing agencies. Reading these FAR parts leads me to believe that a direct acquisition is not possible under the Economy Act. Could you explain how a direct acquisition under the Economy Act would work?


    Answer

    I found some information which you might find quite helpful with your question.  This comes from Public Spend Forum. A multi-agency contract is an interagency contract that can be used by other agencies under the Economy Act of 1932, which authorized interagency acquisitions in the first place. If no more specific statutory exists for the interagency acquisition, then the Economy Act applies, which simply means that the Federal Acquisition Regulation will apply to the task or delivery order procedures as well as to the award procedures used by the servicing agency to create the master vehicle.

    When pursuing a MAC as a requesting agency, the contracting officer must produce a written Determination and Findings memo (D&F for short) and provide it to the servicing agency prior to taking any contract action. Don’t let this scare you; while a D&F will take some time and effort to produce, they are a standard contracting instrument and your agency probably has a template or example that you can use for getting started.

    For a more thorough examination of MACs and how they are influenced by certain regulatory legislation, here’s an excerpt from Gov Purchase. This is a more refined resource for understanding some of the major vehicle types and their scope and importance:

    “Multi-Agency Contracts (MACs) are task order or delivery order contracts established by one agency for use by government agencies to obtain a variety of supplies and services (see FAR 2.1, Definitions). The Economy Act (FAR 17.5) is applicable to orders placed under MACs, with the exception of MACs for information technology that are established pursuant to the Clinger-Cohen Act.”

    If an agency is contemplating use of a MAC contract order, then a written determination of “best procurement approach” is required (See FAR 17.501(a)). This determination should be made as a part of the procurement planning process, prior to any public announcements of the requirement such as a synopsis of the requirement or solicitation in accordance with the MAC’s ordering procedures.”

    You would need to look at the specific MAC to know what the ordering procedures are.

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