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    We have a requirement that we need to provide a commencement, prosecution and completion of work language. We customarily used 52.211-10 but it has been reserved or is being updated. What clause should we use in the meantime?


    The clause 52.211-10 is available for use.  The citation "52.211" is not available for use. "52.211" is not a clause or provision. Thus "52.211" is reserved. The definition of reserved is the common definition found in the dictionary (FAR 1.108(a)). The two citations are not the same.  Each citation is specific, like an address. "52.211" refers to the information that lives at 52.211 and nowhere else in the FAR.  "52.211" does not refer to the information that lives at "52.211-10." To understand this requires a revisit of FAR arrangement.

    Look at FAR 1.105-2(b)(1). The numbering system permits the discrete identification of every FAR paragraph. Now look at FAR 52.101(b)(1). We are now told how the subpart (which subpart? This one…FAR subpart 52.1) is arranged by subject matter, in the same order as, and keyed to, the parts of the FAR. Each FAR clause/provision citation identifies each provision or clause uniquely.

    FAR 52.211 contains no information and serves as an aid to organization. When viewing the FAR at, the sections marked as reserved help to organize the clauses and provisions making them easier to find. Think of it like chapter headings that help to quickly identify the chapter and break up a long list of numbers.

    One might ask, "Why use the term, 'reserved'?"  The common definition for "reserved" is to refrain from using, kept apart, protected from other use. Reserved notifies readers that there is no information here and to place no information here. Where? At the location in the FAR indicated by the citation. This is helpful in many ways. Reserved may help indicate where information had at one time existed but now, due perhaps to changed regulation or redaction, no longer exists. Example FAR 52.204-11. This citation indicates there used to be information at this address but now it is gone.  This is important because there may be previous contracts, established when there was information at FAR 52.204-11.  That provision or clause would be included and active in that old contract.  To see the language of the provision/clause the contracting professional would need to find it in the FAR archives. FAR 52.204-11 is reserved in the current FAR to warn against re-using the specific citation for new language.  Re-using the citation could lead to very confusing language conflicts.

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