U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Https

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Breadcrumb

  1. Home
  2. Clinger Cohen Act (CCA)

Clinger Cohen Act (CCA)

DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

Initially, Division D and Division E of the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Division D of the Authorization Act was the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and Division E was the Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA). Both divisions of the Act made significant changes to defense acquisition policy. The provisions of this Act have been incorporated in Title 40 and Title 44 of the U.S. Code. See Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA).

General Information

Origins of the CCA. Initially, Division D and Division E of the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Division D of the Authorization Act was the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and Division E was the Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA). Both divisions of the Act made significant changes to defense acquisition policy. The provisions of this Act, B-33, have been incorporated in Title 40 and Title 44 of the U.S. Code. See Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA) below. [DoDI 5000.82]

Subtitle III of Title 40, U.S.C., (also known as Divisions D and E of the CCA) applies to all IT investments, including National Security Systems (NSS).

For all programs that acquire digital capabilities, including National Security Systems (NSS), regardless of  Acquisition Category (ACAT) level, or business category (BCAT) level, and for all IT service acquisitions, the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) or Decision Authority not initiate a program nor an increment of a program, approve entry into any phase of the acquisition process that requires formal MDA or DA approval, or authorize execution of a contract for the applicable acquisition phase until: 

  1. The sponsoring DoD Component, PM, or FSM provides a plan to the MDA or DA to satisfy the applicable acquisition requirements of the CCA. The plan will use documentation already required as part of the acquisition pathway. The tables in the Adaptive Acquisition Framework Documentation Identification tool, will be used to identify the program information that supports CCA compliance:
    • For “Software Acquisition,” the "CCA Compliance” table identifies the program information for software programs in accordance with DoDI 5000.87.
       
    • For “Major Capability Acquisition,” the “CCA Compliance” table identifies the program information for major capability, urgent, middle-tier, and defense business system programs in accordance with associated pathway policies.
       
  2. If required by the acquisition pathway, the sponsoring DoD Component, PM, or FSM provides the plan to the DoD CIO, DoD Component CIO, or their designee for approval. 
  3. Changes to the acquisition strategy that invalidate the previous compliance conditions must be reported to the MDA or DA and must comply with the applicable requirements of DoDI 5000.82 as identified in section 3.2.

For an historical perspective, provided below are summaries of two underlying acts enacted by Congress.

Information Technology Management Reform Act

A condensed description follows:  The Office Management and Budget (OMB) Director is responsible for improving the acquisition, use, and disposal of information technology (IT) to improve Federal programs. OMB is to develop a process for analyzing, tracking, and evaluating the risks and results of all major IT investments by Federal agencies. OMB shall evaluate the Information Resources Management (IRM) practices of executive agencies with respect to the performance and results of IT investments; and implement reviews of executive agency activities through the budget process. To enforce accountability for IRM and IT investments, OMB may (1) influence IRM budgets, (2) use administrative controls to restrict agency funds, and (3) designate an executive agent to contract out for agencies’ IT management and acquisition.

Agency heads are to design and implement processes for maximizing the value and managing the risks of their IT acquisitions. This provides for the selection of investments using minimum criteria on whether to undertake an investment and gives a means for senior management to obtain timely information on cost, capability of the system to meet requirements, timeliness and quality. IT investment processes are to be integrated with the processes for making budget, financial, and program management decisions.

ITMRA establishes in law, Chief Information Officers (CIO) for Federal agencies. CIOs are responsible for providing advice and assistance to agency heads on IT acquisition and IRM. The CIO is responsible for developing, maintaining and facilitating the implementation of a sound and integrated IT architecture. The architecture is an integrated framework for evolving or maintaining existing IT and acquiring new IT. The agency heads shall identify in the agency's IRM plan (required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)), major IT acquisition programs that have significantly deviated from their respective cost, performance or schedule goals.

Agency heads shall ensure IT performance measurements are prescribed for acquisition and use and that they measure how well IT supports agency programs. CIOs are to monitor performance of IT programs, evaluate the performance of those programs based on measures, and advise agency heads on continuing, modifying or terminating the programs or projects.  Agency heads are to establish policies and procedures that (1) ensure information systems are designed, developed, maintained and used effectively; and (2) ensure program performance data are provided on a reliable, consistent and timely basis.

Federal Acquisition Reform Act

Section 4101, Efficient Competition. This provision makes no change to the Competition and Contracting Act. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) shall ensure that the requirement to obtain full and open competition is implemented in a manner that is consistent with the need to efficiently fulfill the Government's requirements.

Section 4102, Efficient Competitive Range Determinations. “The conferees intend that the determination of the competitive range be made after the initial evaluation of proposals, on the basis of the rating of those proposals. The rating shall be made on the basis of price, quality and other factors specified in the solicitation for the evaluation of proposals."

Section 4201, Commercial Item Exception to Requirement for Certified Cost or Pricing Data. Submission of certified cost or pricing data shall not be required for the acquisition of a commercial item [this is a new exception]. The contracting officer is still authorized to require the submission of information other than certified cost or pricing data to determine price reasonableness.

Section 4202, Application of Simplified Procedures to Certain Commercial Items. Authorizes the establishment in the FAR of simplified procedures for acquisitions within a certain dollar range (not to exceed $5,000,000) when the contracting officer reasonably expects that offers will include only commercial items. [DOD CIO Desk Reference]

Why the act became known as the Clinger-Cohen Act:  Division D, Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) of 1996 provisions are based on H.R. 1670, which was introduced jointly on 5/18/95 by Rep. William Clinger, Chairman, Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and Rep. Floyd Spence, Chairman, National Security Committee, and which passed the full House 423-0 on 9/14/95.  Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1995 was sponsored by Senators William S. Cohen and Carl Levin.