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Interagency Acquisitions

ACON 039

DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

Alternate Definition

A procedure by which an agency needing supplies or services (the requesting agency) obtains them from another agency (the servicing agency). There are two broad categories of interagency acquisitions:

  • Direct Acquisition is when a task or delivery order is placed by a DoD official (from the requesting agency), following the procedures in FAR 8.405, under a contract awarded by a non-DoD agency.
  • Assisted Acquisition is when a contract is awarded, or a task or delivery order placed, on behalf of DoD by a non-DoD agency.
General Information

Interagency acquisitions are one of the fastest growing and most scrutinized areas of the federal procurement process. There are many benefits to using interagency acquisitions. They are designed to leverage the government’s aggregate buying power provide a simplified method for procuring commonly used goods and services. Using these interagency acquisitions can save the government money and better meet mission needs. When used properly these can:

  • Leverage the Government’s aggregate buying power
  • Provide opportunities to streamline the procurement process
  • Improve efficiency and timeliness
  • Assist in playing a critical role to support agencies in accomplishing their missions

The Economy Act (31 USC 1535) and FAR 17.5 authorize federal agencies to enter into agreements with other agencies to obtain supplies or services by interagency acquisition when doing so would be more economical than contracting directly with a private source. This procedure allows agencies or departments to either (i) send funds to another organization and have it make the purchase, or (ii) use an ordering contract previously awarded and managed by another organization, but award the order themselves. An example of an Economy Act order is when DoD provides funds to the Department of Interior’s National Business Center at Fort Huachuca to utilize an existing contract for security fencing.

Economy Act orders may be either direct acquisitions or assisted acquisitions. The policy specifically requires that each Economy Act order shall be supported by documenting the contract file with a Determination and Finding (D & F) stating:

  • The use of an interagency acquisition is in the best interest of the government
  • The supplies or services cannot be obtained as conveniently or economically by contracting directly with a private source

Non-Economy Act orders are also used for interagency support. They are involved when a DoD activity needing goods and services (the requesting DoD agency/customer) obtains them directly from a non-DoD agency (the assisting agency). Non-Economy Act orders are placed with a federal agency that has the specific statutory authority to support other federal agencies. Agencies such as the General Services Administration and Department of Interior have been given the authority to support other federal agencies in this manner. A transfer of requirements and funds to one of these entities is technically not pursuant to the Economy Act. Thus, the term “non-Economy Act order” applies. Non-Economy Act orders are assisted acquisitions.

The Department of Defense has issued several policies on interagency acquisitions. These policies apply to both direct and assisted interagency acquisitions. Basic requirements include:

  • Evaluate if use of a non-DoD contract is in the government’s best interest
  • Determine that the tasks are in-scope of the contract to be used
  • Review funding to ensure it is used IAW appropriate limitations
  • Provide unique terms, conditions and requirements to the assisting agency (applies only to an assisted acquisition)
  • Collect data on the use of assisted acquisitions for analysis
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