Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)
DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION
Methods prescribed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13 for making purchases of supplies or services, including construction, Research and Development (R&D), and commercial items, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (including purchases at or below the micro-purchase threshold).
The purpose of simplified acquisition procedures is to:
- Reduce administrative costs;
- Improve opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to obtain a fair proportion of Government contracts;
- Promote efficiency and economy in contracting; and
- Avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors.
Simplified Acquisition Procedures Policy
The simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) is $250,000. The SAT can vary depending on the particular acquisition situation. For acquisitions of supplies or services for supporting a contingency operation or facilitating defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack, the SAT is (i) $800,000 for contracts awarded and performed, or purchases made, inside the United States; and (ii) $1.5 million for contracts awarded and performed, or purchases made, outside the United States. FAR subpart 13.5 raises the threshold for use of SAP for commercial items to $7.5 million.
Agencies are required to use SAP to the maximum extent practicable for purchases of supplies or services not exceeding the SAT. However, this policy does not apply if an agency can meet its requirement using –
- Required sources of supply under FAR Part 8 (e.g., Federal Prison Industries, Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled);
- Existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts; or
- Other established contracts.
An agency must not break down requirements that are valued greater than the SAT merely to avoid having to use procedures other than SAP.
A supplier’s submission of a quotation under SAP is not considered a formal offer, and cannot simply be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. A contract is established only when the supplier accepts the Government’s order, either in writing or by actually commencing performance.
The Government-wide commercial purchase card is the preferred method to purchase and to pay for micro-purchases — supplies or services valued no more than $10,000. The following exceptions apply:
- $2,000 for construction projects subject to the Construction Wage Rate Requirements statute (formerly Davis-Bacon Act)
- $2,500 for acquisitions of services subject to the Service Contract Labor Standards statute (formerly Service Contract Act)
- For acquisitions of supplies or services that, as determined by the Agency Head, are to be used to support a contingency operation or to facilitate defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack (except for construction subject to the Construction Wage Rate Requirements statute):
- $20,000 in the case of any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made, inside the U.S.;
- $35,000 in the case of any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made outside the U.S.
Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive quotations if the contracting officer or designated official considers the price to be reasonable.
For purchases exceeding the micro-purchase threshold but not exceeding the SAT, a Request for Quotation is used for soliciting competitive quotations. Once quotations are received and evaluated and the award decision is made, the Government issues a purchase order. Common forms used for purchase orders under SAP are the DD Form 1155 and Optional Form 347 (both entitled Order for Supplies or Services) and the Standard Form 1449 (Solicitation/Contract/Order for Commercial Items).
The use of blanket purchase agreements is another common SAP method. A blanket purchase agreement (BPA) is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supply. A BPA can be prepared for a wide variety of items that are routinely purchased if the exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements are not known in advance. Once the BPA is established, “calls” are placed to order items from the BPAs. Individual purchases off of BPAs cannot exceed the SAT, except for commercial items under the test program or for “subsistence” (e.g., food) items at any value.
When using SAP, some procedures and guidance from FAR Part 12 (Acquisition of Commercial Items) and/or FAR Part 15 (Contracting by Negotiation) may apply in addition to FAR Part 13 procedures and guidance.