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Contracting

Commercial Item Summit

Commercial Item Summit

Commercial Item Summit
Ray Ward
DCMA's Commercial Item Group (CIG) hosted the 2023 Commercial Item Summit at the Army Logistics University, Fort Lee during April 4-5. The itinerary focused on the challenges and successes of commercial item justifications, proposal reviews, contract strategies, and pricing. Day 1 was focused on engaging with Industry while Day 2 focused on DoD customer engagement. Mr. John Tenaglia was a keynote speaker for the event. Approximately 130 persons attended, with the majority from Industry. The following bullet notes from Day 1 are provided for general informational purposes.*
  • Summary of the formation of the DCMA CIG:
    • 2013: NDAA mandated DoD develop a "cadre of experts"
    • 2014: Pilot program consisted of nine personnel
    • 2016: CIG officially stood up
    • 2019: Acquisition and Sustainment gave the CIG authority to issue commercial determinations
    • 2023: CIG currently has 62 personnel at 8 locations
  • For FY '23 to-date, 42% of CIG's determinations are "commercial," 58% are other-than-commercial (72% of these because not enough information was provided)
  • 80% of the commercial determinations that are entered into the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE) Commercial Item Database are populated by the CIG. The rest are from agency PCOs
  • An agency PCO's non-commercial determination is not binding (another PCO or the CIG can reverse it for another acquisition). A PCO's commercial determination IS binding but can be reversed with higher-level approval
  • Currently there is no direct official channel from Industry to the CIG but there is talk of possibly changing that
  • When the CIG makes its determinations, they don't focus only on commercial similarities of a product or service; the "differences matter equally"
  • Good example to illustrate the determination considerations: C-130 cargo aircraft has both military and commercial variants. The airframes are the same, but the military variant has different landing gear, tires, engines to operate on short airfields in a desert environment
  • Mr. Tenaglia emphasized the benefit of DAU aligning its training to NCMA's CMS so Government and Industry (both which participate in NCMA) are more on the same page
  • DFARS final rule 2020-D033 has established that an item bought using FAR part 12 procedures may serve as the commercial item determination (CID) solely because it was previously bought using FAR part 12 procedures. The fact that part 12 was used can serve as the commercial determination regardless of whether any CID document is located or used as a justification. This is a major relaxation of the burden of proof and there is no time limit. The part 12 buy could be from more than 10 years ago and still be used as the commercial determination in 2023

* Any misstatements or misrepresentations are the sole responsibility of this writer.