Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the rules and regulations that government contractors and their government counterparts must follow to conduct business. Like many other government rules and regulations, FAR is quite a comprehensive overview of the mechanics of government contracting. For those hoping to secure government contracts, in addition to explaining FAR–we’ll highlight the key areas to focus on when entering the federal government contracting space.
What Is the FAR?
The Federal Acquisition Regulations outline how government solicitation and acquisition of government contract work is to be conducted. FAR is mostly written from the perspective of the government officials who will evaluate small businesses vying for federal contract work and how those officials will put into place those contracts. However, business owners should be aware of FAR as their compliance is dependent on winning contracts. Also, if a business is regularly informed of the FAR rulebook, it will assist in understanding contracts which can lead to winning repeat business. If a business understands and speaks the language of the government, it will see an enhancement in its contract bidding, marketing, and networking. In fact, upon SAM registration, the government will require that businesses understand critical sections of the FAR before allowing them to compete for federal awards.
FAR Sections and Terminology
As we said above, FAR is a comprehensive document. As a business owner, don’t let its sheer size overwhelm you. To further familiarize ourselves with FAR, let’s briefly break down the various sections and terms of FAR and showcase which sections business owners should internalize.
Parts – If you see the term Part within FAR, this describes the overlapping “theme” of a section of FAR. Part 19, for example, covers the topic of small business programs. An essential part of FAR for business owners to understand.
Subparts – A subpart refers to a specific set of rules in the FAR. So, in Part 19, you will find Subpart 19.30, which states what businesses qualify as a small business, HUBZone, or disadvantaged business.
FAR Classification – The FAR uses the following scripting to describe subparts within a part: FAR Part 19 and subpart 19.30 would read “FAR 19.301-1.” This directs individuals to a specific area of the FAR documentation.
FAR Sections for Government Contractors
As we’ve alluded to multiple times already, FAR’s documentation is extensive. Detailing every element of FAR isn’t necessary for potential government contractors. Let’s look at the areas small business owners should focus on.
FAR Part 11: Describing Agency Needs
In this section, business owners can ascertain what the various government agencies need. Business owners can further understand their potential buyers by learning brand names, products, restrictions, and buying schedules.
FAR Part 13: Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)
Generally, purchases under $250,000 are considered eligible for simplified acquisition procedures (SAPs). SAPs come into effect because the government often needs to speed up and simplify its acquisition of contract work. SAPs make it easier and faster for businesses to win contracts.
FAR Part 15: Contract Negotiation
FAR Part 15 describes how solicitations for the competition will be built, how proposals will be evaluated, how offers will stack up against one another, and what constitutes a responsive bid.
FAR 19 – Small Business Programs
Ever wonder how small businesses compete on the same playing field as Fortune 500 companies? One of the ways is by participating in the small business programs spelled out in FAR Part 19.
FAR 52 – Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses
Part 52 explains the required contract clauses for biobased product certification, affirmative procurement, recovered material certifications, EPA-designated item recovered material content, energy efficiency, and service and construction contracts.
2022 FAR Update
Effective on October 25, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have issued a final ruling which amended FAR to implement an executive order addressing domestic preferences in government procurement. This ruling stemmed from President Biden’s directive to enhance American manufacturing companies’ ability to win federal contract work. Things are looking up for American small businesses’ chances to win lucrative government contracts in 2022 and beyond.
Start Winning Federal Contracts Today
Whichever type of contract you’re looking for or pursuing, FAMR’s experts can help maximize your chances of being awarded funding. We offer various services to certify and market your company, from Capability Statement writing to optimizing and streamlining your DSBS profile. On top of that, our portal can alert you to crucial opportunities, reminders, and much more.