B-236742, B-236743, Jan 23, 1990, 90-1 CPD ___, Off. of General Counsel

B-236742,B-236743: Jan 23, 1990

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FAR case No. 89-59 is a proposal to add a paragraph (c) to FAR section 44.202-1. Paragraph (c) would state that existing advance notice and consent requirements apply unless the contracting officer includes in the contract a statement that such requirements have been satisfied for particular subcontracts evaluated during negotiations. We have no objection to this part of the proposed change. We are concerned. One proposed changes would amend FAR section 45.304 to state that agencies providing contractors with government vehicles are responsible for ensuring that such vehicles are used only for contract performance and that contractors may not use the vehicles for home-to-work transportation.

B-236742, B-236743, Jan 23, 1990, 90-1 CPD ___, Off. of General Counsel

PROCUREMENT - Contract Management - Federal Procurement - regulations/laws - Revision - Government property - Use General Accounting Office has no objection to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) case No. 89-58, a proposal to amend FAR Sec. 45.304, 51.103, 51.200, 52.204 and 52.251.2 to clarify contractors' use of government vehicles and government sources of supply. PROCUREMENT - Noncompetitive Negotiation - Federal procurement regulations/laws - Revision - Subcontractors - Contract awards General Accounting Office comments on Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) case No. 89-59, a proposal to amend FAR Sec. 44.202-1 to clarify subcontract notice and consent requirements, by suggesting that the section provide that the government's designation of a specific subcontractor must be justified.

Ms. Margaret A. Willis

FAR Secretariat

General Services Administration

Ms. Willis:

This responds to your letter of August 15, 1989, requesting our comments on two proposed changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), one dealing with contractors' use of government vehicles (FAR case No. 89-58) and the other concerning the clarification of subcontract consent requirements (FAR case No. 89-59).

FAR case No. 89-59 is a proposal to add a paragraph (c) to FAR section 44.202-1, which describes the responsibilities of a contracting officer with respect to granting consent to subcontracts. Basically, paragraph (c) would state that existing advance notice and consent requirements apply unless the contracting officer includes in the contract a statement that such requirements have been satisfied for particular subcontracts evaluated during negotiations. We have no objection to this part of the proposed change.

We are concerned, however, about the statement in the proposed change that the "[d!esignation of a specific subcontractor by the Government ... does not in itself satisfy the requirements for advance notification. ... " In the enclosed report, The Environmental Protection Agency Should Better Manage Its Use Of Subcontractors, GAO/RCED-85-12, at p. 28, we questioned an agency's practice of directing its prime contractors to award sole-source subcontracts to firms selected by the agency. pointed out that such a practice can be used to bypass procurement controls designed to protect the public interest. While we recognize that there may be circumstances that would warrant use of directed sole-source subcontracts, we believe that an agency should be required to justify directing the use of a particular subcontractor. We therefore suggest that proposed FAR section 44.202-1(c) provide that the government's designation of a specific subcontractor must be justified.

FAR case No. 89-58 proposes revisions to FAR Parts 45, 51 and 52 to provide further direction to agencies that furnish contractors with government vehicles. Specifically, one proposed changes would amend FAR section 45.304 to state that agencies providing contractors with government vehicles are responsible for ensuring that such vehicles are used only for contract performance and that contractors may not use the vehicles for home-to-work transportation. Amendments to FAR sections 51.103, 51.200, and 51.204 would clarify the use by contractors of government supply sources and the interagency fleet management system. Finally, conforming changes would be made to the clause at FAR section 52.251-2. We have no objection to these proposed changes.