PART 5301 -
Federal Acquisition Regulations System
[ Revised October 1, 2015 ]
(INTERIM CHANGE: See Policy Memo 15-C-02)
SUBPART 5301.1 — PURPOSE, AUTHORITY, ISSUANCE
The Air Force Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFFARS) establishes uniform policies and procedures for the Air Force implementing and supplementing the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Department of Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), and other Department of Defense publications concerning contracting. AFFARS Mandatory Procedures (MP) and Informational Guidance (IG) are companion resources arranged by parts which correspond to the relevant FAR parts. MPs contain mandatory internal Air Force procedures and IGs contain non-mandatory supplemental information. Major Commands (MAJCOM), Direct Reporting Units (DRU), the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency (AFICA), and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) (see 5302.101 Definitions) are prohibited from issuing supplements to the AFFARS but may maintain their specific internal procedures through the use of MPs and IGs.
5301.105-1 Publication and Code Arrangement
(a)(S-90) The AFFARS is published on the FARSite by the Contracting Laboratory, Hill AFB, UT.
5301.170 Peer Reviews
(a) DoD peer reviews
(1)(ii) See MP5301.170(a) for procedures applicable to non-competitive acquisitions subject to Phase 1 and Phase 2 Pre-Award peer reviews.
(2) To facilitate planning for DoD peer reviews as well as for clearances by the DAS(C)/ADAS(C) (see 5301.9001(f)(1)), the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) must ensure the rolling forecast data is current in the reporting tool as of the 15th of March, June, September, and December each year. SAF/AQC will submit the consolidated peer review forecast to DPAP/CPIC at the end of each quarter.
(b)(1) Pre-award peer reviews of solicitations for competitive procurements valued at less than $1 billion must be accomplished by complying with the clearance requirements in 5301.9000.
(2) Pre-award peer reviews for non-competitive procurements valued at less than $500 million must be accomplished by complying with the clearance requirements in 5301.9000.
(3) Post-award peer reviews of contracts for services valued at less than $1 billion must be accomplished by complying with the applicable reviews in AFI 63-138, Acquisition of Services.
5301.170-4 Administration of Peer Reviews
(f) The Contracting Officer must simultaneously provide a copy of the memorandum documenting disposition of all peer review recommendations to DPAP/CPIC, SAF/AQC, and to their MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO).
SUBPART 5301.2 — ADMINISTRATION
5301.201-1 The Two Councils
(d)(i) Proposed revisions to the FAR, DFARS, or AFFARS must be submitted through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQCP in accordance with DFARS 201.201-1(d)(i).
5301.201-90 Maintenance of the AFFARS
The AFFARS is prepared and maintained by the Chief, Contract Policy & Field Support Division, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Contracting) (SAF/AQCP).
SUBPART 5301.3 — AGENCY ACQUISITION REGULATIONS
(a)(1)(S-90) The AFFARS is issued by the DAS(C) on behalf of the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE).
5301.304 Agency Control and Compliance Procedures
(See SAF/AQC Policy Memo (16-C-01), Nonstandard Clause Use and Approval, 28 Dec 15)
MAJCOMs, DRUs, HQ AFICA, AFRCO, and SMC must follow the approved AF Clause Control Plan. Submit procedures and forms that require approval by OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQCP. AFRCO will provide the information directly to the DAS(C)/ADAS(C), as appropriate. The request must include a detailed justification using the format in DFARS 201.201-1. SAF/AQCP will arrange for publication in the Federal Register, if necessary. The requesting activity is responsible for evaluating public comments and preparing the final package for SAF/AQCP to submit to OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP.
SUBPART 5301.4 — DEVIATIONS FROM THE FAR
(2) Submit requests for deviations which require OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP approval through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQC for processing. See the tailorable Deviation Request template.
5301.403 Individual Deviations
(1)a. MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCOs (or for AFLCMC and SMC, SCCOs) are authorized to approve individual deviations except as described in (c) and (d) below or as described in DFARS 201.402(1) and DFARS 201.403(2).
b. For AFMC, except as described in (c) and (d) below or in DFARS 201.402(1) and DFARS 201.403(2), individual deviation approval authority may only be delegated to a SCCO.
c. SAF/AQC is the approval authority for individual deviations from FAR 15.3, AFFARS 5315.3, and MP5315.3. Deviation requests must be submitted through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQC for approval. This approval authority must not be further delegated.
d. OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP is the approval authority for individual deviations from DFARS 215.3. Deviation requests must be submitted through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQC for processing to OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP for approval.
(S-90) The MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) must submit a consolidated annual report (by 1 Nov) to SAF/AQCP, describing all individual deviations which were approved at any level within the organization. AFRCO will provide the information directly to the DAS(C)/ADAS(C), as appropriate. See MP5301.4 for annual deviation reporting requirements.
5301.404 Class Deviations
(b)(ii) Class deviation approval authority for the DRUs has been retained by SAF/AQC. Class deviation requests to SAF/AQC must comply with DFARS 201.402(2).
(iii) SAF/AQC is the class deviation approval authority from FAR 15.3, AFFARS 5315.3, and MP5315.3. Requests must be submitted through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQC for approval. AFRCO will provide the request directly to the DAS(C)/ADAS(C), as appropriate.
(iv) OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP is the approval authority for any class deviation described in DFARS 201.402(1) and from DFARS 215.3. Requests must be submitted through the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) to SAF/AQC for processing to OUSD(AT&L)DPAP for approval.
(v) MAJCOM/HQ AFICA SCOs (or for SMC, the SCCO) are authorized to approve class deviations except as restricted by paragraphs (iii) and (iv) above. Class deviation approval authority must not be further delegated.
(S-90) The MAJCOM/HQ AFICA SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) must submit a consolidated annual report (by 1 Nov) to SAF/AQCP describing all class deviations which were approved at any level within the organization. AFRCO will provide the information directly to the DAS(C)/ADAS(C), as appropriate. See MP5301.4 for annual deviation reporting requirements.
(S-91) The AFMC SCO may authorize the AFMC SCCOs to submit any of the documents identified here directly to SAF/AQC.
SUBPART 5301.6 — CAREER DEVELOPMENT, CONTRACTING AUTHORITY, AND RESPONSIBILITIES
(a)(i) Heads of Contracting Activities (HCAs) Responsibilities.
(A) The DAS(C) and Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary (Contracting) (ADAS)(C)) are the HCA for the Air Force. All nondelegable HCA responsibilities may only be exercised by the DAS(C) and ADAS(C). The DAS(C) makes the following delegations for all delegable HCA responsibilities (see MP5301.601(a)(i)) to:
(1) The MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCOs (and to the SCCOs at AFLCMC and SMC) with authority to redelegate HCA responsibilities as stated in MP5301.601(a)(i).
(ii) General Contracting Authority.
(A) The DAS(C) and the ADAS(C) are designated the authority to enter into, approve, terminate, and take all other appropriate actions with respect to contracts and agreements (grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transactions).
(B) The authority to enter into, approve, modify, and terminate contracts is hereby redelegated to MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCOs (and to the SCCOs at AFLCMC and SMC). This authority may be redelegated with or without the authority to make successive redelegations and under such terms, conditions, and limitations as may be deemed appropriate. This delegation is a general one, and all other existing or future authority, to the extent that it would, expressly or by reasonable implication, limit the scope of this delegation or impose conditions or restrictions upon the exercise of the authority delegated, will be controlling over it.
5301.601-91 Air Force Contracting Self-Assessment Program
MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCOs (or for SMC, the SCCO) must forward a consolidated trend analysis report for the current and previous year to SAF/AQCP by 31 January of each year. See MP5301.601-91 for requirements of the Air Force Contracting Self-Assessment Program. See the tailorable Consolidated Trend Analysis Report template.
(a) Contracting officers are authorized to enter into and execute contracts funded either partially or completely with non-appropriated funds.
(c)(i) Legal Review
(A) Contracting officers must obtain legal advice during all phases of acquisitions. In particular, contracting officers must obtain legal advice, coordination, and review from the supporting legal office for the following situations, regardless of dollar amount:
(1) When there is doubt or controversy about the interpretation or application of statutes, directives, and regulations;
(2) When using or applying unique or unusual contract provisions;
(3) When actions are likely to be subject to public scrutiny or receive higher-level agency attention;
(4) When a protest or claim is likely;
(5) When contemplating the use of alternative dispute resolution;
(6) Use of liquidated damages provisions in contracts for other than construction;
(7) Award fee or award term plans;
(8) Source selection decisions and supporting documentation for actions accomplished pursuant to the requirements of MP5315.3;
(9) Issues dealing with licensing, technical data rights and patents;
(10) Mistakes in bid (See FAR 14.407);
(11) Protests before and after award;
(14) Contractor claims;
(15) Termination for default/cause;
(16) Terminations for convenience, except cancellations or terminations of purchase orders;
(17) Debarment or suspension actions;
(18) Individual or class deviations; and,
(19) Any other legal issue at the discretion of the Contracting Officer or supporting legal office.
(B) All Justifications and Approvals (J&A) requests for actions expected to exceed $650,000
(C) In addition to the general conditions identified in 5301.602-2(c)(i)(A) above, contracting officers must obtain legal review on Operational contract actions and SMC contract actions expected to exceed $500,000 and on AFMC Non-Operational contract actions expected to exceed $1,000,000, as follows:
(1) Solicitations and amendments, except administrative amendments
(2) Proposed contracts and modifications
(3) Orders for supplies or services under indefinite delivery contracts (FAR 16.5) including Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)
(4) Orders under Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) established under FSS
(D) Legal review is not normally required for:
(1) Funding actions without any other changes
(2) Unilateral exercise of pre-priced options that were reviewed and approved at the time of award of the basic contract
(d) For Designation, Assignment, and Responsibilities of a Contracting Officer’s Representative, see MP5301.602-2(d).
5301.602-3 Ratification of Unauthorized Commitments
See MP5301.602-3 for required ratification procedures.
(2) Ratification approval authority is delegated as follows (see MP5301.601(a)(i)):
(A) The MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) for actions equal to or greater than $30,000.
(B) The COCO for actions less than $30,000 (not redelegable).
The positions delegated general contracting authority in 5301.601(a)(ii)(B) must select and appoint contracting officers and terminate their appointments in accordance with this section and MP5301.603.
(a) For AFMC, the SCCO may delegate this authority to the highest contracting official in the contracting chain at geographically separated organizations and AFRL detachments, but in no event will the designee be lower than a GS-15 (or equivalent) or 0-6.
(b) Authority to issue limited contracting officer warrants of less than $5M and authority to terminate appointments of less than $5M may be delegated, but in no event will the designee be lower than the COCO.
(a) An individual selected for contracting officer appointment must be a military member in Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 64PX or 6C0X1 or a civilian in the GS-1102 occupational series who occupies a manned authorization listed under these specialty codes/series and who possesses at a minimum, an Intermediate (Level II) Acquisition Professional Development Program (APDP) certification in contracting, except as otherwise authorized below.
(b) A member of the contingency contracting force in AFSC 6C0X1 who does not possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution may be nominated, evaluated, and selected for a limited home station warrant in accordance with this section and MP5301.603:
(1) Warrants for less than or equal to the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) require at least one year of contracting experience and a 3-skill level.
(2) Warrants above the SAT to less than $5M require a minimum 5-skill level, and a Level I or higher APDP certification in contracting.
(c) Military personnel in AFSC 64PX and civilians in the GS-1102 occupational series who occupy a manning authorization listed under these specialty codes/series and who possess a Level I APDP certification in contracting may only be selected for limited warrants for amounts less than $5M. Those contracting personnel who do not possess a Level I APDP certification in contracting (including Purchasing Agents in the GS-1105 series) may, with at least one year of contracting experience, be selected for limited warrants for amounts less than or equal to the SAT.
(d) Local nationals (LN) in an equivalent occupational series to GS-1102 may be selected for a contracting officer appointment in accordance with this section and MP5301.603:
(1) An LN candidate for warrant above the SAT must meet the following minimum functional training, work experience, and formal education requirements:
a. Complete all contracting courses as required for a member of the AT&L Workforce under paragraphs (a) and (c) above for an APDP Level I (or higher) certification in contracting, however, possession of an APDP certificate is not required;
b. Have at least two years of contracting experience; and,
c. Possess a baccalaureate degree (or the equivalent), including at least 24-semester credit hours (or the equivalent) in any of the following disciplines: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
(2) A LN candidate for a warrant less than or equal to the SAT must have at least one year of contracting experience.
(b) Issuing authorities identified in 5301.603-1 may delegate the purchase authority described in FAR 1.603-3(b) and DFARS 201.603-3(b), to non-contracting DoD civilian employees and members of the U.S. Armed Forces, such as transportation personnel, medical supply personnel, librarians, and chiefs of construction management, provided:
(1) The written delegation specifies a dollar limit per transaction (e.g., per order, per call); the method(s) of award; and the supplies, equipment and/or non-personal services, to include construction, related to the individual’s specialty that may be procured. For example, librarians may buy books, but not construction materials or services; and,
(2) Personnel have completed contracting training commensurate with the type of instrument(s) authorized to process and level of responsibility delegated.
5301.670 Appointment of Property Administrators and Plant Clearance Officers
(a) When the Air Force retains contract administration, the COCO must select, appoint, or terminate (in writing) property administrators and plant clearance officers.
SUBPART 5301.90 — CLEARANCE
5301.9000 Scope and Definitions
(a) This subpart establishes clearance requirements for the contract actions identified below:
(1) An action intended to result in award of any contract or modification of any contract;
(2) An action intended to result in definitization of an undefinitized contract action (UCA), an undefinitized change order, or an undefinitized long lead contract;
(3) An action intended to result in the pricing of:
(i) an unpriced option or an option with only a not-to-exceed price;
(ii) provisioned items orders (PIO); or
(iii) unpriced orders under Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA);
(4) An action intended to result in issuance of a modification implementing a unilateral price determination;
(5) Priced orders issued under BOA; and
(6) An action intended to result in the exercise of an option when the option exercise is not in strict accordance with the previously approved pricing arrangement or other contract terms and conditions.
(7) Task orders for services issued against multiple award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts to include GSA schedules except 5301.9000(b)(2);
(b) Excluded from business or contract clearances are:
(1) Actions that create a UCA, undefinitized change order, undefinitized long lead contract;
(2) Orders issued against existing contracts in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of the basic contract except 5301.9000(a)(7);
(3) Modifications solely increasing fund obligations under incrementally funded contracts; or
(4) Modifications solely for changes as a result of Service Contract Labor Standards statute wage rates/fringe benefits or Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wages.
(c) “Business Clearance” means:
(1) For competitive acquisitions, approval to issue the solicitation.
(2) For noncompetitive contract actions, approval to begin negotiations.
(d) “Begin negotiations” means, for the purpose of noncompetitive contract actions, starting discussions with an offeror for the purpose of reaching agreement on all aspects of the proposal. Initiation of audits and fact-finding necessary to evaluate the proposal and develop the Government’s negotiation objective do not constitute negotiations.
(e) “Contract Clearance” means:
(1) For competitive acquisitions conducted without discussions, approval by the clearance approval authority for the SSA to make the decision to award.
(2) For competitive acquisitions with discussions –
(i) Approval by the clearance approval authority for the SSA to request final proposal revisions in accordance with FAR 15.307; and
(ii) Approval by the clearance approval authority for the SSA to make a source selection decision.
(3) For noncompetitive contract actions, approval by the clearance approval authority to award a contract or contract modification/contract action.
5301.9001 Policy, Thresholds, and Approvals
(a) The objectives of the business and contract clearance process are to ensure that:
(1) Contract actions effectively implement approved acquisition strategies;
(2) Negotiations and contract actions result in fair and reasonable business arrangements;
(3) Negotiations and contract actions are consistent with laws, regulations, and policies; and
(4) An independent review and assessment (e.g., by the clearance authority) for the proposed contract action is accomplished.
(b) The clearance approval authority must ensure that the clearance process meets the objectives in paragraph (a) above. The clearance approval authority must use a multi-functional independent review team (MIRT) as an integral component of the clearance process for competitive acquisitions meeting the requirements of this Subpart when contract values are $50M or more (including task orders for services issued against multiple award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts and GSA schedules), unless use of a MIRT is waived. See MP5301.9001(b).
(c) The clearance approval authority must seek legal advice (see 5301.602-2(c)(i)) and ensure that counsel has coordinated on any clearance briefings or presentations, and that counsel’s comments are included in the briefing or presentation.
(d) At the discretion of the clearance approval authority, contract clearances are not required when the negotiation team stays within a pre-set negotiation range and meets the parameters approved at the business clearance.
(e) The Source Selection Authority (SSA) must not be the clearance approval authority.
(f) Contract actions meeting the contract value thresholds set below must not be awarded without obtaining the required business and contract clearance approval(s). Contract value is determined by the definition in FAR 1.108(c). Clearance approval authority may not be delegated, however unit specific assignments pursuant to subparagraph (3) are authorized.
(1) Clearance Approval by the DAS(C)/ADAS(C):
(i) The DAS(C) or ADAS(C) are the business clearance approval authorities for all noncompetitive contract actions $500M or more and competitive contract actions valued at $1B or more; and any other contract action identified as special interest by the DAS(C) or ADAS(C) regardless of dollar amount. The procedures in MP5301.9001(f) must be followed for business clearance at the DAS(C) or ADAS(C). Contract clearance will be in accordance with procedures established pursuant to 5301.9001(f)(2) and (3) below.
(ii) To facilitate planning for SAF/AQC Business Clearance approvals, MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCOs (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCOs) must use the reporting tool to project SAF/AQC Business Clearance approvals.
(2) For PEO Programs and Other Contracting (excluding Operational) supported by AFMC, AFRCO, or SMC: The SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) must establish clearance thresholds for subordinate unit(s) below SAF/AQC approval thresholds for contract actions greater than $5M.
(3) For Operational Contracting and PEO/CM contracts awarded by operational contracting units (See (4) for AFRC): The MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for SMC, the SCCO) must establish clearance thresholds for subordinate unit(s). Contracting squadrons or their equivalents must have a minimum of $3M clearance threshold and will assign subordinate thresholds within their organization with at least one level above the CO for any contract actions greater than $500K. On a case-by-case basis, the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) may review a specific contract action below the established threshold in order to ensure compliance with applicable standards and practices. The MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA SCO (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) may lower the threshold below the $3M identified above or rescind a previously granted increased threshold for a subordinate contracting unit.
(4) For AFRC:
Clearance Approval Authority
Noncompetitive > $500M; Competitive > $1B
DAS(C)/ADAS(C) for Business Clearance Only (see paragraph (f)(1)(i))
> $500K - Noncompetitive < $500M; Competitive < $1B
(5) When a contracting official is the Source Selection Authority (SSA) for a particular acquisition, the clearance approval authority must be a level above the contracting official. If the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO SCO or their deputy (or for AFLCMC and SMC, the SCCO) is the SSA, the clearance approval authority for that acquisition must be the DAS(C)/ADAS(C). Clearance requests for approval by the DAS(C)/ADAS(C) must be sent to SAF/AQC.
SUBPART 5301.91--OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM
The purpose of the Air Force ombudsman program is to foster communication between government and industry. The primary function of the ombudsman is to hear concerns about specific issues in acquisitions, to communicate these concerns to senior management personnel responsible for oversight and to assist in the resolution of the concerns. In accordance with 5301.9102(f) below, employees, managers and customers may use the Air Force component ombudsman when seeking assistance in resolving procurement integrity issues.
(a) MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/AFRCO/SMC Commanders must appoint an experienced senior official who is independent of the contracting officer and program manager as the ombudsman at their organization. For AFMC Centers, an ombudsman is required at each Center/Operating Location/Geographically Separated Unit, instead of at the MAJCOM.
(b) The ombudsman will have the authority to call upon other resources of the activity to assist in resolving acquisition issues or concerns (e.g., administrative support, independent review teams).
(c) Contracting officers must identify the ombudsman in the initial announcement of the acquisition as well as in the draft and final RFP.
(d) The ombudsman must:
(1) Support acquisition personnel in the resolution of issues or concerns raised by interested parties;
(2) Act in a manner that does not compromise the interested party and, if requested, maintain anonymity of the parties;
(3) Avoid any appearance of usurping normal procurement authority (e.g., program manager, contracting officer, and source selection authority);
(4) Ensure all affected or knowledgeable offices and officials are consulted as part of any resolution process;
(5) Inform the Commander/Director, or PEO, as required, of issues raised and actions taken;
(6) Review complaints relative to multiple-award task and delivery order contracts awarded under 10 U.S.C. 2304a(d)(1)(B) or 2304b(e) to ensure that all contractors are afforded a fair opportunity to be considered for task and delivery orders in excess of the micro-purchase threshold, consistent with the procedures in the contract;
(7) Consistent with security requirements, have access to the appropriate offices and be allowed to collect all facts relevant to the resolution of issues raised by interested parties. Ombudsmen are granted access to proprietary information. Source selection information must be obtained through the source selection authority.
(e) The Ombudsman Program does not replace the agency level protest, GAO bid protest or disputes processes.
(f) The Air Force ombudsman is the ADAS(C), who may take action to assist in resolving issues, concerns, disagreements, and recommendations that cannot be resolved at the MAJCOM/DRU/HQ AFICA/SMC level, or for those having Air Force wide implications. The ADAS(C) is the AF ombudsman for procurement integrity issues (see OUSD(AT&L)/DPAP memo, 1 Oct 09).
(g) Government personnel may use the Ombudsman Program as a way to express concerns about an acquisition.
5301.9103 Solicitation Provision and Contract Clause
Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 5352.201-9101, Ombudsman, in all solicitations (including draft solicitations) and contracts.