Department of Defense Memo Review

May 22, 2024

By Jacquie Spearman, SBTDC’s Director of the Government Contracting Assistance Program

The Department of Defense recently released a memorandum titled “Class Deviation—Special Acquisition Authority for Rapid Contracting for Combatant Commanders.” Here’s a breakdown of the memorandum’s importance to government contractors.

Increased Thresholds for Using Special Acquisition Authorities

The memo outlines temporary authorities allowing faster contract awards for situations supporting combatant commanders’ operations. These authorities raise the thresholds for using simplified acquisition procedures typically used for smaller contracts.

Specifically Applicable Situations

The memo clarifies the circumstances where these authorities apply: time-sensitive or unplanned situations during humanitarian/peacekeeping operations or directed operations protecting US national security interests.

Process for Using the Authorities

The memo outlines the steps for combatant commanders and contracting officers to request, approve, and use these special authorities.

Overall, this memorandum benefits government contractors by outlining a streamlined process for securing contracts in support of certain critical operations. It allows for faster awards at higher spending thresholds compared to standard procedures.

The question to ask yourself now is: How does this fit with my strategy? Reach out to your local SBTDC counselor for advice.

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