[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 68 (Wednesday, April 8, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 19722-19724]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06731]



Defense Acquisition Regulations System

48 CFR Parts 211 and 252

[Docket DARS-2020-0006]
RIN 0750-AK60

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of 
DFARS Clause ``Substitutions for Military or Federal Specifications and 
Standards'' (DFARS Case 2019-D023)

AGENCY: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense 

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition 
Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to remove internal agency guidance and a 
clause that is no longer necessary, pursuant to action taken by the 
Regulatory Reform Task Force.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing to 
the address shown below on or before June 8, 2020, to be considered in 
the formation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2019-D023, using 
any of the following methods:
     Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for 
``DFARS Case 2019-D023'' under the heading ``Enter keyword or ID'' and 
selecting ``Search.'' Select ``Comment Now'' and follow the 
instructions provided to submit a comment. Please include ``DFARS Case 
2019-D023'' on any attached document.
     Email: [email protected]. Include DFARS Case 2019-D023 in 
the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 571-372-6094.
     Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Carrie 
Moore, OUSD(A&S)DPC/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, 
Washington, DC 20301-3060.
    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To 
confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, 
approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting 
(except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carrie Moore, telephone 571-372-


I. Background

    This rule proposes to remove DFARS subpart 211.273, Substitutions 
for Military or Federal Specifications and Standards, and DFARS clause 
252.211-7005, Substitutions for Military or Federal Specifications and 
Standards, from the DFARS as the guidance and clause are no longer 

II. Discussion and Analysis

    DFARS clause 252.211-7005 is included in solicitations and 
contracts for the acquisition of previously developed items. The clause 
encourages offerors to propose Single Process Initiative (SPI) 
processes in lieu of military of Federal specifications; provides a 
link to a Defense Contract Management Agency guidebook that lists 
currently accepted SPI processes; and requires the offeror, when 
proposing to use an SPI process, to provide certain information with 
its offer.
    DFARS subpart 211.273 provides DoD contracting officers internal 
guidance on the use and acceptance of SPI processes in lieu of specific 
military or Federal specifications and standards in contracts and 
include the prescription for use of DFARS clause 252.211-7005.

[[Page 19723]]

    The SPI process was established to aid DoD and contractors in the 
transition from an acquisition environment of strict adherence to 
military specifications to a balanced approach of commercial practices 
and military specifications. The SPI permits offerors to propose 
alternatives to military or Federal specifications and standards cited 
in DoD solicitations for previously developed items. When SPI was 
established, DoD was responsible for the management and oversight of 
the initiative through the use of a Management Council, which included 
representatives of the contractor, the military departments, and the 
Defense Contract Management Agency, and the Defense Contract Audit 
    Since the implementation of the SPI, acquisition reform efforts 
have provided additional latitude to contracting officers and 
contractors to utilize performance specifications and commercial 
standards, in lieu of military and Federal specifications and 
standards. As a result, the use of SPI has declined since its inception 
and oversight and management of the initiative has transferred from a 
DoD-enterprise responsibility to a DoD component-level responsibility. 
Each component may manage the initiative to support its individual 
needs and requirements; therefore, DoD enterprise-level guidance to 
contracting officers and contractors is no longer necessary and can be 
removed from the DFARS.
    The removal of this DFARS text and clause supports a recommendation 
from the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force. On February 24, 2017, the 
President signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13777, ``Enforcing the 
Regulatory Reform Agenda,'' which established a Federal policy ``to 
alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens'' on the American people. In 
accordance with E.O. 13777, DoD established a Regulatory Reform Task 
Force to review and validate DoD regulations, including the DFARS. A 
public notice of the establishment of the DFARS Subgroup to the DoD 
Regulatory Reform Task Force, for the purpose of reviewing DFARS 
provisions and clauses, was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 
35741 on August 1, 2017, and requested public input. No public comments 
were received on this clause. The DoD Task Force reviewed the 
requirements of DFARS clause 252.211-7005, determined that the DFARS 
coverage is no longer necessary, and recommended its removal from the 

III. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition 
Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available 
Off-the-Shelf Items

    This proposed rule only removes obsolete internal guidance and 
clause 252.211-7005 from the DFARS. The rule does not impose any new 
requirements on contracts at or below the simplified acquisition 
threshold or for commercial items, including commercially available 
off-the-shelf items.

IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety 
effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the 
importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, 
of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a 
significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review 
under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated 
September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

V. Executive Order 13771

    This rule is not subject to E.O. 13771, because this rule is not a 
significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the 
meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., 
because the rule is not creating any new requirements for contractors 
or changing any existing policies and practices. However, an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) has been performed and is 
summarized as follows:
    The Department of Defense is proposing to repeal DFARS subpart 
211.273, Substitutions for Military or Federal Specifications and 
Standards, and DFARS clause 252.211-7005, Substitutions for Military or 
Federal Specifications and Standards, as the guidance and clause are no 
longer necessary.
    The objective of this proposed rule is to remove outdated guidance 
from the DFARS and reduce regulatory burden on the public. The repeal 
of this DFARS clause supports a recommendation from the DoD Regulatory 
Reform Task Force.
    DoD does not collect data on the number of small businesses that 
proposed an SPI process in lieu of military or Federal specifications 
or standards cited in the solicitation. Instead, DoD subject matter 
experts estimate that approximately 10 contractors participate in SPI 
and that each participant will respond to one solicitation per year. 
Based on the information available, DoD does not anticipate that this 
rule will significantly impact small business entities.
    This proposed rule does not include any new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements for small businesses. 
This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other 
Federal rules. There are no known alternative to the rule that will 
meet the stated objectives or minimize the impact on of the rule on 
small entities.
    DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other 
interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small 
entities. DoD will also consider comments from small entities 
concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule 
in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such 
comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (DFARS Case 2019-D023) 
in correspondence.

VII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule removes the burden associated with DFARS 252.211-7005 
from the information collection requirement currently approved under 
OMB Control Number 0704-0398, entitled DFARS Part 211, Describing 
Agency Needs, and Related Clauses at DFARS 252.211. This reduction in 
burden is reflected in the proposed revision to and extension of the 
information collection, as published in the Federal Register on 
February 27, 2020, at 85 FR 11351.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 211 and 252

    Government procurement.

Jennifer Lee Hawes,
Regulatory Control Officer, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    Therefore, 48 CFR parts 211 and 252 are amended as follows:

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 211 and 252 continues to 
read as follows:

    Authority:  41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

[[Page 19724]]


211.273   [Removed and Reserved]

2. Remove and reserve section 211.273.

211.273-1 through 211.273-4   [Removed]

3. Remove sections 211.273-1 through 211.273-4.


252.211-7005   [Removed and Reserved]

4. Remove and Reserve section 252.211-7005.

[FR Doc. 2020-06731 Filed 4-7-20; 8:45 am]