GSA Announces Year 2000 Federal Acquisition Regulation
December 31, 1996
Contact: Bill Bearden
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Federal agencies will receive helpful guidance on the Year 2000 as it applies to information technology acquisitions in a new FAR Regulation, Federal Acquisition Circular 45, set to be issued January 2, 1997. According to Laurence Wolfe, acting Deputy Associate Administrator of GSA's Office of Information Technology in the Office of Governmentwide Policy, "The new procurement guidance will provide Year 2000 information that will be helpful to Federal agencies when awarding new information technology contracts or modifying older ones." The new regulation becomes effective upon issuance.
The FAR language was developed at the suggestion of the Chief Information Officers Council and the Year 2000 Interagency Committee to assist agencies in acquiring information technology products and systems that can accommodate the change to the new century. Another Federal group, the FAR Information Technology Committee, played a key role in developing the actual FAR language and placing it on a fast track for inclusion in the regulation. Wolfe said that, in addition to providing very useful guidance, the new FAR rule sends a clear message to industry that the Federal government intends to acquire only products that will work in the year 2000.
Some of the important features of the new FAR regulation include:
- a standardized Federal definition of Year 2000 compliance
for IT acquisitions required to perform date/time processing involving dates subsequent to December 31, 1999, contracting officers must ensure that
solicitations and contracts require year 2000-compliant technology, or
non-compliant information technology must be upgraded to provide compliance in a timely manner.
- a recommendation that agencies describe in their solicitations both the existing information technology that will be used along with the information technology to be acquired. Agencies also should identify whether the existing information technology is Year 2000 compliant.
An important tool is already available to help Federal agencies meet the new FAR requirement - a Year 2000 warranty clause. This clause was previously developed under the Year 2000 Interagency Committee's sponsorship by GSA in cooperation with industry and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). According to Wolfe, "Using the Year 2000 warranty is one of the easiest ways for agencies to meet the new FAR requirement for many of their information technology procurements."
The Year 2000 warranty is already available on the Year 2000 Interagency Committee's Internet home page located at http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov. The new FAR regulation will also be posted on the Year 2000 home page, with several implementation suggestions, as soon as the regulation is formally issued on January 2, 1997.
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