Commercial Items

FAR 12 “implements the Federal Government’s preference for the acquisition of commercial items contained in Title VIII of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.” This information guides you through the history of commercial items, making or asserting a commercial item determination, and determining price reasonableness. Read more about commercial items on our blog.

The Government realized that buying commercial items (as defined in FAR 2.101) saves development and procurement dollars. Competition in the commercial marketplace drives technology innovation, reduces prices, and quality rises to the top. Companies with sub par products and poor service do not survive. Industrial bases within the commercial marketplace have their own terms and conditions and quality control systems that can be easily incorporated into Government acquisitions and save additional time and money through fewer federal regulations and oversight.

Commercial items are not the panacea they seem. Interpretation of the definition and application of the simplified acquisition rules is not consists among agencies or even within agencies. The phrase “of a type,” is particularly troublesome to some contracting officers whose interpretation of commercial item means the item is sold in substantial quantities and the contractor is willing to share all sales history – neither of which are requirements in a commercial item determination.

Some contracting officers express further frustration over the exemptions afforded to commercial items including TINA and certified cost or pricing data, and often try to request cost or pricing data before making a commercial item determination. The Commercial Item Handbook V2.0 states that these determinations are mutually exclusive and that the commercial item determination is first.

Commercial item assertions by the contractor require research and planning. Contact us today for help with your situation!

Commercial Item Self-Determination

Use our updated whitepaper, “Commercial Item Self-Determination” as a guide in making a commercial item self-determination of your products and services.

Commercial Item Determinations & Acquisition Policy

Prime Contractor Determination Checklists

These are provided for reference from the public-facing websites of common prime contractors. Use these checklists as resources when completing your Commercial Item Self-Determination.

Regulatory History

Pricing of Commercial Items

World Congress 2014 – Selling Commercial Items in 2014

C05 Selling commercial items in 2014 regulatory and procedural update from Robert E Jones

Complexity of Pricing in the Commercial Marketplace

Complexity of Pricing in Commercial Marketplace 04-11-2013 from Robert E Jones