The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) is a comprehensive set of rules and procedures dictating the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process. It supplements the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and is tailored specifically to address the unique needs and concerns of the DoD. This article will discuss the various components of DFARS and the related Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI).

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)

DFARS Overview

The main goal of DFARS is to ensure that the DoD operates in a manner that is efficient, cost-effective, and compliant with federal laws and regulations. DFARS covers many topics, including procurement, contracting, and administration. It is divided into several sections, each focusing on specific aspects of the acquisition process.

DFARS: Structure and Components

DFARS is divided into numerous parts, subparts, sections, and clauses. This structure allows for the efficient organization and navigation of the extensive content within the supplement. The significant components of DFARS include:

DFARS: General Section

The General section serves as an introduction to DFARS and outlines its applicability to various entities within the DoD. This portion of the supplement provides an overview of the scope and purpose of DFARS, explaining that it is intended to supplement the FAR with policies, procedures, and guidelines specific to defense acquisition. It also covers the authorities under which DFARS operates and the roles and responsibilities of various DoD officials in the acquisition process.

DFARS: Definitions Section

The Definitions section contains definitions of key terms and concepts that are used throughout DFARS. This portion is essential for understanding the language and terminology utilized within the supplement. It clarifies the meanings of terms such as “acquisition,” “contract,” and “contracting officer” to ensure a consistent understanding of these concepts across the various components of DFARS.

DFARS: Improper Business Practices and Personal Conflicts of Interest Section

The Improper Business Practices and Personal Conflicts of Interest section addresses ethical issues and conflicts of interest that may arise during acquisition. This section guides handling situations involving fraud, bribery, and other unethical behaviors. It also outlines procedures for reporting suspected misconduct and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to address these concerns. Additionally, it covers personal conflicts of interest that may arise for DoD employees and the steps they must take to mitigate or eliminate them.

DFARS: Administrative Matters Section

The Administrative Matters section focuses on the administrative aspects of contracting, such as contract formation, record-keeping, and reporting requirements. This portion of DFARS guides the proper procedures for forming contracts, including the negotiation and execution of contract terms. It also outlines the requirements for maintaining and managing contract records and the reporting obligations with which contractors must adhere to comply with DFARS and other regulations.

DFARS: Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses Section

The Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses section contains specific provisions and clauses that must be included in contracts and solicitations. These provisions and clauses address various aspects of the acquisition process, such as the selection of contractors, the terms and conditions of agreements, and the rights and responsibilities of both the DoD and its contractors. This section ensures that contracts and solicitations comply with DFARS and applicable federal laws and regulations.

Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI)

The PGI is a companion document to DFARS that provides additional guidance and information on implementing DFARS policies and procedures. While the PGI does not have the same legal authority as DFARS, it is an essential resource for understanding the intricacies of the acquisition process within the DoD.

Navigating DFARS Compliance

Compliance with DFARS is a critical aspect of doing business with the DoD. Failure to adhere to its requirements can lead to various consequences, such as contract termination, fines, or even debarment from future contracts. As such, it is crucial for contractors and other entities engaged in business with the DoD to familiarize themselves with DFARS and ensure that their practices align with its stipulations.

Key DFARS Clauses

Several DFARS clauses are particularly significant for contractors and warrant special attention. Some of these critical clauses include:

DFARS Cybersecurity Clause

One of the essential DFARS clauses relates to cybersecurity. DFARS clause 252.204-7012 requires contractors to implement adequate security measures to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI) from unauthorized access and disclosure. The clause mandates that contractors adhere to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-171, which outlines the required security controls for protecting CUI.

To comply with this clause, contractors must have a system security plan (SSP) detailing the implemented security controls and any additional steps they plan to take to improve their cybersecurity posture. In the event of a cyber incident, contractors must report the breach to the DoD within a specified time frame and cooperate with any subsequent investigation.

DFARS Counterfeit Electronic Parts Clause

Another essential DFARS clause focuses on counterfeit electronic parts. DFARS clause 252.246-7007 mandates that contractors establish and maintain a system for detecting and avoiding the use of counterfeit electronic parts. This system must comply with industry standards and practices, ensuring that electronic components used in defense contracts are genuine and reliable.

The clause also requires contractors to flow down the counterfeit parts detection and avoidance requirements to their subcontractors. Doing so helps maintain the integrity of the entire supply chain and reduces the risk of counterfeit parts compromising the performance and safety of defense systems.

DFARS Domestic Sourcing Requirements: The Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment

DFARS includes several clauses that address the requirements for domestic sourcing of materials and components. One such clause is DFARS 252.225-7001, which addresses the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment. These regulations stipulate that certain materials and ingredients used in defense contracts must be sourced from within the United States or designated countries.

The Buy American Act primarily focuses on the preference for domestic construction materials and end products. At the same time, the Berry Amendment is more specific to sourcing textiles, clothing, food, and hand or measuring tools for the DoD. Contractors must ensure their procurement practices comply with these domestic preference requirements to avoid penalties and maintain their eligibility for future defense contracts.

Tips for Ensuring DFARS Compliance

To ensure compliance with DFARS, contractors should consider the following best practices:

Familiarize Yourself With Relevant DFARS Clauses and Provisions

One of the first steps in ensuring DFARS compliance is to become well-acquainted with the relevant clauses and provisions that apply to your organization. This process involves carefully reviewing the DFARS text and any supplementary guidance the DoD provides. Understanding each applicable clause’s requirements and expectations is crucial for developing and implementing effective compliance strategies.

Implement Robust Internal Controls and Processes

To maintain compliance with DFARS, it is essential to establish robust internal controls and processes that align with the supplement’s requirements. This may involve creating policies, procedures, and guidelines that address the various aspects of DFARS compliance, such as cybersecurity, counterfeit electronic parts detection, and domestic sourcing. Implementing these controls and processes helps ensure that your organization consistently adheres to the DFARS requirements and minimizes the risk of noncompliance.

Conduct Regular Audits and Assessments

Regular audits and assessments play a crucial role in identifying potential compliance gaps and areas for improvement. By conducting periodic reviews of your organization’s DFARS compliance efforts, you can detect any weaknesses or deficiencies in your processes and controls. These audits and assessments should be comprehensive, covering all aspects of DFARS compliance, from contract management to procurement practices.

Provide Training and Resources to Employees

Training and education are vital components of a successful DFARS compliance program. Ensuring that your employees are knowledgeable about the DFARS requirements and understand their responsibilities in maintaining compliance is critical for the overall effectiveness of your compliance efforts. Regular training sessions, workshops, and access to resources can help your employees stay informed about the latest DFARS updates and best practices for compliance.

DFARS and Small Business Participation

Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy and the DoD procurement process. To encourage their participation in defense contracts, DFARS includes provisions that specifically address minor business concerns and opportunities.

Small Business Set-asides

DFARS promotes utilizing small businesses by implementing set-asides for certain types of contracts. These set-asides reserve a portion of available contracts exclusively for small businesses, ensuring they have a fair opportunity to compete for and win government contracts.

Subcontracting Requirements

DFARS also imposes subcontracting requirements on prime contractors. Prime contractors must often establish a subcontracting plan outlining their intentions to provide subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. The DoD must submit and approve these plans before the prime contractor is awarded a contract.

DFARS Updates and Revisions

DFARS is subject to ongoing updates and revisions to ensure it remains current and responsive to the ever-changing landscape of defense acquisition. New legislation, court decisions, executive orders, or changes in DoD policy may prompt these updates.

DFARS is subject to ongoing updates and revisions to ensure it remains current and responsive to the ever-changing landscape of defense acquisition. New legislation, court decisions, executive orders, or changes in DoD policy may prompt these updates.

Contractors need to stay informed about changes to DFARS, as these updates can significantly impact their business practices and compliance efforts. Contractors can monitor the Defense Acquisition Regulations System website for the latest news and updates and subscribe to relevant newsletters or alerts.

Kiteworks Helps DoD Contractors Achieve DFARS Compliance

While Kiteworks is not explicitly designed for DFARS compliance, its Private Content Network contains features and capabilities that can contribute to an organization’s overall efforts to meet DFARS requirements. For example, the cybersecurity provisions within DFARS demand that contractors protect CUI from unauthorized access and disclosure. Kiteworks can help DoD contractors by offering encryption, access controls, and monitoring capabilities that safeguard sensitive information.

Kiteworks helps organizations comply with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). In fact, Kiteworks enables CMMC 2.0 Level 2 compliance right out of the box. Kiteworks also supports several other content privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). By providing visibility into where customer records are stored, who has access to them, and with whom they’re being shared, Kiteworks enables organizations to achieve strong content governance and demonstrate compliance with data privacy regulations.

Kiteworks can support your organization’s compliance efforts and offers valuable resources and information on Kiteworks’ features and how they can help your organization maintain content privacy and security. Book a custom demo today.


Back to Risk & Compliance Glossary

console.log ('hstc cookie not exist') "; } else { //echo ""; echo ""; } ?>