Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act
In October 1994, President Clinton signed the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA or Act) into law. Its stated purpose is to streamline federal procurement. In achieving its purpose, the Act, generally, sought to improve acquisition in three broad areas: (1) reduce unique purchasing requirements, (2) simplify acquisition procedures; (3) obtain goods and services faster and reduce purchasing cost.
Reducing Unique Purchasing Requirements
A key purpose of the FASA was to minimize requirements for obtaining certified cost or pricing data and increasing purchase of commercial items. To encourage the private sector to sell to the government, FASA defines “commercial items” broadly and eliminates numerous statutory requirements for purchases of such items.
Simplifying Acquisition Procedures
FASA expanded the use of simplified acquisition procedures to acquisitions up to $100,000, which was increased again in 2017, to $250,000, pursuant to 41 USC § 134. Simplified acquisition procedures streamline the acquisition process by creating less paperwork and reducing processing times for government contracting officials. In addition, simplified acquisition procedures reduce the time and resources a contractor spends to ensure its product meets government standards.
Obtaining Goods and Services Cheaper and Faster
FASA also sought to reduce the number of bid protests, reduce the time from receipt of a purchase request in the procurement office until a contract is awarded, and lower in-house purchasing costs. Formal bid protests may be filed with the soliciting agency, federal courts, or the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and can be costly and time-consuming. FASA sought to reduce the number of protests by establishing a more meaningful debriefing process for explaining to vendors why they were not selected for the award of the contract.