Report: DoD Launches New Competitive Method to Buy ‘Innovative’ Commercial Tech, Services

The Defense Department has released a memorandum that would authorize contracting officers to use a competitive procedure to procure “innovative” commercial technologies and services as part of a four-year pilot program in a move to encourage participation from non-traditional contractors, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday.

DoD’s acquisition officials will release “general solicitations” and competitively pick proposals based on a peer review conducted by subject matter experts under the “commercial solutions opening” method authorized by the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

Procurement officers may only use the CSO method to acquire new platforms and services designed to address capability gaps, meet requirements and deliver technological advancements through fixed-price contracts.

Agencies and services need to secure written permission from the defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment and inform Congress if they plan to award contracts worth at least $100 million through CSO.

The Defense CSO Pilot Program will run through Sept. 30, 2022, according to the class deviation document.

“The expiration of this authority will not affect the validity of any contract awarded under the pilot program before the expiration date,” Shay Assad, director of DoD’s procurement and acquisition policy, wrote in the guidance.

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