Gloria Miccioli has been a law librarian for 20 years. Her specialty is research. She has worked as Government Documents/Reference Librarian at the Jacob Burns Law Library of the George Washington University Law School; as Senior Research Librarian for Williams & Connolly; and is currently International Librarian for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue’s D.C. office, where she provides expert research services for the firm’s overseas offices.
“A maze of statutes and regulations…”
An “immense, complex, and ever-changing” body of law
“Intimidating, overwhelming and confusing”
Contains “traps for the unsuspecting”
Several introductory guides to government contracts law describe the task facing a government contracts researcher. Although government contracts law can challenge the researcher, the Internet can help meet the challenge. Like any area of the law, in order for the governing law to be determined, regulations, statutes, and case law must be identified and examined. The complexity of government contracts research comes from the sheer number of sources that the researcher may need to wade through. For example, finding the text of relevant regulations may require more than locating the CFR citation and updating it via the Federal Register. One may also need to find regulations that were in effect when the contract was awarded and are thus controlling. This is complicated by the fact that the main body of federal acquisition regulations (FAR) has itself gone through some major changes over the last half century. Furthermore, each government agency can issue its own acquisition regulations, called supplements, that are specific to its own procurement process and that must be used with the general FAR. Litigation is possible at various points in the procurement process and may take place in several different judicial or administrative venues. Beginning to sound like a maze?
Although you may want to run when someone hands you a government contracts research question, don’t. There are many good explanations and research guides to help you, and much of the information you need – formerly difficult to get – is now available on the Internet. There are even web sites aimed specifically at researchers, buyers and vendors, or procurement officers. I am going to concentrate on federal government contracts law, but I will include some sites that cover the state and local procurement process. Some familiarity with the government procurement process is necessary for an understanding of the sources of government contracts law. I will review the process briefly, but for a closer look, I recommend the sources in the next section.
Governments enter into contracts with private businesses to obtain goods and services needed to serve their missions. According to the West Legal Directory article on government contracts, the “federal government alone signs approximately fifty-six thousand contracts each day and spends between $30 million to $40 million each working hour.” Such a huge public enterprise has led to the evolution of a complicated and changing body of law to regulate each step of the procurement process and to deal with the disputes that frequently arise.
The federal procurement process starts with the publication of solicitations – invitations for bids and requests for proposals. The government must publish notices and synopses of potential contracts to foster competition among potential bidders. The main vehicle of publication is the Commerce Business Daily, a GPO publication. Contract awards are also published here.
In the last few years, various agencies, including the Federal Supply Service of the General Services Administration, have awarded contracts to multiple vendors for a wide range of supplies and services. Many of these contracts allow other agencies to place orders against them. These orders need not be noticed in the Commerce Business Daily, but some principles of fair competition may apply; the exact parameters are being slowly defined.
If a bid is rejected or a contract is improperly awarded, the losing company may protest the award. This bid protest may be appealed within the awarding agency, to the Comptroller General (who heads the General Accounting Office), to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or for a short time yet, to the federal district courts (as of this writing, the jurisdiction of the district courts is about to expire and there is no sign of its being renewed). A dispute that occurs during the life of a contract may result in a claim being filed for a decision by the Contracting Officer. Appeals of the CO’s decision may be made to the agency’s Board of Contract Appeals or to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Further appeal is to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Because these several entities share jurisdiction, researchers generally need to identify and obtain both administrative law and federal court decisions.
The Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 (governing military procurements), the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (governing civilian agency procurements), the Competition in Contracting Act, the Contract Disputes Act, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, and the Federal Acquisition Reform act of 1996 are just a few of the many federal statutes that deal with government contracts.1 You can find links to many at www.legal.gsa.gov/legal25.htm and www.wifcon.com/legislat.htm.
Before 1984, there were two major sets of federal acquisition regulations. Military procurements fell under the Armed Services Procurement Regulations (ASPR), renamed the Defense Acquisition Regulation (DAR) in 1978. Civilian procurements were governed by the Federal Procurement Regulation (FPR). In 1984, a single regulation called the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) became effective. The FAR is found at 48 CFR ch.1. Contractors also have to deal with acquisition “supplements” issued by individual agencies. The supplements are found in Title 48 of the CFR, chapters 2 through 57. They include the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFARS) at 48 CFR ch. 2 and the NASA FAR Supplement (48 CFR ch. 18). For a complete list, see Practitioners’ Research Guide: Researching Government Contracts Law on the Internet. In addition, numerous internal guidance documents also exist.
Therefore, finding federal acquisition regulations can be frustrating and confusing because of the number of regulations that may apply and because of the changes they have undergone. Because the governing regulation is usually the one in effect on the date the contract was awarded, you might have to deal with both superseded and current sources and their updating tools. The FAR is updated by Federal Acquisition Circulars or FACs. The DFARS is updated by Defense Acquisition Circulars, or DACs. It is important that the text of each individual update be available; users relying on the print looseleaf version of the FAR don’t throw any pages away! The Internet does an excellent job of providing access to the many acquisition regulations, but it is less useful for historical research since the web collections only go back a few years.
Courts Explanations & Research Guides Government Web Sites Metasites Non-Government Web Sites
Government Contracts Law: Explanations and Research Guides
- Government Contracts (West Legal Directory)
- West Legal Directory’s online “Areas of Law Practice” includes this article on Government Contracts, which is excerpted from West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. It is a basic overview of government contracts law and the procurement process – easy to understand and written for the layman.
- FindLaw: Legal Subjects: Government Contracts
- Click on Federal Government Contract Overview to be linked to an article by Carl L. Vacketta and David P. Handler of Piper & Marbury. This is a more detailed explanation of the procurement process with cites to relevant statutes and regulations. Also on this page is a link to approximately 40 articles on various aspects of government contracting, such as multiple award contracts, licensing agreements, federal e-commerce and several overviews. Click on FindLaw Library – Government Contracts Documents, Briefs, Articles and Books.
- Researching Government Contract Regulations: A Primer
by Patricia A. Tobin, Law Library Lights, May/June 1998, p.7, Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C.
- One of the best research guides that I found is unfortunately not on the Internet. I include it because it offers an excellent explanation of the history of government contracts regulation – what documents exist and why, why they are important, and how to find them. Tobin lists each set of regulations (e.g., FAR and supplements) and tells how it is updated, what editions exist, effective dates, issuing agency and agencies covered, print and online formats, and other comments. This article also lists some libraries that collect these documents, which is extremely important for research that predates online sources.
- Practitioners’ Research Guide: Researching Government Contracts Law on the Internet2
by Leslie A. Lee, Patricia A. Tobin, and Michelle M. Wu
- Part of George Washington University Law School’s Research Series, this is an indispensable guide to the many government contracts sites that are found on the Internet. Before searching, I recommend you click on the Introduction and Instructions buttons and read the explanations found there. The first screen is a list of sites by category: executive, legislative, judicial, periodicals, and general. The document name is given, then a chart number that refers to the listing in one of the 2 print articles. The authors also give available document formats (e.g., PDF) and finally the web address, which is also a hotlink to the site. For more detailed information on the title or site, including web address, scope and content notes, search tips, and alternative sources (print versions, commercial databases, and CD Roms), click on the document title. The Search the GCRG button allows you to search for a specific item. Finally, there is a button that brings you to an Alphabetical Listing of documents. Congressional materials, administrative regulations, judicial and administrative decisions, periodicals, metasites, specific agency procurement information: if it’s on the web, you’ll probably find it listed here.
- Government Contracts Research Guide (1999), George Washington Law School, Jacob Burns Law Library
- Click on “Government Contracts Research Guide” to download this guide as a PDF file. Although it is keyed to sources available within the Jacob Burns Law Library, it is useful because Burns has a pretty extensive government contracts collection and the guide identifies many basic documents. Organized by document type (e.g., legislative, executive, judicial, citators, secondary sources), the guide covers print sources and Westlaw and Lexis databases. There is also a section on “Useful Web Sites.”
- Law about…Government Contracts (LII)
- By Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, this one-page overview has links to relevant federal statutes, regulations, and cases, some state materials, and other web sites.
- ARNet: Acquisition Reform Network
- A joint effort of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the National Contract Management Association, the National Performance Review, the Council for EXCELLENCE in Government, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ARNet has something for everyone: researchers, procurement professionals, and vendors will find this site useful. ARNet is big, but it is well-organized.
To access the Federal Acquisition Regulation, click on Federal Acquisition Regulation on the homepage; you will be taken to the Federal Acquisition Regulation Web Site, which is published by the General Services Administration’s FAR Secretariat on behalf of the Department of Defense, GSA, and NASA. Here you will find the text of the FAR, codified at 48 CFR chapter 1, in HTML, PDF and Zipped formats. The FAR is updated by Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs); these are available on ARNet as PDF files in both the GPO looseleaf and Federal Register versions. On this screen you will also find links to FAR Forms; proposed rules; Archived FAR in HTML or PDF going back to October 1995; a FAR Drafting Guide, and a search box. The latter allows for simple searching, but once you enter a term and get results, you will be able to either search within those results or conduct an advanced search.
If you click on the Virtual Library button on the ARNet homepage, you will see a diagram of the stages of the procurement process: Pre Solicitation, Solicitation, Award, and so on. Click on each stage for links to web sites that are relevant to that stage. For example, clicking on Award brings up a link to the Excluded Parties List System: Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Nonprocurement Programs. The resources given for each stage are themselves organized by category, which makes it easy to pinpoint useful sites. The listings are many and include government and non-government sources. Under Law, the links are grouped by type of law, such as U.S. Code, whose sources include the web sites of the House of Representatives, the Office of Law Revision Council, Cornell University, and the GPO.
Because it is so extensive, the ARNet Virtual Library is a good place to start your research, especially if you don’t know what web sites exist and which ones would be useful.
Back on the ARNet homepage is a button marked Federal Business Opportunities. This links to a search box for agency-specific information. Another button marked Professional Development links to educational programs for the procurement professional. Committees and Councils links to “Committees that frame the policies that affect the acquisition process”. A Search button covers the entire web site and uses the AltaVista search engine. Basic and Advanced searching are possible. Finally, an extensive Site Map organizes the links by category, such as Agency Home Pages, Professional Development and so on.
- Federal Acquisition Jumpstation
- Sponsored by NASA’s Acquisition Internet Service, the Federal Acquisition Jumpstation is designed to act as a central starting point for the business community to access federal procurement documents and to link to federal procurement Internet sites. Links include government and non-government sites, and they are continually updated.
The home page contains an extensive list of web sites arranged by government agency. Even better is the fact that agencies are broken further down into their different procurement-related offices. For example, here are links not only to over 10 Department of Defense web sites that deal with acquisitions and procurement, but also links to various sites within the different services, i.e., US Air Force, US Army, US Navy., and the Defense Logistics Agency. If you want to find a procurement-related office within an agency, the Jumpstation is a good tool. The Jumpstation also links to the ARNet Virtual Library and NASA’s Procurement Reference Library so users will have easy access to acquisition regulations and other sources of procurement law.
- Professor Steve Schooner’s Government Contract Law Site
- Prof. Schooner is an Associate Professor of Government Contract Law at the George Washington University Law School. His web page reflects his expertise in government contracts. It provides numerous links to government and non-government procurement sites in a wide range of categories. Although it is detailed, it is user-friendly. You can find links to federal, state, and international web sites as well as to web sites of procurement-related organizations and associations. Links to E-commerce resources, green procurement resources, ethics and compliance resources, journals and publications, and law firm web pages are also here. Other metasites such as ARNet are included, as are agency sites, judicial tribunals, and sources of law. This is truly one-stop shopping. The organization is by category: federal, state, international, publications, and so on. Each site is listed individually, which means there is little guessing about which link to select. Like ARNet, this is a good place to start your research.
- Where in Federal Contracting?
- Where in Federal Contracting? is an independent web site owned and maintained by Robert Antonio of the GAO (it is not a GAO web site). It is comprehensive and is designed to be understandable and easy to use, and it succeeds. The home page presents a series of questions intended to lead the user to the web site that has the information she needs. If you are looking for judicial and administrative decisions, you don’t need to know the courts. Just find the question, “Where are online court cases dealing with federal acquisition?” and click on the answer, Courts and BCAs. You will be taken to links plus brief descriptions of the types of cases heard and the scope of the file. Navigating the maze of federal regulations is made easier by clicking on Regulations and being taken to a page that lists and links to the FAR and all agency supplements. You don’t even have to worry about acronyms; the agency names are given in full. Additional materials like forms and directives are also included. The home page questions cover a wide range of procurement topics and are not limited to the federal sector. On the left there is a button marked State Contracting; it brings up a question-and-answer page that is devoted to state contracting and procurement sources.
The Index button at the top of the home page brings up a well-organized site map that is arranged by category of information: Analysis, Guidance, Small Business, Law, and so on. This gives the user yet another way to find appropriate web sites. Where in Federal Contracting? is a great tool for the government contracting novice.
- NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS)
- Like ARNet, which includes links to all kinds of procurement information on its web site, NAIS does the same for NASA. It provides links to synopses, solicitations, award notices, acquisition forecasts, regulations, and forms for those seeking to do business with NASA. Read the FAQ to get detailed information about what is included. In addition, the button for Reference Library on the home page links to a Federal-Wide Procurement Reference Library as well as to a procurement library devoted to NASA. The former gives links to the FAR and FAR Supplements of the vari
ous federal agencies.
- If you have ever been asked to find federal procurement solicitations, you are familiar with the Commerce Business Daily, the GPO publication that lists notices of federal government solicitations, contract awards, and proposed procurement actions. Like the Federal Register and Congressional Record, the CBD is a daily publication that publishes an enormous amount of information. As such, it can present a formidable research challenge. However, this task has been made easier by CBDNet, the government’s free Internet version of the Commerce Business Daily. CBDNet via GPO Access allows you to search or browse through the CBD.
On the home page, you can either choose to do a Simple Search or a Fielded Search. Clicking on either brings up a page with several buttons. Simple-Search brings up a simple search box like that found on GPO Access. The user enters terms or a phrase using Boolean operators and then selects to search the Active database or Archive. The Active database contains notices for the last 15 days; these are then moved to the Archive, where they remain indefinitely. The entire database consists of notices from Dec. 12, 1996. A maximum of 200 records per search is returned. When I entered “light fixtures” in the Active database, I got 4 hits.
The Fielded-Search button lets you search by date range, solicitation number, subject, point of contact, and other criteria as well as by keyword. Browse allows you to look through groups of notices from the last 15 issues.
For the types of notices that are included and excluded in the CBD, please see the Reader’s Guide on the home page.
- This is the web site of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Among the Office’s missions is advising the Defense Secretary on all matters pertaining to the DoD’s acquisitions process. Use this site to find DoD Contracting Regulations and links to DFARS Change Notices, the FAR, and the Acquisition Deskbook. Click on AT&L Documents on the left side of the screen. This will also bring up speeches, testimony, and press releases.
- Defense Acquisition Deskbook
- This tool for the defense contractor contains current acquisition policy and procedures information for all the military services and functions within DoD. It has two parts: click on Information Structure for discretionary practices, sample formats, and professional advice. The Reference Library contains the full texts of over 1300 mandatory and discretionary defense acquisition documents, such as guidance directives and regulations. A Search button on the top of the home page brings up a Basic Search Page. Click on Advanced Search for detailed field searching, including the option to expand the search to other government acquisition-related web sites. A nice feature of the search engine is its ability to search for synonyms of search terms.
- Defense Procurement Home Page
- This provides links to acquisitions offices within the DoD (e.g., Defense Logistics Agency and offices in the Army, Navy, and Air Force) and to non-DoD web sites like ARNet.
- Army Acquisition Website
- A well-organized home page offers 16 buttons linking to information on different aspects of Army acquisition, including news, reform, business opportunities, professional development, and the Army Library, which brings together links to the FAR, DFARS, and AFARS (Army Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement). The Library page also has links to FACs, DACs, and ACS – Army Acquisition Circulars – as well as to other relevant web sites.
- ABM Online [Navy]
- ABM stands for Acquisition and Business Management. This web site is intended to facilitate the efficient operation of the Navy’s acquisition system. It is an excellent source that provides information on Navy acquisitions and also links to non-Navy government procurement sites. One the home page there are several buttons across the top that are of interest to the contractor and procurement officer. Select these for information on policies, the Navy’s procurement structure, career developments, and business opportunities. Under Quick Links to the left of the home page you will find links to FAR, DFARS, and NAPS (Navy Acquisition Procedures Supplement). There is also a very useful feature that allows you to view corresponding versions of FARS, DFARS, and NAPS subparts at the same time through the use of frames. Click onFAR/DFARS/NAPS Comparison. You will also find links to the CFR, USC, Executive Orders, DoD Directives, the Navy Electronic Directives System, and more.
- Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Acquisitions Home Page (SAF/AQ)
- The home page for this comprehensive web site is divided into different categories such as acquisition reform, policies, people and so on, which in turn link to relevant web sites. The category AQ Contracting leads to a very detailed web page called Air Force Contracting. It has a number of buttons that are aimed at those with very specific AF acquisition needs. In fact, I found it somewhat confusing: when I clicked on the Contracting Toolkit button, I got a page with 53 options including FAR System, a section on Protests/Disputes, and a form guide to DoD and other federal agencies. However, “only” 30 of these 53 choices were active links. When I clicked on the FAR System, I got links to the FAR, DFARS, AFFARS (Air Force FAR Supplement), and 9 additional Air Force sub-supplements. This web site is intended for the user who is looking for detailed information on Air Force contracting.
- A product of the Contracting Laboratory of Hill Air Force Base, FARSite is the place to go when you know you need acquisition regulations and when you want to search acquisition regulations. As the name implies, it has the texts of the FAR, DFARS, AFFARS, and some of the other agency supplements plus their updating acquisition circulars. A menu on the left side of the home page lists the contents of the site. Click on Regulations for the acquisition regs and on Changes for the updates. To search the text, click on FARSite Search. Select Simple Search and the regulation to be searched, then enter keywords or a phrase in the search box. Or, choose Power Search, select the regulation to be searched, and enter a more complicated search using Boolean and proximity operators and limited field restrictors.
Keep scrolling the menu to FARSite Tools for links to CBDNet, cases, and the Federal Register. Virtual Tools acts as a mini-metasite with links to the Acquisition Deskbook, the CFR, ARNet, and other procurement sites. The next button is Electronic Forms; here are links to AF forms, DoD forms, and the GSA electronic forms web site.
Other Information has a link to the FARSite FAQ, which should be displayed more prominently. However, that is a small criticism for a site that is easy to use.
- Defense Contract Audit Agency
- The Defense Contract Audit Agency provides audits, reports, and financial advisory services to DoD contracting officers. There are links on this site to two DCAA publications, Information for Contractors and DCAA Contract Audit Manual.
- U.S. Dept. of Commerce Office of General Counsel, Contract Law Division< /b>
- The Contract Law Division provides legal advice to the Dept. of Commerce on all matters of federal procurement; it also represents DOC in claims and protest litigation; and it serves as a liaison to the Dept. of Justice for matters before the courts. The home page links to several types of procurement information: FAR, legislation, news, articles written by the CLD staff, and recent procurement decisions of the federal courts and administrative tribunals, such as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Boards of Contract Appeals. You can also sign up here for a listserve that distributes news concerning federal procurement.
- Department of Energy Office of Procurement and Assistance Management
- Scroll down to Index, click on DOE Procurement and Property Regulations, and you will find links to DEAR (Dept. of Energy Acquisition Regulation) as well as other Energy Dept. acquisition information, the FAR, DFARS, and more. At the Acquisition Reference Center you will find links to government-wide acquisition information (defense and non-defense), sites of professional organizations, and commercial acquisitions sites.
- General Services Administration
- Established in 1949, the GSA, among its other missions, manages the procurement and distribution of supplies on a government-wide basis. Its Office of Acquisition Policy oversees a comprehensive acquisition policy program and issues the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The GSA home page and site map have links to detailed information for procurement officers and for vendors. However, although ARNet is a GSA product, I could not find a link to it on the home page or the site map. To get to ARNet, you have to click on Policy, Guidelines, Regulations, and Best Practiceson the home page, then click on Acquisition, then on Federal Acquisition Regulation, and finally the link to ARNet is listed second. That’s a lot of steps to get to such a valuable resource.
GSA Advantage calls itself the “web’s #1 official Federal source for government purchasing.” It offers procurement officials the ability to electronically purchase over one million services and products. The web site includes the Schedules E-Library, the electronic version of the GSA Federal Supply Schedules, a catalog of supplies and services. The web site itself is easy to use and has won several awards.
- U.S. Dept. of State, Office of the Procurement Executive Acquisition Web Site
- Designed for businesses and State Department procurement personnel, this site divides its information into categories. Under Programs you will find links to Buying Green and Electronic Commerce. Policy links to regulations such as the Dept. of State Acquisition Regulation (which can be searched or browsed) and the FAR via ARNet. For other sources of government information such as ARNet Virtual Library, CBDNet, NASA Jumpstation and more, click on USG Links.
- Office of Federal Procurement Policy
- OFPP, part of the Office of Management and Budget, coordinates efforts to improve federal procurement law, practices, and policies. This page has links to OFPP Best Practices documents, which deal with promising procurement practices developed by government agencies. It also leads to OFPP Policy Documents and Policy Letters.
- General Accounting Office Reports
- As the investigative arm of Congress, the GAO produces many reports on government procurement activities. This web site provides full text searching of every GAO report and all testimony issued since 1995.
- Small Business Administration’s Procurement and Contracting Page: Hotlist
- This is a page of links to government and non-government web site.
- Formerly known as the Electronic Posting System, the Federal Business Opportunities web site presents government purchasing opportunities online. The site is not very intuitive and it is short on explanations. The only description of the site I found was listed under “FedBizOpps News-FAR Announcement”, not the first place I would think to look. However, the site seems to be under development, so improvements may be on the way. The home page lists buttons that link to information on business opportunities for DoD, Government Buyers (with a link here to ARNet) and Vendors. The latter lists opportunities by agency.
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has within its jurisdiction the authority to hear government contract claims, which make up over one third of the court’s workload. This site has decisions from 1997 to date; they are arranged by year and month.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- This court hears appeals from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Boards of Contract Appeals. Opinions and orders for the last 90 days are available on this site. For decisions from August 1995, go to www.law.emory.edu/fedcircuit.
- GAO Comptroller General Decisions
- Bid protest decisions of the Comptroller General from October 1995 are available here. It is updated daily.
- GSA Board of Contract Appeals
- This tribunal was established to hear and decide disputes between government contractors and the GSA or other executive agencies. This site has the text of the Board’s decisions issued since 10/1/96 and is updated weekly. The decisions are available in text format (HTML), in WordPerfect (as a zip file), and since August 2000, in PDF. The text and PDF formats are searchable. Decisions are presented in reverse chronological order. For decisions in appeals and protests issued from 10/1/92 through 9/30/96, go to the Archive page at gsbca.gsa.gov.
- Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals
- Decisions on this web site date back to 1996 and are in Microsoft Word. As of January 2000, however, decisions are in PDF format. You can browse by year and month or click on Search Engine to pull up a simple full text Query Box.
For additional BCA sites, see www.wifcon.com/courtgao.htm.
- Fedmarket.com, The Federal Marketplace
- Fedmarket.com is a comprehensive resource for government buyers and vendors. It is owned by Wood River Technologies, which maintains and updates over 8000 procurement-related state, local, federal, and international URLs. It also uses a proprietary system to capture and catalog hundreds of new bid notices posted daily at government web sites. Some of the services it offers are free and some are by subscription. Clicking on Jumpstation leads to an organized directory of links to bid and award postings. The Vendor Directory is an online directory of 275,000 U.S.-based vendors that is searchable by Duns number, contractor name, SIC code, and other criteria. The Buyer Directory allows users to search for buyers by state and procurement agency. There are links to other buyer and vendor tools as well as to news updates.
- American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law
- According to the Public Contract Law Section’s mission statement, “The Section seeks to improve the functioning of public procurement by contributing to developments in procurement legislation and regulations”. It is organized into six divisions that have links on the home page. These include the Federal Procurement Division and the State and Local Procurement Division. The web site alerts users to procurement publications, procurement news, and news of meetings and continuing education courses. Of special interest is a link to a PDF version of the Model Procurement Code, developed by the ABA as a standard for state and local procurement law. The Section also produces the Public Contract Law Journal with the George Washington University Law School; tables of contents to issues from 1997 to date can be found at www.law.gwu.edu/stdg/pclj/issues/index.html.
- NASIRE: StateSearch
- NASIRE represents the chief information officers, information resource executives and information managers of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. StateSearch is a topical clearinghouse to state government information on the Internet. Click on Purchasing/Procurement for links to individual state procurement offices.
- NASPO – National Association of Procurement Officials
- This organization is made up of the directors of central purchasing officers of the states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. Buttons to the left of the home page lead to information on publications, educational programs, and news items. Contact Information brings up a page of links to, and email addresses of, offices of state procurement directors. Click on Related Sites to get links to procurement-related web sites.
- GovExec.com is a product of the publishers of the monthly Government Executive magazine. It is intended to be a news daily for federal (civilian and military) managers and executives in all areas of government business, including procurement and acquisitions. Procurement on the left side of the home page brings up current news, special reports, government procurement links like ARNet, acquisition reform links, and contractor news and information. Users can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts. In addition, the full texts of articles in the monthly magazine from August 1996 are available by clicking on Government Magazine – Back Issues on the right side of the home page.
1The Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 is codified at 10 U.S.C. sec. 2301-2314. The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 can be found in Titles 40 and 41 of the U.S. C. The Competition in Contracting Act is scattered throughout Titles 10, 31, 40, and 41 of the U.S.C. See 41 U.S.C. sec. 601 et seq. for the Contract Disputes Act. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 is located at 41 U.S.C. sec. 251 nt., 413 nt., and 426a nt. Turn to 41 U.S.C. sec. 251 nt. for the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996. <back to text>
2 For a print version of this web site, see “Practitioners’ Research Guide: Researching Government Contracts Law on the Internet”, by Michelle M. Wu, Leslie A. Lee, and Patricia A. Tobin in 27 Public Contract Law Journal 179 (Fall 1997) and “Practitioners’ Research Guide: An Update to Researching Government Contracts Law on the Internet”, by Patricia A. Tobin, Michelle M. Wu, Leslie A. Lee, and Ian D. Rupell, in 28 Public Contract Law Journal 247 (Winter 1999). The articles must be used together. <back to text>