Contracts & Legal

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) (FAR Part 13 / DFARS Part 213) are designed for the purchase of relatively simple supply or service requirements. It is a contracting method that seeks to reduce the amount of work the government must undertake to evaluate an offer. SAP is supposed to be used to the maximum extent practicable for all purchases of supplies or services not exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) (FAR Part 2.101). As of 2022, the SAT is $250,000.

Definition: Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) are government procurement procedures that aim to reduce the administrative burden and time of awarding procurements below a certain dollar threshold.

Implementation of Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)

Government agencies do not have to have formal evaluation plans, established competitive range, discussions, or scoring when utilizing simplified acquisition procedures. SAP encourages accepting oral quotes vice written quotations, prefers comparing quoted prices vice conducting negotiations, and provide streamlined clauses to support the award document. The contracting officer is allowed to choose the contract winner.

Purpose of Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)

The purpose of SAP is to allow contracting officers with additional procedural discretion and flexibility so that commercial item acquisitions in this dollar range may be solicited, offered, evaluated, and awarded in a simplified manner that maximizes efficiency and economy and minimizes burden and administrative costs for both the Government and industry:

  1. Reduce administrative costs;
  2. Improve opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to obtain a fair proportion of government contracts;
  3. Promote efficiency and economy in contracting; and
  4. Avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors.

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) Key References

Website: FAR Part 13.3 Simplified Acquisition Procedures

Website: DFARS 213.3 Simplified Acquisition Procedures

Checklist: Simplified Acquisition Checklist

Simplified Acquisition Thresholds (SAT)

The Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) (FAR 2.101) is $250,000. The SAT can vary depending on the particular acquisition situation. For acquisitions of supplies or services for supporting a contingency operation or facilitating defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack, the SAT is (i) $800,000 for contracts awarded and performed or purchases made inside the United States; $1,500,000 for contracts awarded and performed, or purchases made, outside the United States. The test program at FAR 13.5 raises the threshold for the use of SAP for commercial items to $7.5 million ($15 million for acquisitions as described in 13.500(c)).

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) Buying Methods

There are three (3) buying methods prescribed in FAR Part 13 for simplified acquisition purchases:

  1. Government-Wide Purchase Card (Micro-Purchases) (see below)
  2. Purchase Orders: a document developed and issued by a buyer to a seller indicating terms, types, quantities, and agreed prices for products and/or services. Used with a Request for Quotation (RFQ).
  3. Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA): this is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for open market supplies and services below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT).

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) Government-Wide Purchase Card (Micro-Purchases)

For micro-purchases, the Government-wide commercial purchase card is the preferred method to pay for supplies or services valued at no more than $10,000. Micropurchases may be approved if the contracting officer or designated official deems the price to be fair without requesting competitive quotes. The following exceptions apply:

  • $2,000 for construction projects subject to the Construction Wage Rate Requirements statute (formerly Davis-Bacon Act)
  • $2,500 for acquisitions of services subject to the Service Contract Labor Standards statute (formerly Service Contract Act)
  • For acquisitions of supplies or services that, as determined by the Agency Head, are to be used to support a contingency operation or to facilitate defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack (except for construction subject to the Construction Wage Rate Requirements statute):
    1. $20,000 in the case of any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made, inside the U.S.;
    2. $35,000 in the case of any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made outside the U.S.

History of Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)

Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) authorized Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP), while Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996 (FARA) enhanced SAP. The policies were established as part of the Clinton administration’s 1993-launched National Partnership for Reinventing Government program to streamline government operations. This was part of a larger effort to cut expenses and development time by relying more on mass-produced goods rather than bespoke solutions.

AcqNotes Tutorials

Streamlining Government Procurement: The Power of Request for Quotation in Simplified Acquisitions

In the intricate world of government procurement, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are paramount. To achieve these goals, agencies often turn to simplified acquisitions, a procurement method designed for smaller purchases to reduce administrative burden and streamline the acquisition process. The Request for Quotation (RFQ) is at the heart of this approach, a powerful tool.

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Updated: 2/9/2024

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