Changes Proposed for DFARS Specialty Metals Clause Flowdown

According to a notice in today’s advance Federal Register, the Department of Defense is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to clarify the flowdown requirements for DFARS 252.225-7009, Restriction on Acquisition of Certain Articles Containing Specialty Metals.

DoD uses DFARS 252.225-7009 in solicitations and contracts (including those involving FAR Part 12 commercial items acquisition procedures) that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold and require the delivery of aircraft, missile or space systems, ships, tank or automotive systems, weapon systems, or ammunition, or any of their components, if the items contains specialty metals.

Unless an exception applies, any specialty metals incorporated in items delivered under the contract must be melted or produced in the United States, its outlying areas, or a qualifying country.

The rule seeks to prevent misinterpretation of the current requirement in DFARS 252.225-7009(e) to insert the “substance of the clause” in subcontracts by allowing only limited modifications when flowing down the clause. Specifically, the rule would instruct a contractor flowing down the clause to:

  • exclude and reserve DFARS 252.225-7009(d), which addresses compliance for commercial derivative military articles;
  • modify DFARS 252.225-7009(c)(6) only as necessary to facilitate management of the allowance for up to 2 percent otherwise noncompliant specialty metal content in the end product, while recognizing that the minimal content exception does not apply to specialty metals contained in high-performance magnets; and
  • not further alter the clause, other than to identify the appropriate parties.

Interested parties have 60 days to submit comments referencing DFARS Case 2014-0011. For more information, see the text of the proposed rule.

If you are a contract compliance professional who works for a DoD contractor, you should take a look at the DFARS Matrix Tool. The tool seamlessly improves compliance workflow by consolidating DFARS contract clause and solicitation provision requirements–including subcontractor flowdown requirements–in an easy-to-read chart format. You can find out more by viewing a two minute demonstration.

About William Van Huis

Bill Van Huis is a Senior Writer/Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Law & Business who tracks and analyzes new regulations impacting federal government contracting. He also follows court decisions involving bid protests and contract disputes. You can find his work in WK publications like Government Contract Reports and the FAR and DFARS Matrix Tools. Bill is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager, and he has a law degree from Southern Illinois University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Prior to joining WK, Bill worked both inside and outside state and local government in the areas of procurement and municipal finance. Bill also worked as a staff attorney for the Illinois Supreme Court.
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