FAR Rule to Restrict Use of Generic DUNS Numbers

The Civilian Agency Acquisition and Defense Acquisition Regulations Councils have issued FAC 2005-62, which contains a final rule (FAR Case 2010-014, effective December 20, 2012) that amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation to limit the use of generic substitutes instead of Data Universal Numbering System numbers, and to update the policies and procedures associated with reporting in the Federal Procurement Data System. In addition, the rule changes the clauses requiring contractor registration in the Central Contractor Registration database and DUNS number reporting.

The government has long used DUNS numbers to uniquely identify contractors. Currently, the DUNS number is the identifier for the FPDS and for the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 reporting to http://www.usaspending.gov/. However, due to legitimate challenges encountered with overseas contracting, generic DUNS numbers have been used to update the CCR without explicit identification of the contractor. This practice of using generic DUNS numbers adversely affects the transparency of the government’s data, including Transparency Act contract reporting. Also, the contractor cannot access and perform its own reporting requirements because the contract is not associated with the contractor in government-wide processes.

In response, the FAR Councils issued a proposed rule on November 29, 2011, to limit the use of a generic DUNS number to those actions where it is truly necessary. Thus, the final rule includes requirements intended to more strictly limit the use of the generic DUNS number to foreign contract actions valued at or below $25,000 (FAR 4.605(c)(2)). Contracting officers must ask offerors to provide the DUNS number by using either the provision at FAR 52.204-6, Data Universal Numbering System Number, FAR 52.204-7, Central Contractor Registration, or FAR 52.212-1, Instructions to Offerors–Commercial Items.

In FAR Subpart 4.6, Contract Reporting, the rule amends the policy section at FAR 4.603, the responsibilities of contracting officials as specified in FAR 4.604, the procedures section at FAR 4.605, the reporting data requirements at FAR 4.606, and the prescription regulation at FAR 4.607, which, pursuant to paragraph (c), requires the newly added clause, FAR 52.204-12, Data Universal Numbering System Number Maintenance. Also, the rule amends FAR Subpart 4.11, Central Contractor Registration, including the policy language at FAR 4.1102, the registration procedures at FAR 4.1103, and FAR 4.1105, which, in paragraph (b), prescribes the use of the new provision at FAR 52.204-13, Central Contractor Registration Maintenance.

About George Gullo

George Gullo is an attorney editor in the Government Contracts group at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. George serves as the principal editor of Cost Accounting Standards Guide and supports all of the group’s print and electronic publications, as well as legal research tools, including the Government Contracts Reporter, Board of Contract Appeals Decisions, and the FAR and DFARS Matrix Smart Charts. With more than 25 years experience in the legal publishing industry, including more than 15 years in the government contracts area, George also has a background in legal and business transactions. He is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and a licensed Illinois attorney.
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