OMB Submits Six Acquisition Proposals to Congress

Published: May 30, 2019

Acquisition ReformGovernment Performance

OMB sent a set of six legislative proposals to Congress to better streamline the federal acquisition process and update decades-old law.

In April, OMB sent a set of legislative proposals to Congress to help improve the efficiency of the federal procurement process. OMB is asking Congress to turn the six proposals into law through the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or part of another Congressional bill. The six proposals seek to change statutes, some of which have been in place for more than 40 years, to adapt to the current acquisition environment.

The six proposals include:

  1. Acquisition Test Programs
  2. Disestablishment of the Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board
  3. Revision to the Mandatory Use of the Cost Accounting Standards
  4. Uniformity in Procurement Thresholds
  5. Task and Delivery Order Protest Threshold
  6. Removal or Recovered Materials Certification Requirement

The first proposal proves to have the most impact on contractors as it seeks to establish an Acquisition Modernization Test Board to review ideas and technologies that can be applied for modernized acquisitions. Specifically, the Board is “to work with agencies in developing test programs that promote incremental improvement of acquisition practices, including through new, innovative, or otherwise better business processes and applications of technology.”  The Board will be authorized to pilot up to 45 programs between FY 2020 and 2022 within certain dollar ranges, waive one or more procurement laws as necessary, and review how changing statutory requirements could prove cost efficient and timely to the acquisition process.

If successfully demonstrated, changes and further waivers of certain procurement rules will be applied to additional test acquisitions. Ultimately, contractors could see antiquated and burdensome acquisition laws be permanently updated.

The table below provides further description of each acquisition proposal as well as the outcome that is envisioned for each:


Synopsis of Proposal

Intended Outcome


Institutes innovative procurement programs that will be tested by select executive agencies to determine the impact of new or updated procurement laws on federal acquisitions.

Permits the modernization of government operations by changing statutory procurement requirements that hinder efficient and innovative acquisitions.


Repeals the authority of the Defense Cost Accounting Standards (Defense CAS) Board to review cost accounting standards (CAS) for defense contracts.

Allows concentration of CAS efforts into the existing, federal CAS Board. Also eliminates the complexity and duplication of regulatory work contractors face in complying with two different standards for the same cost issue.


Adjusts basic CAS thresholds from $2M to $15M while maintaining full-CAS coverage at a $50M threshold. Also decouples CAS and Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) coverage thresholds from one another to allow concentration under each law.

Eliminates trigger contract exemptions set at $7.5M. The new threshold also reduces a significant amount of CAS coverage work while maintaining coverage for a large percentage of contract dollars.


Matches the micro-purchase threshold for task and deliver orders in multiple award contracts with that of recently increased micro-purchase thresholds for contracts to $10,000.

Provides fair opportunity to all contractors whether in single or multiple award contracts by aligning the micro-purchase thresholds and promotes unification in the federal buying process.


Increases the task and delivery order protest threshold at civilian agencies to mirror the defense agencies threshold of $25M.

Streamlines protest procedures for all agencies. Also diffuses confusion when civilian agencies procure on behalf of defense agencies.


Removes the requirement for contractors to report the percentage of total recovered material content for EPA-designated items used in contract performance.

Eliminates duplication and burden on contractors already submitting compliance for recovered/recycled product requirements under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.