Contracting Cone

Contracting by Negotiation (FAR Part 15)

FAR Part 15 describes the procedures for competitive and non-competitive open market acquisitions exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).  Open market is defined as products or services not available from required sources of supply, such as GSA schedule contracts, outlined in FAR Part 8.


Common Applications

  • All types of supplies and services, to include construction
  • Defense Business Systems and enterprise resource planning systems
  • Solutions and technologies
  • IT software and products, to include Agile development
  • IT systems
  • Weapon systems
  • Aircraft
  • Ships
  • Space systems
  • Research & development
  • Advisory and assistance services
  • Engineering services
  • Special studies





Ability to uniquely negotiate terms and conditions, and pricing arrangements enables improved mission outcomes Regimented processes traditionally have a longer procurement lead time to award and does not lend to quick delivery of capability
Use of competitive range or multi-step process provides time saving mechanism to negotiate with only highest rated vendor offers Selection of appropriate terms and conditions, including data rights increases burden on Government to ensure terms are explicit
Use of change orders enables flexibility to adjust to urgent/unforeseen circumstances Procedures require labor intensive and government resource support increasing administrative burden and costs
Provides opportunity to design and negotiate solutions that meets mission requirements from basic to large scale, complex acquisitions
No funding thresholds exist providing maximum flexibility in acquiring capabilities for major acquisition programs



  • Requirement not met through FAR Part 8 or existing contract vehicle