Acquisition of Services

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Acquisition of Services


This pathway is for the acquisition of contracted services with a total estimated value at or above the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT)

How To Use This Site

Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Acquisition Strategy

This pathway is intended to identify the required services, research the potential contractors, contract for the services, and manage performance. The pathway activities are broken into three phases: planning, developing, and executing. The seven steps ensure the use of proven, repeatable processes and procedures contributing to successful service acquisitions.

Reference Sources: Contract Policy, Acquisition of Services, Guidebook for the Acquistion of Services

The Department of Defense (DoD) relies heavily on Services Acquisition (SA) to carry out aspects of the Department’s mission.  In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, 49.0% of the Department’s contract spend, or $123.9 billion, was spent on acquiring services.  SAs can range from aircraft maintenance to staff augmentation and many things in between. Buying services is significantly different than buying weapon systems.


Reference Source: Guidance from OUSD(A&S)
Based on DAG CH 10-2.1.2 Service Contract, Jan 2020

A service contract is a contract for performance that directly engages the time and effort of a contractor whose primary purpose is to perform an identifiable task rather than to furnish an end item or supply. A service may be either a non-personal or personal contract. It can also cover services performed by either professional or nonprofessional personnel, whether on an individual or organizational basis.

Reference Source: Guidance from OUSD(A&S)
Based on DAG CH 10-3.0 Business Practice, Jan 2020

The acquisition of services is based on the Seven Steps to the Service Acquisition Process as laid out in DoDI 5000.74 and the DAU Service Acquisition Mall (SAM).   The Service Acquisition Process is broken down in Figure 1, which can also be found at the DAU SAM website.

Figure 1. Seven Steps to the Services Acquisition Phases. The seven steps are 1) Form the team; 2) Review current strategy; 3) Perform market research; 4) Define requirements; 5) Develop acquisition strategy; 6) Execute strategy; and 7) Manage performance.

Reference Source: Service Acquisition Mall

SAM is intended to help you get your job done by providing usable tools and templates to create your performance-based service acquisition requirements.  While visiting SAM, you will gain a working level understanding of the Seven Steps to Services Acquisitions.  SAM’s structured content helps you develop the fundamentals of your contract, including Performance Work Statement (PWS), Statement of Objectives (SOO), and Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP).