House shoots down DOD plea to alter commercial products definition

The House Armed Services Committee has turned down a request by the Defense Department to correct a commercial products definition via the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill that acquisition officials believe is being applied too broadly, reports Federal News Radio.

The problem centers on the concept of "commercial-of-a-type" through which agencies buy products or services that already exist in the marketplace rather than building new systems from the ground up, the story states.

In supporting their case to adjust the concept, DOD officials cite various reports by the Government Accountability Office and internal study groups indicating that the law is so broad that it allows a product to be classified as "commercial" even when it's been changed so much that a military component or service is the only real customer for a given product or service.

DOD acquisition officials wanted lawmakers to narrow the definition of what a commercial item is so that only products that have actually been sold in the commercial world would be considered commercial.

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