This post was written by Joelle E. K. Laszlo.

Inflation is good for some things, including increasing the acquisition-related thresholds in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”). Inflation-pegged adjustments to the FAR thresholds were initiated by the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act of 2005, and are required every five years thereafter. The most recent adjustments, which took effect on October 1st, increase a number of thresholds, including the following “heavily used” figures:

  • The simplified acquisition threshold, which sets the bar below which the simplified acquisition procedures in FAR Part 13 may be used, is now $150,000.
  • The ceiling for the commercial items test program (described in FAR Subpart 13.5), under which simplified acquisition procedures may be used if a contracting officer reasonably expects offers to include only commercial items, is now $6.5 million.
  • The cost or pricing data threshold is now $700,000, meaning that a contracting officer must obtain cost or pricing data before awarding any negotiated contract or subcontract, or modifying a contract, unless one of the exceptions in FAR § 15.403-1(b) applies.
  • The prime contractor subcontracting plan floor described in FAR § 19.702 is now $650,000, meaning that the bidder in a sealed-bid acquisition selected for award of a contract (or contract modification) expected to exceed this amount must submit a subcontracting plan to the contracting officer within a specified time, or risk being found ineligible for the award.
  • The threshold in FAR § 19.702 applicable to construction contracts is now $1.5 million.

The micro-purchase threshold, which sets the bar at and below which commercial purchase cards and other less restrictive procedures described in FAR Subpart 13.3 may be used, remains unchanged at $3,000. Also unchanged is the requirement under FAR Part 5 that notice of contract actions above $25,000 must be posted on