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What Are Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)? Blog Feature
Bradley Wyatt

By: Bradley Wyatt on October 12th, 2022

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What Are Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)?

Government | 5 Min Read

The federal government uses Simplified Acquisition Procedures, otherwise known as ‘SAP,' to help streamline the contracting process. In layman’s terms, SAPs emphasizes the “keep it simple” approach.

SAPs are governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), specifically FAR Part 2 and Part 13, and aim to reduce the overall administrative burden and time of awarding procurements below a certain dollar threshold. SAPs are designed for the purchase of relatively simple supply or service requirements. If you find yourself curious about the FAR in large and want to know more, please feel free to check out our recent blog post titled Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 101.

Now let’s review what Simplified Acquisition Procedures are and how your organization can benefit from an increased knowledge base on SAPs moving forward.

What Are Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP)?

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) are contracting methods used by the federal government to streamline the procurement process and therefore expedite the purchasing process of goods and services. The procedures in place are designed to reduce the overall amount of paperwork, minimize the acquisition timeline, and cut down on costs for both contractors and the government alike.

SAPs permit the government to use simple, informal methods to carry out purchases and do not call for formal evaluation plans, competitive ranges, or strict source selection procedures in many cases. It's vital your organization reads the fine print of any formal government contract to ensure that you are fully aware of the subject Terms and Conditions agreed upon in the fully executed award.

Contracting Officers (CO) have discretion in how they may utilize SAPs, however – it should be anticipated that the goal of the government use of SAPs is to allow small businesses the opportunity to submit non-complex, affordable, and compliant proposal submissions. CO’s can utilize SAPs to reduce the time of award, and even have the ability to make a sole source determination to produce direction from a single source, without additional outside competition, which is of course subject to a Justification and Approval (J&A).

FAR Part 13 - Simplified Acquisition Procedures

SAPs are described in the FAR in Part 13, and specifically apply to the acquisition of supplies and services, which include but are not limited to: construction, research and development (R&D), and commercial items, of which the total procured amount does not exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT), which is $250,000. It’s important to note that the SAT may vary depending on the particular circumstances of the subject acquisition. We’ll cover the specifics and what contracts SPAs are applicable for later.

The Micro-Purchase Threshold (MPT) is also worth mentioning and can be viewed as the “smallest limit” set on purchases of commercial goods and services that do not require a competitive quotation process. Note that the current MPT is $10,000. Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive quotations if the Contracting Officer or designated official considers the price to be reasonable.

What Are the Purpose of SAPs?

As described in FAR Part 13.002, the purpose of SAPs are as follows:

The purpose of this part is to prescribe Simplified Acquisition Procedures in order to:

  1. Reduce administrative costs;
  2. Improve opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to obtain a fair proportion of government contracts;
  3. Promote efficiency and economy in contracting; and
  4. Avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors.

Per FAR 13.104, ‘promoting competition,’ the Contracting Officer must promote competition to the maximum extent practicable to obtain supplies and services from the source whose offer is the most advantageous to the government, considering the administrative cost of the purchase.

Essentially, the government is highlighting that ‘normal’ procurements above the MPT ($10,000), but below the SAT ($250,000), MUST be set aside for small businesses. This is very advantageous to not only small businesses through allowing greater competition, but also to the government as the SAP helps allow the government to obtain and meet their small business concerns.

Which Contracts Can Be Awarded Using Simplified Acquisition Procedures?

The long and short is “it depends.” Three buying methods are prescribed in FAR Part 13 for simplified acquisition purchases that include Government-Wide Purchase Card (Micro-Purchases), Purchase Orders, and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA).

The General Services Administration (GSA), orders incorporate FAR terms by default, and are governed by the MPT of $10,000 and SAT of $250,000 for GSA funded acquisitions. This would mean that any GSA issued task order is subject to SAPs, given they are within the MPT, and SAT thresholds as defined.

To reiterate, the Simplified Acquisition Procedures are used to reduce costs, improve opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses, promote efficiency, and avoid unnecessary burdens. For more information Simplified Acquisition Procedures, we would invite you to refer to the specific guidance provided in the FAR or to contact the Winvale team today.

Do You Need Help with Your GSA Contract?

Whether it be SAP, MPT, SAT, FAR, GSA, or any of the government alphabet soup we discussed in this blog post, we are here to assist with your government contracting needs. Our dedicated team of experts help organizations all sizes enter, grow, and lead in the public sector.

If you would like to learn more on the latest and most current government contracting and GSA news, you can subscribe to our blog and newsletter. If you have any questions regarding government contracting, please feel free to reach out to the Winvale team today.

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About Bradley Wyatt

Bradley Wyatt is a Lead Account Manager for Winvale’s Public Sector department where he currently manages a diverse portfolio of Information Technology, Hardware, Software, and Services Channel Distribution Partner Accounts to accelerate their sales within the Public Sector. Bradley is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and a graduate from James Madison University with his Bachelor’s of Science in Public Policy and Administration.