DoD Issues Final Rule for Identification of Critical Safety Items

August 19, 2011

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add a contract clause that clearly identifies any items being purchased that are critical safety items so that the proper risk-based surveillance can be performed. Effective Date: August 19, 2011. Reference Federal Register Volume 76, Number 161 (Friday, August 19, 2011).

DoD published a proposed rule at 76 FR 14641 on March 17, 2011, to add a contract clause that clearly identifies any items being purchased that are critical safety items so that the proper risk-based surveillance can be performed. One public comment was received in response to the proposed rule.

Discussion and Analysis of the Public Comment
Comment: The respondent noted that the DFARS case specifically addresses aviation and ship critical safety items, but states that protective personal equipment, such as body armor and helmets, can also have catastrophic results if they fail. The respondent asked how DoD ensures that contract administration activities apply increased surveillance procedures in these types of contracts.

Response: The additional risk-based surveillance required for aviation and ship critical safety items is mandated by law (section 802 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 and section 130 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007). There is no equivalent statutory requirement for protective personal equipment, and instituting such a requirement is outside the scope of this case. However, the respondent's comment has been forwarded to the Defense Contract Management Agency for future
consideration. The respondent also asked about the process that ensures that contract administration activities apply increased surveillance procedures when aviation and ship critical safety items have been identified. The process was summarized in the preamble to the proposed rule published at 76 FR 14642 on March 17, 2011. Briefly, the combination of the actions of the design control activities, joint agency instructions (e.g., Management of Aviation Critical Safety Items), limitations on contracting with sources that have not been approved by the design control activity, and focus on contract administration will ensure the proper surveillance for these critical items. The respondent did not recommend changes to the DFARS text or clause, and the final rule does not revise the DFARS text or clause from that published in the proposed rule.

Add section 209.270-5 to read as follows:

209.270-5  Contract clause. The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 252.209-7010, Critical Safety Items, in solicitations and contracts when the acquisition includes one or more items designated by the design control activity as critical safety items.

252.209-7010  Critical Safety Items.
As prescribed in 209.270-5, use the following clause:

CRITICAL SAFETY ITEMS (AUG 2011)
(a) Definitions.
Aviation critical safety item means a part, an assembly, installation equipment, launch equipment, recovery equipment, or support equipment for an aircraft or aviation weapon system if the part, assembly, or equipment contains a characteristic any failure, malfunction, or absence of which could cause--
(i) A catastrophic or critical failure resulting in the loss of, or serious damage to, the aircraft or weapon system;
(ii) An unacceptable risk of personal injury or loss of life; or
(iii) An uncommanded engine shutdown that jeopardizes safety.
Design control activity. (i) With respect to an aviation critical safety item, means the systems command of a military department that is specifically responsible for ensuring the
airworthiness of an aviation system or equipment, in which an aviation critical safety item is to be used; and
(ii) With respect to a ship critical safety item, means the systems command of a military department that is specifically responsible for ensuring the seaworthiness of a ship or ship
equipment, in which a ship critical safety item is to be used.
Ship critical safety item means any ship part, assembly, or support equipment containing a characteristic, the failure, malfunction, or absence of which could cause--
(i) A catastrophic or critical failure resulting in loss of, or serious damage to, the ship; or
(ii) An unacceptable risk of personal injury or loss of life.
(b) Identification of critical safety items. One or more of the items being procured under this contract is an aviation or ship critical safety item. The following items have been designated aviation critical safety items or ship critical safety items by the designated design control activity:

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(Insert additional lines as necessary)

(c) Heightened quality assurance surveillance. Items designated in paragraph (b) of this clause are subject to heightened, risk-based surveillance by the designated quality assurance
representative.

(End of clause)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith Murphy, 703-602-1302. 






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