Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions [February 3, 2015] [open pdf - 423KB]
"The FAR is a regulation, codified in Parts 1 through 53 of Title 48 of the 'Code of Federal Regulations,' which generally governs acquisitions of goods and services by executive branch agencies. It addresses various aspects of the acquisition process, from acquisition planning to contract formation, to contract management. Depending upon the topic, the FAR may provide contracting officers with (1) the government's basic policy (e.g., small businesses are to be given the 'maximum practicable opportunity' to participate in acquisitions); (2) any requirements agencies must meet (e.g., obtain full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures); (3) any exceptions to the requirements (e.g., when and how agencies may waive a contractor's exclusion); and (4) any required or optional clauses to be included, or incorporated by reference, in the solicitation or contract (e.g., termination for convenience). The FAR also articulates the guiding principles for the federal acquisition system, which include satisfying the customer in terms of cost, quality, and timeliness of the delivered goods and services; minimizing operating costs; conducting business with integrity, fairness, and openness; and fulfilling public policy objectives. In addition, the FAR identifies members and roles of the 'acquisition team.'"
CRS Report for Congress, R42826