Agencies Urged to Consider Simplified Acquisition Procedures During COVID-19 Outbreak

Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many government agencies have faced disruptions to their contract procurement processes. In a memorandum (M-20-18) released in March, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urged agencies to maintain “continued contract performance in support of agency missions,” while also encouraging agencies to “leverage the special emergency procurement authorities” authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and as well as the “special emergency procurement flexibilities of FAR § 18.202.”

Among the emergency procurement provisions authorized by the emergency declaration are the simplified acquisition threshold and procedures, which increase the micro-purchase threshold to $20,000 and the simplified acquisition threshold to $750,000 for domestic purchases. The simplified acquisition procedures authorize less formal bid procedures and quoting for “up to $13 million for purchases of commercial item buys.” Through the FAR emergency procedures, agencies can limit sources and full and open competition for urgent and compelling needs. Contracting Officers still have the flexibility to award sole-source contracts to 8(a) participants, however many agencies (e.g. DoD) have issued guidance to raise dollar thresholds for awards without the need for agency justification and approval (J&A). You can find the full scope of the procedures here.

AINS is committed to aiding government agencies that wish to quickly deploy our solutions during the COVID-19 crisis. Our products are already listed on a number of Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) for streamlined procurement. These include:

1. GSA IT Schedule 70

Issued by the General Services Administration (GSA), GSA IT 70 is the standard contract vehicle for IT solutions. AINS COTS applications and services are available through our distributor, immixGroup.

2. CIO-SP3 Small Business

Issued by the National Institutes of Health Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), CIO-SP3 Small Business offers a number of benefits from flexible contract types to the ability to award in modular increments and incorporate performance-based features. Other benefits include comprehensive customer support, one-day turnaround on free SOW/SOO assessments, free training on GWACs, NITAAC contracts, and NITAAC online ordering systems, certification for 2 CLPs, and no protests under $10 million.


Issued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), SEWP hosts 145 prime contract holders and more than 5 million products. AINS COTS applications and services are available through our distributor, immixGroup.

AINS solutions are available through a number of socioeconomic set-asides, including HUBZone, 8(a), ANC, SDVOSB, and more. For a full list of our available contract vehicles or to learn more about how your agency can quickly deploy our solutions, please email us at