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Rules of the Game

Rules, regulations and laws aplenty govern the world of federal government contracting. Books, periodicals and databases with a legal focus will generally be held in the Law Library Reading Room at the Library of Congress.

Federal Government Contracting

August 2004
Updated January 2013

Table of Contents


Image (left): New Jersey Turnpike, 1952.
From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection
Reproduction Number: LC-G613-T-62221

Open-Access Resources

Subscription Resources (Available only onsite.)

Print Resources

Anderson, Lane K., ed. Accounting for government contracts : federal acquisition regulation. New York, N.Y. (235 E. 45th St., New York 10017) : M. Bender, 1985-
LC Call Number: KF849 .A73 1985
LC Catalog Record: 85071931

Bodenheimer, Bertold. Cost accounting principles for federal contracts. [Washington, D.C.] : Tax Management Inc., c2006.
LC Call Number: HF5686.P923 B63 2006
LC Catalog Record: 2008272960

DCAA contract audit manual. [Alexandria, Va.] : Dept. of Defense, Defense Contract Audit Agency ; Washington, DC : For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.
LC Call Number: UC267 .U596b
LC Catalog Record: 95640983
Also available online.

Guide to contract pricing : cost and price analysis for contractors, subcontractors, and government agencies. 5th ed. Edited by John Edward Murphy. Vienna, Va., Management Concepts, c2009. 254 p.
LC Call Number: JK1673.M87 2001
LC Catalog Record: 2009005959

Appendix A--Checklist for Adequacy of Submitted Cost and Pricing Data.
Appendix B--Glossary.

Hearn, Emmett E. Federal acquisition and contract management.5th ed. Los Altos, Calif., Hearn Associates, c2002. 350 p.
LC Call Number: KF849.H429 (Law Library Reading Room)
LC Catalog Record: 2003269041

Appendices include Abbreviations & Acronyms, Glossary of Terms, Contract Administration Office Functions, Reference Documents and Supplemental Readings.

Walsch, Christopher N., ed. The Davis-Bacon Act : background, issues, evolution. New York : Nova Science Publishers, c2011.
LC Call Number: KF3505.C65 A2 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2010047098

Federal Government Sites

The web site for the federal acquisition community and the government's business partners and is a starting point for those interested in government contracting and includes links to various contracting-related systems like: Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), etc. Includes "tabs" oriented around user groups like: For Buyers, For Sellers, For Citizens, Acquisition Workforce.

Title 41: Public Contracts & Property Management (U.S. Code)

Government Printing Office, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e–CFR). Searchable version External Link also available from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University.

Code of Federal Regulations (GPO)

General and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. Divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Defense Acquisition University (DAU) External Link

DAU is a corporate university for the Defense Acquisition Workforce and offer a range of certification training, assignment-specific training, applied research, and continuous learning opportunities. Much of the information may not be accessible due to security concers or accessible to members of the defense acquisition workforce.

Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

The Agency provides standardized contract audit services for the Department of Defense, as well as accounting and financial advisory services regarding contracts and subcontracts to all DoD Components responsible for procurement and contract administration. They do have a number of publications including the Contract Audit Manual and the FAR Cost Principles Guide.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The Department of Defense (DOD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) jointly issue the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for use by executive agencies in acquiring goods and services. Regulation in HTML and PDF formats, references, relevant documents and other information. The current FAR is available in multiple file formats; the Reference section includes a GSA forms library.

Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act (FAIR)

Public Law 105-270, 105th Congress, 1998
Lists functions of the Federal Government that are not inherently governmental.

Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Office of Management & Budget Circulars

Circular A-76 (Rev.) Performance of Commercial Activities, May 29, 2003 (including technical correction made by OMB Memorandum M-03-20) establishes federal policy for competition.

System for Award Management (SAM)

The System for Award Management (SAM) is combining federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. It is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/ Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). There is NO fee to register for this site.

The CCR the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government. CCR collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions. Includes ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application) and links to SBA's Dynamic Small Business search.

The purpose of EPLS is to provide a single comprehensive list of individuals and firms excluded by Federal government agencies from receiving federal contracts or federally approved subcontracts and from certain types of federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits.

Vendor Support Center

This GSA website offers useful resources for vendors including a vendor toolbox, a guide to those who want a contract with the federal government, and guides to sustainable acquisition, marketing and administration.

Last updated: 05/11/2018

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