DATE: June 28, 2000
FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM
SUBJECT: Contract Pricing Reference Guides Converted to Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
SOURCE: Director of Defense Procurement Memorandum, June 22, 2000
AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD)
SYNOPSIS: On June 22, 2000, Director of Defense Procurement Deidre Lee issued a memorandum to the directors of defense agencies, the services' deputies for acquisition, and the Defense Logistics Agency's executive director for procurement management to announce that the five Contract Pricing Reference Guides cited in paragraph (a)(7) of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.404-1, Proposal Analysis Techniques, have been converted from Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format to HTML.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Contract Pricing Reference Guides are available on the Internet at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dp/cpf/pgv1_0/index.html.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: There are five Contract Pricing Reference Guides: Volume I, Price Analysis; Volume II, Quantitative Techniques for Contract Pricing; Volume III, Cost Analysis; Volume IV, Advanced Issues in Contract Pricing; and Volume V, Federal Contract Negotiation Techniques. According to FAR 15.404-1(a)(7), "they are to be used for instruction and professional guidance. However, they are not directive and should be considered informational only."
The Contract Pricing Reference Guides were jointly prepared, and are maintained, by the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI). They have been posted in the PDF format, and could be accessed only by downloading an entire volume. The PDF format creates large files, and downloading a single volume was very time-consuming and took up a great amount of memory. In addition, the volumes in PDF format did not have their references hyperlinked, so it was difficult to understand the full contextual relationships of the various references, such as the FAR, the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars, etc.
On June 22, 2000, Director of Defense Procurement Deidre Lee announced that all five volumes have been converted to the "more user-friendly format" HTML, and are available at the Defense Procurement website http://www.acq.osd.mil/dp/cpf. Besides eliminating the need for separate PDF-display software, the HTML version has the following features: a single table of contents for all five guides; individual chapters can be opened quickly, or the hyperlinked contents of the chapter can be displayed for more focused research; hyperlinks to the FAR, DFARS, OMB Circulars, and many other referenced sources of information; and a summary of changes made to the guides.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a great step forward! The PDF versions were agonizingly slow to download, so few did. Of course, this diminished their usefulness as "instructional and professional guidance." And there is a lot of excellent information in the guides -- it was such a shame readers couldn't get to that information easily. With the HTML versions, the information is much more easily available, so many more people should be using it.
Among the features I would recommend adding are a search engine for the site or an index that covers all five guides, preferably both. Then the DOD site would truly be user-friendly!
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.
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