• Test 1

Federal Acquisition Regulations - FAR

The latest versions of these can be found at the Federal Acquisition Regulation homepage.

The Federal Acquisition Regulations change over time but the regulations that apply to any contract are those regulations that were included within the contract at the time of the award. This is similar to UK MoD contracts. For the latest HTML version of FAR click here.

FAR Part 52.301 contains the matrix which sets out for each contract type (Fixed Price Supply or Cost Reimbursement Research and Development) the clauses and their applicability. Contract clauses are shown to be either required (R); required when applicable (A); or optional (O). For both prime and sub-contracts it is the matrix that sets out these requirements and it can be downloaded at FAR contract clause matrix, see ‘Regulations and Links’.

An index of keywords and where they included within the FARs is available for download at FAR Keyword Index; see ‘Regulations and Links’.

The FAR is broken down into 8 Subchapters. Within these subchapters the FAR is contained within 53 parts. Parts 1-51 the policies, procedures and rules (prescriptions), Part 52 the solicitation and contract clauses, Part 53 forms. The full structure of the FAR can be found on the following link FAR Structure see ‘Regulations and Links’.

The FAR Regulations and Clauses are set out to a prescribed structure. By way of example a regulation may be referred to as 31.205-6(a)(6)(ii)(B) meaning:-

  1. FAR Part 31 (contract cost principles and procedures)
  2. Subpart 2 (contracts with commercial organisations)
  3. Section 05 (selected costs)
  4. Subsection -6 (compensation for personal services)
  5. (a) (general)
  6. (6) (compensation cost for certain individuals give rise to special consideration, Such individuals include:)
  7. (ii) (for these individuals compensation must)
  8. (B) (not be a distribution of profits (which is not an allowable contract cost))

The structure of FAR Part 52.2 (solicitation and contract clauses) links to the prescriptions set out in FAR Parts 1-51 where 52.215-10 corresponds to FAR Part 15 and 52.245-5 links to FAR Part 45.

Understanding the FAR matrix is critical to understanding the structure and content of a US government contract.

The standardised format of US government contracts assists the process of knowing what to find where in a contract and the matrix is critical to understanding what you were expecting to see. US government contracts are set out in a standardised format which is called the Uniform Contract Format. See ‘Regulations and Links’.

First column gives the number of the clause or prescription within FAR Part 52

  • E.g. 52.211-5 Material Requirements = where it relates to in FAR Part 52

Second column says where it is prescribed

  • E.g. 52.211-5 is prescribed in 11.304, so FAR Part 11
  • Section 52, subsection 2, clause 5 is prescribed in FAR Part 11, subpart 3, section 04 which is the ‘contract clause’

Third column says whether it is a prescription or a clause

  • Provision means an obligation on the point of the buyer
  • Clause is an obligation on the person selling

Fourth column Incorporated by Reference (IBR)

  • IBR
  • Title of provision/clause listed in solicitation/contract
  • Full Text
  • Entire provision/clause placed in solicitation/contract

Fifth column ‘UCF’ Uniform Contract Format section e.g.

  • I ‘Contract Clauses’
  • Incorporated by reference
  • K ‘Representation, certifications and other statements of offerors or respondents’
  • Incorporated by text
  • M ‘Evaluation factors for award’


Each FAR part deals with a separate aspect of the acquisition process.

Click here for a .pdf file of the FAR structure.