INTRODUCTION TO THE FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR)
Government contracts are subject to a multitude of regulations which govern acquisitions by executive branch agencies. Foremost among these is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is codified in Parts 1 through 53 of Title 48, Chapter 1 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The FAR controls most aspects of executive agency acquisitions, e.g. socioeconomic policy, competition requirements, exceptions to specific policies, and mandatory clauses to include in Government contracts. Much of the FAR is based on statutes like the Competition in Contracting Act or the Contract Disputes Act. The FAR is an overarching set of regulations that create uniform policies for Government contracts and acquisitions, but there are also many smaller sets of enforcing and supplemental regulations established for individual agencies.
The FAR is amended using the Federal Register pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, with proposed changes issued jointly by the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in coordination with the FAR Council.
Acquisitions.gov is the official website for FAR and includes the many agency regulatory supplements to the FAR, such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), the Air Force Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFFARS), and the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM).
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]