Just Say No to Pinkerton Detectives

If there’s one thing I love, it’s forgotten, obscure laws, regulations and policies. They’re even better when they’re in my line of work. So here’s one for you — FAR 37.109, i.e. just say no to Pinkerton Detectives.

37.109 — Services of Quasi-Military Armed Forces.

Contracts with “Pinkerton Detective Agencies or similar organizations” are prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 3108. This prohibition applies only to contracts with organizations that offer quasi-military armed forces for hire, or with their employees, regardless of the contract’s character. An organization providing guard or protective services does not thereby become a “quasi-military armed force,” even though the guards are armed or the organization provides general investigative or detective services.

What other obscure parts of the FAR or laws do you like?

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Chris Hamm

1.102 Statement of guiding principles for the Federal Acquisition System.

(a) The vision for the Federal Acquisition System is to deliver on a timely basis the best value product or service to the customer, while maintaining the public’s trust and fulfilling public policy objectives. Participants in the acquisition process should work together as a team and should be empowered to make decisions within their area of responsibility.

Jaime Gracia

Recommend that every solicitation from now on include Chris’ post in the Overview or Objectives section.

Also, has anyone ever used FAR 48 – Value Engineering? I have only discussed in the classroom, and hundreds of federal and commercial students that I have taught, across multiple agencies and companies, don’t even know what it is. Maybe it is time to rethink shared savings in our low-cost waters that we are currently all trying to navigate?

William Lim

My favorite is the McBride Principles. I first learned about them when I was a law student working with a professor to review a construction contract for a community non-profit in Harlem. Now I see them everywhere in state contracts. And no, I have never worked on anything that remotely involves doing business in Northern Ireland.