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Government News & Information

Federal Government

Palantir USG, Inc. v. United States Adds Teeth to Government Preference for Buying Commercial

The First Gulf War1 highlighted a major issue with government procurement of commercial products, especially with latest information technology items. Motorola had radios that met the needs of the government; however, it was unwilling to sell them to the federal government on the commercial terms being offered pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Ultimately, the Japanese government purchased the radios and provided them as part of their contribution to the First Gulf War.2 As a result, Congress passed the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) in 1994.3 FASA required federal agencies to procure commercially available products to the maximum extent practicable.4 Another key requirement of FASA was for market research to determine whether commercial products could satisfy the agency’s needs, with or without minor modifications, and if a commercial item was not available, to determine if nondevelopmental items other than commercial items would meet the agency’s needs.5