611.002 Policy.

611.002-70 Metric system implementation.

(a) Policy. The Metric Conversion Act of 1975, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 205a, et seq.), requires Federal agencies to establish implementing guidelines pursuant to metric policy to adopt the metric system as the preferred system of weights and measurements for United States trade and commerce. This section establishes the Department of State's metric conversion guidelines.

(b) Applicability. This section applies to all DOS acquisitions, except to the extent that such use is impractical or is likely to cause significant inefficiencies or loss of markets to U.S. firms.

(c) Definitions.

Dual system means the use of both traditional and metric systems. For example, an item is designated, produced and described in inch-pound values with soft metric values also shown for information or comparison.

Hard metric means the use of only standard metric (SI) measurements in specifications, standards, supplies and services.

Hybrid system means the use of both traditional and hard metric values in specifications, standards, supplies and services.

Measurement sensitive means any item having an application or meaning depending substantially on some measured quantity. For example, measurement sensitive items include product or performance criteria and standards binding on others, such as emission levels, size and weight limitations, etc.

Metric system means the International System of Units (Le System International d'Unites (SI)) of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

Metrication means any act that increases metric system use, including metric training and initiation or conversion of measurement sensitive processes and systems to the metric system.

Soft metric means the result of mathematical conversion of inch-pound measurements to metric equivalents. The physical dimensions, however, are not changed.

Traditional system of weights and measurements means the predominant weight and measurement system currently used in the United States, also referred to as the “inch-pound system.” The traditional system includes such commonly used units as inch, foot, yard, mile, pint, quart, gallon, bushel, ounce (fluid and avoirdupois), pound, degree Fahrenheit, ampere, candela, and second.

(d) Procedures.

(1) DOS contracting activities shall implement the metric system in a manner consistent with 15 U.S.C. 205a, et seq.

(2) All DOS contracting activities shall use the metric system in acquisition consistent with security, operations, economic, technical, logistical, training and safety requirements.

(3) The Department shall encourage industry to adopt the metric system by acquiring commercially available metric products and services that meet the Department's needs whenever practical. Toward this end, solicitations for DOS acquisitions shall:

(i) State all measurement sensitive requirements in metric terms whenever possible. Alternatives to hard metric are soft, dual and hybrid metric terms. The Metric Handbook for Federal Officials regarding the selection of proper metric units and symbols is available from the National Technical Information Service; and

(ii) For contracts expected to exceed $500,000 contracting officers shall return to the requirements office all specifications and statements of work that are not expressed in some form of metric terms unless the requirements office has prepared a justification, for the approval of the contracting officer, for the use of non-metric specifications or statements of work. The justification shall be in a format as prescribed by the head of the contracting activity. Option year prices shall be considered when computing the $500,000 threshold.

(4) Waivers are not required when ordering from Federal Supply Schedules.

(5) Valid justifications for non-metric specifications or statements of work include, but are not limited to:

(i) Existing specifications or standards are in inch-pound units, unless conversion of the existing specifications or standards is necessary or advantageous to the Government. Unnecessary retrofit of existing systems with new metric components should be avoided if the total cost of the retrofit, including redesign costs, exceeds $50,000;

(ii) Metric is not the accepted industry system with respect to a business-related activity; however, soft, hybrid, or dual systems may be used during the transition to hard metric;

(iii) The use of metric is impractical or is likely to cause significant inefficiencies or loss of markets to U.S. firms.

(6) The contracting officer shall review and, if acceptable, approve the waiver prior to the release of the solicitation. The waiver shall be placed in the contract file. If the waiver is not approved, the contracting officer shall return it to the requirements office with an explanation for the disapproval.

(7) The in-house operating metric costs shall be identified. Identification includes, but is not limited to, the cost of metric aids, tools, equipment, training and increased cost to develop metric specifications. All contracting activities and requirements offices shall maintain a record of any costs and/or savings brought about by metric conversion.

(8) Bulk (loose, unpacked) materials shall be specified and purchased in metric or dual units.

(9) Measuring devices, shop and laboratory equipment shall be purchased in metric or dual units.

(10) Shipping allowances, bills of lading and other shipping documents shall be expressed in metric or dual units.

Subpart 611.1—Selecting and Developing Requirements Documents

611.103 Market acceptance.

(a) The head of the contracting activity is the agency head for the purpose of FAR 11.103(a).

Subpart 611.5—Liquidated Damages

611.501 Policy.

(d) The head of the contracting activity is the agency head for the purpose of FAR 11.501(d).

Subpart 611.6—Priorities and Allocations

Source: 69 FR 19332, Apr. 13, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

611.600 Scope of subpart.

On September 18, 2001, the Department of Commerce (DOC) authorized the Department of State to use the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS). This authority expires on October 1, 2006. The Department of Defense has approved the Department's Embassy Security Protection Program (DOSESPP) as a national defense program eligible for the priorities support under the DPAS.

611.602 General.


(1) Authority to use the DPAS is limited to the following circumstances:

(i) The contract or order must be placed with a U.S. firm; and,

(ii) The contract or order must be in support of the DOSESPP, which consists of work involving the security of overseas posts. The DOSESPP includes a wide range of elements of both physical and technical security, such as:

(A) New Embassy/Consulate Compound (NEC/NCC) Program. This program involves the construction of new secure Embassies, Consulates, and related facilities, as well as renovations of newly acquired buildings when used as alternatives to the construction of new secure buildings.

(B) Physical security upgrade. This includes installation of forced entry/ballistic resistant (FE/BR) windows and doors, walls/fences, active anti-ram barriers, bollards (concrete and steel barriers), and related items.

(C) Forced entry/ballistic resistant (FE/BR) components. This includes doors, windows, and related facilities and items that can provide the necessary time to protect Government personnel from attack.

(D) Armored vehicles. This includes passenger vehicles with appropriate armoring.

(E) Entry control and building surveillance equipment. This includes walk-through metal detectors, X-ray equipment, surveillance cameras, explosive detection equipment, and other features to enhance the protection of Government personnel and facilities.

(2) DOC has assigned the following priority rating to DOSESPP contracts or orders: DO-H8.

611.603 Procedures.

(f) Department of State contracting officers are authorized to sign DO-H8 rated contracts or orders. It is the responsibility of the requirements office to determine which contracts or orders should be rated. All contracts with U.S. firms under the DOSESPP will not necessarily need to be assigned a priority rating.

(g) The contracting officer should place a DO-H8 rating on any contract or order if there is any doubt as to whether a contractor doing work for Embassy security protection will be able to deliver on time. If an unrated contract or order is not completed on time, the contracting officer may modify the contract or order to add the rating; however, the rating shall only be effective for the newly established delivery date, not the original delivery date.

(1) DOC can provide special assistance to implement the DPAS program in specific cases. For example, the Department may request a higher priority rating, or request that DOC issue a written directive to a contractor that is not complying with the DPAS regulations. In addition, although the DPAS program normally applies only to U.S. firms, if the Department has a prime contract with a foreign firm that will be awarding subcontracts with U.S. firms, the Department may request from DOC authorization to place a rating on the prime contract.

(2) Contracting officers or requirements offices who wish to request special assistance from DOC must complete DOC Form BXA–999, Request for Special Priorities Assistance, and submit it to A/OPE, which will arrange for submission of the request to DOC.