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Procurement Information Circular

May 22, 2001


PURPOSE: To provide information concerning a change to the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Requirements.

BACKGROUND: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 46.202-4 allows for higher level quality standards such as the appropriate ISO 9000 standard series in solicitations and contracts for complex or critical items or when the technical requirements of the contract require--

(1) Control of such things as work operations, in-process controls, and inspection; or

(2) Attention to such factors as organization, planning, work instructions, documentation control, and advanced metrology.

NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 8730.3, NASA Quality Management System Policy (ISO 9000), establishes NASA policy to contractually require, where appropriate and beneficial to NASA, supplier compliance with the appropriate standard contained in the current version of the ISO 9000 standard series or the American National Standards Institute/American Society for Quality Q9000 series.

Since many NASA activities meet the above criteria, FAR clause 52.246-11, Higher-Level Contract Quality Requirements, incorporated into many NASA contracts requires contractor compliance with ANSI/ISO/ASQ 9001, 9002, or 9003. Additionally, many of these contracts specifically require that the contractor be third party certified. In both cases, FAR clause 52.246-11 references the 1994 revision of the applicable ISO 9000 standard.

In December 2000, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) consolidated and superseded the ANSI/ISO/ASQ 9001, 9002, and 9003 1994 standards with ISO-9001: 2000. This new standard has enhanced requirements for customer satisfaction, measurement, continuous improvement, and management responsibility.

ISO has established that all organizations that are certified to one of the ISO 9000: 1994 standards will need to transition to ISO 9001:2000 by December 2003 if they are to maintain their certification.

On March 19, 2001, the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense advised DoD Contracting Officers to authorize contractors and their subcontractors to implement ISO 9001:2000 in place of the 1994 ISO 9001, 9002 or 9003, subject to no change in price, fee, cost or contractual product or service requirements (refer to enclosure). As part of NASA's Single Process Initiative (SPI), NASA concurred with the intent of DoD's direction, and agreed to issue guidance to all NASA Contracting Officers.

GUIDANCE: The Associate Administrator for Management Systems has advised that transition to ISO 9001:2000 by the December 2003 transition date is required under NASA contracts where compliance with and/or certification to the ISO 9000 series of standards has been stipulated in the contract.

To ensure that the transition to ISO 9001:2000 is accomplished in the most efficient and least administratively burdensome way possible for existing contracts, NASA Contracting Officers should encourage their contractors to notify them of their transition plans where appropriate. If transition to 9001:2000 within the contract period of performance is required, the Contracting Officer should execute a contract modification to recognize the 2000 revision at an appropriate time, and accept compliance with either version during the transition period.

This change is being implemented, subject to no change in price, fee, cost or contractual product or service requirements. This is consistent with the guidance that the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense issued in a letter dated March 19, 2001.

For new requirements, where it has been determined ISO 9000 compliance or certification is appropriate and beneficial to NASA and should be a part of the solicitation, transition to ISO 9000:2000 no later than December 2003 should be specified.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This PIC is effective as dated and shall remain in effect until canceled or superseded.

HEADQUARTERS CONTACT: Jeff Cullen, Code HK, (202) 358-1784, email:


R. Scott Thompson
Director, Contract Management Division