Effective Oct 17, 2008, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) went through a significant rewrite to reflect and implement all of the changes made by all the recent laws. The FAR is the basic rulebook for government contracts. It contains all the rules governing the contracting process as well as all the forms and clauses used in government contracts. In order to do business with the federal government, you need to have a basic knowledge of what is in the FAR and how to use it.
The FAR is divided into 53 parts, each dealing with a separate aspect of the federal acquisition process. Part 52 contains the standard terms and conditions contained in a government contract including the Trade Agreement Act, Buy American Act, and the Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. Copies of most of the Government prescribed forms are in Part 53. Merger or acquisition in your future? See subpart 42.12 for asset transfer and name change. Small businesses may be interested in Part 19 on Small Business Programs.
Although the FAR is the primary acquisition regulation for the federal government, each government agency may issue an agency acquisition supplement to the FAR. These supplements are not stand-alone documents, but must be read in conjunction with the FAR. Some of the more commonly used supplements are: the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and the General Services Acquisition Regulation Supplement (GSARS). You can find many agency acquisition supplements at http://farsite.hill.af.mil/