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Directive 8470.01E Approved: Secretary of Navy to Act as Executive Agent

November 05, 2018

DOD Directive 8470.01E, approved by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and went into effect 6 September 2018, announced that the Secretary of the Navy would serve as the DoD Executive Agent (EA) for commercial software product management of Core Enterprise Technology Agreements (CETAs) designated by the Defense Business Council (DBC) in support of Information Technology Category Management (ITCM) and the DoD Enterprise Software Initiative, in accordance with DoD Directive 5101.1. It also establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for the execution of ESI CETA Agreements. Core Agreements consist of those agreements that are in highest demand.

The nomination and transition from existing ordering agreements into CETAs is an ongoing process. Therefore, until the process is complete for each respective agreement, customers should continue to order in accordance with DoD DFARS 208.74 via current ESI agreements. If you have any questions or concerns, please submit them via our Ask an Expert page..

TAGS: COTS, Acquisition Management

Resources / Tools

DoD ESI COTS Software Systems Integration (SI) Toolkit

December 22, 2016

This toolkit contains and provides a means to export best practices and implement standardized processes in the COTS software systems integration services acquisition life-cycle. It provides tools, templates, and methodologies to aid Programs in forming the acquisition team, reviewing current strategies, performing market research, defining requirements, developing and executing an acquisition strategy, and managing performance throughout from contact award through close-out.

This toolkit develops common standards in practices and contracting techniques that will drive greater transparency in acquisition performance, improve data analysis, and leverage private sector and government best practices. It serves as a training clearinghouse and toolbox to enable agile approaches to technology acquisitions that will facilitate continual customer testing of creative contractor ideas.

TAGS: COTS, Training

Is Commercial-off-the-Shelf Software Maintenance a Supply or Service? - White Paper

October 15, 2016

This White Paper explains whether software maintenance is considered a supply or a service, defines why the differentiation is important, and describes the issues that may arise from differing opinions. This resource also clarifies the various laws, regulations, concepts, and practices to help the reader make his or her own determination. Additionally, this paper discusses how software maintenance is to be considered when being purchased through various purchasing vehicles, how the FAR differentiates it, and how the Government classifies it.


DoD ESI COTS Software Training - Glossary of Terms

August 30, 2016

This Glossary is intended to assist in understanding some of the specialized words and phrases used in the software industry. The Glossary is not inclusive, and if you cannot find the term you are looking for or have any other comments, please contact us through "Ask an Expert".

TAGS: COTS, Training

Advisory Note – Product Substitution Restriction or Re-use Clause

August 30, 2016

This advisory note helps identify and avoid software clauses that may prohibit a buyer from  obtaining competing products after a software license expires or terminates.


Category Management Policy 16-3: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Mobile Devices and Services

August 04, 2016

Improving the Acquisition and the subject memorandum. It requires agencies to take the following actions to improve the acquisition and management of mobile devices and services:

  1. report agency usage, and eliminate unnecessary inventory and service on a quarterly basis:
  2. reduce the number of contracts for mobile devices and services, and transition to a Government-wide solution or solutions; and...
  3. modify demand management practices to optimize plan pricing and device refresh schedules.

DOE’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Acquisition Management will follow up with implementing instructions. Questions concerning this policy flash should be directed to Barry Ross of the Office of Acquisition Management, Strategic Programs Division at (202) 287-1552 or at


COTS Software Project Requirements Questionnaire and Checklist

July 21, 2016

This Requirements Questionnaire and Checklist has been assembled to organize sample questions each program should ask when developing its formal requirements documentation for a Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) software project. This is not an exhaustive list, but a broad sampling of the types of questions that should be considered before and during Market Research and Solution Analysis.

DoD ESI Requirements Questionnaire and Checklist


Advisory Note – Virtual De-install

July 21, 2016

This advisory note covers three common scenarios where the Government may need to protect itself by requiring contractual language, providing sample language that allows for a virtual de-installation or a physical migration under the original government contract number and license number.


Category Management Policy 16-2: Providing Comprehensive Identity Protection Services, Identity Monitoring, and Data Breach Response

July 01, 2016

On July 1, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a policy memorandum which effective immediately requires, with limited exceptions, that when a Department of Energy (DOE) entity needs identity protection services, DOE must address the requirement by using the government-wide blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) for Identity Monitoring Data Breach Response and Protection Services (IPS) awarded by General Services Administration. Agencies with these requirements must follow the steps in the policy memorandum.


Category Management Policy 16-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Software Licensing

June 02, 2016

This latest memo from the US Chief Acquisition Officer and the US Chief Information Officer at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) discusses the fragmentation and inefficiencies arising from the sheer amount of yearly transactions, and that due to the fact that most agencies do not have a designated central oversight authority to manage software agreements, inventories are inaccurate, unneeded materials are often purchased, and many agencies are still not sharing pricing and terms and conditions to facilitate better purchasing power. These and other IT category management and software licensing challenges are covered in this memorandum which follows recent OMB guidance regarding new requirements for purchasing desktops and laptops.


Best Practice Clauses for Software License Grants - White Paper

March 25, 2016

This White Paper provides summary information about important contract issues.

This information is not intended to be legal advice, but rather is designed to share best practices, highlight potential concerns, present recommendations for managing those concerns and encourage further research or discussions with legal counsel.

TAGS: COTS, Enterprise License, Training

Software License Risk Assessment Tool

March 15, 2016

The DoD ESI Software License Risk Assessment Tool is a tool that was created to help DoD software buyers analyze a seller's proposed license agreement to determine the areas of risk that should be addressed in a negotiation, to initiate and document negotiations with software publishers, and reduce risk of wasteful spending, disruption to Government operations, and vulnerability to lawsuits, claims, and penalties. This tool will also help contracting officers rationalize their positions using objective methods.

For more information and instructions regarding the Software License Risk Assessment Tool, please see our three associated Training Videos, starting with Part 1, at

TAGS: COTS, ELA, Training

DFARS Subpart 208.74 - Enterprise Software Agreements

October 30, 2015

This Subpart prescribes policy and procedures for acquisition of commercial software and software maintenance.

DFARS Subpart 208.74


GSAR Class Deviation MV-15-03: Memorandum of Class Deviation Addressing Commercial Supplier Agreement Terms that Conflict or are Incompatible with Federal Law

July 31, 2015

This Class Deviation memo, along with its supplemental memo, notifies the Acquisition Workforce that the General Services Administration (GSA) has identified fifteen common elements of Commercial Supplier Agreement Terms that conflict with or are incompatible with Federal law that must be resolved to align with Federal law or Government requirements in order for a valid contract to be formed. The GSA Senior Procurement Executive has issued this Class Deviation to preemptively address these fifteen common areas of conflict and ambiguity, therefore obtaining the same contracting result while saving significant time and resources.

On 31 May 2016, the GSA published a proposed rule for Unenforceable Commercial Supplier Agreement Terms to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to address common Commercial Supplier Agreement terms that are inconsistent with or create ambiguity with Federal Law.

And, on 22 February 2018, the Final Rule for this GSAR Deviation was published.

-- For all documents mentioned here, public comment may be submitted, and more information is provided at the Federal Register website.


Secure Host Baseline (SHB) formally known as DoD Unified Master Gold Disk (UMGD)

July 20, 2015

DoD has developed a standard to provide common "build from" disk images that DoD Components will use as the starting point for creating gold disks to install initial software loads onto DoD computers. Currently, there are a subset of products available. There will be additional products added to the list once those products are approved.

The SHB products can be accessed using a CAC and can be downloaded by anyone at using the link for "DoD Secure Host Baseline Repository" (*Be sure to choose your DOD EMAIL CA-xx certificate).

It is the responsibility of the Component that desires to use the SHB products to obtain the appropriate DAA approval and to follow their internal policy and guidance before using it on their networks.

TAGS: OS, Office Systems, Enterprise Mgmt, ITAM, EA, IT Hardware, COTS

Software Self-Audit Checklist

February 26, 2015

DoD ESI developed this Self-Audit Checklist to assist DoD in performing internal license compliance audits and with keeping full and accurate accounts that may be used to properly ascertain and verify numbers of licenses, users or subscription parameters in use. A software audit is a defensible comparison of the actual software programs, quantities, and uses within an organization measured against the contractually authorized software programs, quantities, and uses.

Software Self-Audit Checklist

TAGS: ITAM, COTS, Enterprise License

Best Value Toolkit

December 16, 2014

This DoD ESI web-based Best Value Toolkit provides a simple roadmap to guide DoD IT buyers through available ESI resources to ensure they obtain Best Value on behalf of the government for common Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) software acquisition scenarios. It presents commercial best practices combined with DoD ESI's many years of experience in commercial software acquisition in the DoD. It has been designed for use in a variety of situations - use as appropriate and customize its tools to fit your situation.

TAGS: COTS, ELA, Training

IT Virtualization Technology and its Impact on Software Contract Terms - White Paper

July 18, 2014

This paper provides a good foundation for any DoD software acquisition personnel facing the prospect of dealing with virtualized computing environments - particularly off-site virtualization. It includes a brief background of the technology and how it differs from traditional computing installations. And, it addresses key contractual issues arising from those differences.


Guidelines for Negotiating Warranties for COTS Software Products - White Paper

September 30, 2013

The purpose of this white paper is to educate readers on key aspects of Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software warranties.

The executive summary addresses topics of interest to government executives and procurement professionals responsible for drafting software license warranties.

TAGS: COTS, Training

Software License Considerations for Third Party Software - White Paper

July 18, 2013

This paper provides insight and guidance when licensing commercial software from one party that may contain code that belongs to a third party. It discusses options for dealing with the original licensor when the third party software is embedded in their solution, or when the third party software is acquired separately from the original license. Key license terms and conditions are discussed, and sample contract language is provided.


DFARS Subpart 212.2 - Special Requirements for the Acquisition of Commercial Items

June 29, 2012

This Subpart describes the authorization process for use of time-and-materials and labor-hour contracts for the acquisition of commercial items.

DFARS Subpart 212.2


DFARS Subpart 239.1 - General

July 15, 2009

See Subpart 208.74 when acquiring commercial software or software maintenance. See 227.7202 for policy on the acquisition of commercial computer software and commercial computer software documentation.

DFARS Subpart 239.1