COTS Exemption Case Study #1

KLC Consulting is a cleared candidate C3PAO.  Our "Prove It's Commercial Off The Shelf COTS" consulting service helps you avoid an unnecessary CMMC compliance program
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Avoid Unnecessary CMMC Compliance Costs
COTS Case Study #1

The Challenge

From Our Client Files:

Graphic of sample letters received by DIBs (Defense Industrial Base) companies., inquiring about compliance status with DFARS 252.204-7012, DFARS 252.204-7020, FAR 52.204-21, and CMMC
Example of DFARS Compliance Status Request Letters

Our client sought to “do the right thing” and honor their requirements.  But they were anxious about the cost of a CMMC program.  And they assumed that CMMC is required because they received these letters.

Is CMMC 2.0 mandatory for COTS Items? 

If a Defense Industrial Base (DIB) company only sells COTS products to the DoD, CMMC 2.0 is not required!  A few simple examples of COTS include standard hardware and software items widely available in the marketplace.  But in practice, the determination about whether a product is COTS or made using CUI is nuanced.  If the product qualifies as COTS, it’s exempt from CMMC and its cost of compliance.

As we reviewed their product configurations, it became clear that the DoD purchases their products with the exact product configuration options as other non-DoD customers!

The Solution

We helped them document their case. They saved a six-figure CMMC 2.0 Level 2 compliance program cost by seeking a COTS exemption from their prime customer.

We demonstrated their products meet the requisite definitions

We helped them prepare a COTS commercial item determination and assertion to submit to their prime contractor to show their products meet the definitions under applicable FAR and DFARS regulations.

And built a case file to support a COTS claim

We made it easy for the prime customer’s contract officer to allow a COTS exemption.  The Prime customer has the final say, so we needed to build a clear and detailed case file to support their COTS exemption claim.  We helped specify the product line’s functionality and how it helps their commercial customers in the same way it helps the Prime customer.  It was also crucial to demonstrate that their DoD sales involve product configuration choices versus custom DoD specifications and tolerances.  And in this case, we also showed that competitor sales of similar products are also commonplace in the commercial market.

The Result

We saved our client over $150,000 through our Let’s Prove Its COTS service by determining their products qualify for a COTS exemption.  They weren’t required to pursue a CMMC 2.0 Level 2 compliance program.

If you believe your products are Commercial Off The Shelf COTS and meet the requirements under applicable federal regulations, we can help you prove it.

KLC Consulting's YouTube channel:  More information about COTS Exemptions, CMMC, and NIST 800-171
KLC Consulting's LinkedIn page:  More information about COTS Exemptions, CMMC, and NIST 800-171

Check out our YouTube channel and LinkedIn pages for the latest informational and educational resources for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification.

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