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Contracting for Indefinite Quantity A-E Services
By Anonymous on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 04:27 pm:

While looking through my "Contracting for A-E Services" workbook (obtained from an A-E training course) I came across several statements indicating IQ A-E contracts for engineering services (construction inspection, geotechnical investigations, surveying, etc.) should only be of the fixed-price variety. My organization typically awards IQ A-E contracts for such engineering services on a per hour basis. We then issue task orders for an estimated number of hours and make payment for the actual number of hours of work performed by the contractor, plus any incidental expenses required for performance.

From my reading I get the impression this is not the correct way to obtain these services. What should we be doing differently?

By Rita Sampson on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 05:50 pm:

So long as your IDIQ contract itself contains fixed hourly rates for each labor category, in my opinion you DO have a fixed-priced contract. I think you are doing it correctly.

By joel hoffman on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 06:06 pm:

I agree with Rita. Happy Sails! Joel

By Anonymous on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 08:53 am:

Okay, y'all have been a great help, but I get the feeling these services can only be obtained through FP contracts. Is this true? If so, why and where can I read up on this?

By Eric Ottinger on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 09:46 am:


As demonstrated by some previous threads, we can get into some very theological arguments on the question of what constitutes a FP contract.

A labor hour or T&M contract is not fixed price.

However, the fellow who wrote your textbook may have a different understanding. If the textbook is the only authority, I wouldn't worry.


By joel hoffman on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 11:06 am:

We have an active CPFF A-E services contract, dating back into the 1980's, for several hundred million dollars. Happy Sails! Joel

By anon2 on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 01:33 pm:

What you've described is a form of labor hour, not a firm-fixed price contract. I suspect you do not have the proper LH clauses nor are you administering the contracts properly. A firm-fixed price contract is not subject to any price adjustments based upon the contractor's cost or performance experience.

By Eric Ottinger on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 01:44 pm:


I agree. However--

I am looking a an ID/IQ, T&M from another agency in DoD. "ALL SUBCLINS ... ARE FIXED-PRICE LABOR CATEGORIES."

The confusion between "Fixed Price" and "Fixed Rate" is so endemic that it would be hard to be sure what the textbook writer intended.

Anon[1] didn't really tell us enough about his contract to determine what the Part 16 category might be.


By joel hoffman on Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 03:01 pm:

I see no current FAR, DFARS, AFARS, AFFARS, or EFARS prohibition against non-FP A-E contracts.

The Corps of Engineers uses A-E contracting guidance found in Engineer Pamphlet: EP 715-1-7. You can access it through the COE's "TECHINFO" website. Just do a search for "TECHINFO". In this guidance, there are 7 or 8 contract types described; among them are CP and LH types. The guidance, much like FAR Part 16, advises to pick the right type for the situation (**It does recommend using LH as a last resort).

I suspect that your A-E contracting guidance may either be old or it may be policy guidance for your specific organization. Happy Sails! Joel