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Sources of JOC Information
By Maureen Huston on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 11:10 am:

First off, a big Thank You! Mr. Antonio for providing this forum. I still haven't figured out why the other one is shutting down, but open forums provide a valuable service. Thanks!

I recently took over the JOC contracting team in our office. While contracting is not new to me, JOC is. Are there any good websites for basic guidance/reference information? Any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated!!!


By c mercy on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 03:35 pm:


By Vern Edwards on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 08:36 am:

For information about job order contracts (JOC), do a search at the Defense Acquisition Deskbook, www.deskbook.osd.mil. You will find a host of information. Also, call the nearest office of the Corps of Engineers and ask if they have a handbook. The Corps has the most experience of any agency with job order contracts. Other DOD agencies have also published rules and guidance.

For those who don't know -- a job order contract is a task order contract for construction work. Pricing is based on job units, e.g., cubic yard of excavation, linear foot of trenching, square foot of painting, etc., instead of hourly labor rates.

By Ramon Jackson on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 11:09 am:


When I was briefly looking for a good reference for this question I ran across The Gordian Group, Inc., consultants in the specific area. I had to chuckle at the "also known as" list at the bottom of the page.

Now, is the equivalency exact? Very close? Or are these actually quite varied in the details? It would be useful to know the variance. For example, can someone experienced in Indefinite Delivery - Indefinite Quantity contracting shift to JOC seamlessly, or will there be lots of little "familiarity" traps where it seems to be the same and isn't. Sounds like a good project for someone interested in training for cross functional use of contracting resources. Or maybe such a comparison exists in one of the agencies.


By joel hoffman on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 03:04 pm:

Try AFARS 17.90 for JOC coverage. I'll try to find a source location for the COE's "Job Order Contracting Guide." Happy Sails!

By joel hoffman on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 04:40 pm:

Maureen, The Corps of Engineers offers two JOC training Courses:

Course# 990 "DPW Job Order Contracting, Basic"
11/28/2000 is the next session in Huntsville, Al.
Next session in May 2001.
Course #991 "DPW Job Order Contracting, Advanced"
12/4/2000 is the next session in Huntsville, Al.

You may try contacting the course manager,Joe Pickett, for information or to inquire about a space. His e-mail address is Joseph.C.Pickett@hnd01.usace.army.mil

He is TDY until next week. If interested, you can e-mail me and I will give you his phone number.
Happy Sails! Joel

By Vern Edwards on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 10:53 pm:


Well, job order contracts are for construction work. They are a variation of the fixed-unit-price contract, to which has been added an order feature. Job order contracts are IDIQ contracts.

By Ramon Jackson on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 11:20 pm:


I'm thinking of Maureen's comment "While contracting is not new to me, JOC is" and thinking the transition to this particular construction form from a non-construction IDIQ experience could be eased by a matrix like comparison with a more familiar knowledge base of IDIQ.

Identification of equivalents and differences would facilitate interchangability of people. That would seem to be something organizations needing to maximize people resources might find it useful to do. If it is 100% equivalent contractually then an IDIQ experienced candidate can be told they already have the tools, just learn construction terminology. If 94%, then the 6% plus terminology is needed. At least the 6% is clearly targeted.

I expect Maureen and others would feel much more confident upon being given new tasking with such information.

By joel hoffman on Thursday, August 17, 2000 - 09:19 am:

Ramon, I don't believe that JOC is really much different, in principle , from an ID/IQ service contract, from the contracting perspective.

Yes, construction specific clauses and issues are involved. The training focuses on how to develop, estimate, negotiate and document the negotiation of task orders and changes and also covers routine construction contract administration tasks. Many base level DPW personnel are not familiar with the FAR requirements and procedures.

The JOC contract uses a standardized "unit price book", to which is added a multiplier, established for the base year and each option year. The unit price book is essentially a huge estimating manual for 'almost' all types of minor construction and repairs to real property facilities and installed equipment.

The Contractor maintains a staff, in accordance with its accepted proposal.

Main challenges often are:

1. Lack of familiarity with FAR requirements for defining, estimating, negotiating and documenting new task orders and changes by base level technical staff.

2. The Government not issuing enough task orders to cover the fixed JOC overhead or not having any funding until the year-end onslaught; feast or famine plus a rush to issue task orders...

3. The fact that one multiplier covers the entire unit price book results in losses or windfalls on individual unit priced items (the multiplier must include subcontractor mark-ups, too);

4. This in turn, results in reluctance (lack of cooperation) by the JOC or inability to find subs to do some of the work.

5. Not all work is covered by pre-priced items -requiring negotiation.

6. Of course, the JOC will try to get items they are losing money on classified as a "new line item", requiring negotiation.

7. Accurately estimating unit-priced quantities for negotiations. I believe that most task orders are lump sum, not estimated quantities.

8. Immense competition for JOC contracts often results in unrealistically LOW multipliers (often less than "1" - to include all site and home office overhead, fee and bonds, etc.). If the "successful" offerer for the JOC guessed too low, there will be a SHORT honeymoon!

Thus ends "JOC 001"! Happy Sails! Joel

By Maureen Huston on Thursday, August 17, 2000 - 05:01 pm:

Well, lots of good information, folks, thank you. I knew I could depend on the forum regulars to help. My main problem is that my background is primarily in cost-reimbursement contracts (particularly CPAF). So, I am also trying to learn the IDIQ process as well. I've moved around a lot in contracting because I am married to an Army officer, so I have gotten a variety of experience. It just seems that it hasn't been in the IDIQ world. In addition, the reason why I ask questions like this is sometimes it helps to see how other offices manage the daily requirements of running their contracts. Do they have a new way of maintaining info data bases, have they found a new way to streamline the delivery order negotiation process. So, I just try to find out what others are doing and see if I can adapt certain processes to our needs. Not trying to steal ideas, but I really hate inventing the wheel all over again....

And yes, I do need to take whatever courses are out there....

On the road again.....

By joel hoffman on Friday, August 18, 2000 - 06:39 am:

Good Luck, Maureen!

Honestly, from my standpoint, I'll bet the transition from CPAF to FFP will present the biggest challenge. Task Order Contracting is just another way to define and order work. Once ordered, the contract administration is pretty much the same as any other FFP construction contract.

I will probably start a new thread, sometime, just to discuss my experiences, the last 3 1/2 years, working on three, (multi-hundred million dollar) FFP construction portions of CPAF systems contracts with CR type program managers, CR type PCO's and CR type Contractors - (companies with CR corporate cultures attempting to perform FFP work, PM's and KO's who don't know FFP). Happy Sails!