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This question regards FAR requirements for synopsizing and competing orders under Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA's). Scenario: I've been assigned a procurement request for library subscription support service, estimated over $25K and less than the SAT. My agency has available for this service two, non-mandatory, open market (non-FSS) BOA's. The BOA's do not state specific pricing, but rather explain a discount methodology for future orders. They also contain FAR clauses and provisions and a SOW that would apply to orders. There are only two BOA holders available under this program; one Large Business and one Small Business. The establishment of these BOA's was originally advertised in FedBizOpps in 2012. A J&A For Other Than Full and Open Competition was not accomplished nor was it necessary at the BOA level. QUESTION: Should competition for this procurement be restricted to only the two BOA holders, with no further competition nor FedBizOpps synopsis required? Notwithstanding the existence of this BOA program, and the fact that it was originally advertised in FedBizOpps, I am of the opinion I cannot simply restrict competition to only the two BOA holders. Furthermore, I believe this procurement must be advertised and competed in FedBizOpps with all interested vendors invited to submit a quote, not just the two BOA holders. It is important to make a firm distinction between IDIQ contracts and BOA's. I base these opinions on FAR 16.703(c ), 16.703(d), and in particular 16.703(d)(1)(i) 16.703(d)(1)(iii), FAR 1.602-1(B ), and 16.703(d)(2)(iv). Lastly and most importantly, I do not believe orders under these BOA's fall under the exception for publicizing at FAR 5.202(a)(11), since a BOA is not a "contract" the exception does not apply as it would if instead we had available a multi-award IDIQ contract to order from. Many contracts professionals in my organization disagree with me on these points, and are of the opinion that competition can be restricted to only the two BOA holders with no FedBizOpps necessary. I invite comments on this, I'm hoping somebody can explain it in a different way. Or, if I'm all wrong I sure would like to understand it! Thank you!
My company was awarded an IDIQ from the Gov't as part of a multiple prime IDIQ vehicle. We are currently weighing whether to issue our subcontractors a BOA or an IDIQ. Since each task order at the prime level (there are multiple primes) will be competed and our team will need to stay very flexible in order to win, I believe that a BOA would probably be more appropriate than an IDIQ Subcontract. We envision that labor rates within the established labor categories for each task order will need to be different depending on the SOW and the price to win. If we used an IDIQ in lieu of a BOA then any pricing that we established (labor rates) would most likely need to be discounted once the task orders are released/competed (so I don't think an IDIQ would be as appropriate). Another reason I don't believe the IDIQ would be appropriate is that my company would not be able to promise a minimum and would not do a very good job in estimating a maximum subcontract value. In order to stay as flexible as possible, I believe a BOA would be the right choice for my company to issue to subcontractors but I am seeking your help in determining possible pitfalls associated with BOAs (vs using an IDIQ subcontract). I understand that a BOA is not a contract and the subcontractor is under no legal obligation to accept a task order (or purchase order if that the preferred terminology when speaking about a BOA). But once my company issues a TO and the subcontractor accepts (either formally in writing or by commencing work), then they do have an obligation to complete that work in accordance with the terms and conditions of the BOA, incorporated docs and any instructions included in the TO. Both vehicles are used to streamline orders however I believe there is much more in setting up an IDIQ than a BOA because the IDIQ would contain pricing to be evaluated and a ceiling value which would set off many threshold related administrative work (FFATA cert, EEO, CAS, etc.). I realize that with a BOA, the administrative part would need to be completed with each TO award depending on the value of each award however I think this is a risk worth taking since we can't really predict how many task orders we will actually win or the values. I know that the values can be as low as 100k and as much as hundreds of millions. Does anyone have any experiences to share with respect to services based BOAs in lieu of IDIQs? Any concerns one might have with putting a BOA in place with their subs in this scenario? Oh yeah, workshare to the subs is not an issue in our situation as my company did not make any promises to any of the subs. From DAU website (https://dap.dau.mil/aap/pages/qdetails.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=22&cgiQuestionID=18517): The key distinction in their application is that Government is in a position where it can commit itself to a minimum quantity when awarding an IDIQ contract, whereas the Government may not be able to commit to a minimum quantity when setting up a BOA. Further, BOAs are commonly used to streamline ordering when using simplified acquisition procedures. IDIQ contracts are commonly used to expedite the ordering process for requirements of any dollar value. The ceiling for some IDIQ contracts is in the billions, with individual orders under those contracts in the hundreds of millions. Just curious - Why are BOAs commonly used when using simplified acquisition procedures as stated above...why would there be a limit on the dollar value of a BOA?