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Congratulations: you’ve certified as small business for federal contracting purposes. In a typical contract setting, you keep your size status for the life of the contract. But in the instance of a merger or acquisition or if a contract lasts longer than 5 years, you must recertify to maintain your size status. For multiple-award contracts, the Contracting Officer is also given a good deal of latitude in terms of whether a small business must recertify for an individual order. In a recent case, Unissant, Inc. protested the size status of a competitor who’d recently earned a task order award. Read on to learn what small businesses contractors need to know about small business status in light of this case. Read the full article at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
Scenario: A multiple award IDIQ contract for R&D servcies was awarded sometime near the end of FY'09. The vehicle consisted of 37 base contracts with 37 different contractors. All base contracts were funded with the established minimum ordering amount. I have recently taken over this contract and the time has come to exercise an option period on all of the contracts. To date there are 15 to 20 contractors that have not been awarded task orders. My reasoning tells me that upon exercising the option on these base contracts, I should be required to obligate funds in an amount equal to the minimum ordering amount and ensure that those funds remain present throughout all periods of performance until that time when a task order is awarded and the minimum ordering amount has been satisfied. I don't think this has taken place to date. I believe the contracts were modified to exercise the options, but the amount required to satisfy the minimum ordering amount was never carried through to the new period of performance. What would be the effect had the funds that were obligated upon award been no-year funds? Also, the specific language that was used in the contract seems to suggest that the minimum ordering amount is payable only at the end of the contract period, inclusive of options. Does that make a difference as regards the amount that should have been funded on the contract at time of award? The exact language from the contract follows: Fulfilling Minimum Ordering Requirements The Government has no obligation to issue task orders to any contractor beyond the minimum amount specified above. For each successful contractor, there will be a one time "minimum guarantee award amount" during the life of the contract, which includes all option years, if exercised. This amount can only be claimed at the end of the contract period if the contractor takes advantage of fair opportunity by proposing on at least one Task Order, within the Technical Areas for which the Contractor received award, offered to the contractor during the years for which the contractor is eligible.