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Treating a Task Order as the IDIQ ordering instrument

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I am curious, how would one go about issuing a task order against an IDIQ task order. I will bet my automated contract system would choke on it.

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From what I know of these creatures, technical direction letters (TDLs) are used to specify the work to be performed under the overarching IDIQ task order. In effect, the TDL is a task order under a task order under an IDIQ contract.

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From what I know of these creatures, technical direction letters (TDLs) are used to specify the work to be performed under the overarching IDIQ task order. In effect, the TDL is a task order under a task order under an IDIQ contract.

DoN, the Navy uses them, called Technical Instructions (5252.242-9115 Technical Instructions). To use them off of an IDIQ Task Order, I presume the agency would cut a task order for x amount of hours, time, money, etc. and then issue a Technical Instruction under that task order that directs the contractor what to perform as long as it is within the general scope of the contract, 5252.242-9115(B ).

It sounds like what you two are describing is a modified way of doing this where they are issuing one task order for what appears to be a large amount of either money or time, and then just issuing TI after TI under it to direct the contractor and avoid fair opportunity for each of those taskings. In the case of using TIs, a multiple award IDIQ is not really the correct place to use it. That would be a very thin line you are walking with regards to fair opportunity since an IDIQ would be used for recurring defined requirements. I would think issuing a new task order would be the clean way to do it for each TI in the case of a multiple award IDIQ.

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I know of one Navy contracting activity that uses the TIs as you described. The funding for each TI is added to the task order via modification. If not for the requirement for fair opportunity, the activity would not conduct business that way.

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I know of one Navy contracting activity that uses the TIs as you described. The funding for each TI is added to the task order via modification. If not for the requirement for fair opportunity, the activity would not conduct business that way.

Yeah, I can't think of why you would want to use TIs on a multiple award IDIQ in the first place. You generally see them on development contracts where funding is added incrementally and the TIs are funded via SLINs.

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Yes. The acquisition workforce is its own worst enemy. It does not follow the rules or it violates the spirit of the rules in order to make up for other failings, such as poor planning and process design and sheer stupidity -- i.e., incompetence. The result is it gets more rules and more restrictive policies. Consider this: In October 1995, FAR 16.505(B), the rules for placing orders against multiple award contracts put in place to implement the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, was 565 words long. Today it is 2,201 words long as a result of Congressional action to cure what they perceived to be poor practices by contracting officers. Anybody who thinks he or she can improve acquisition by writing more rules, policy letters, and memoranda instead of first improving the quality of the workforce is a fool.

Improving the quality of the workforce is a huge problem, and no one is in charge and has enough power to do it. The government is too big and too complex to fix itself in this regard (and in many others). The workforce quality problem cannot be fixed, I repeat, cannot be fixed, except by individual practitioners who dedicate themselves to being the absolutely best they can be and set standards for themselves that are higher than their managers could ever imagine. I'm afraid that there are not enough such individuals.

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Thanks to everyone who responded. As I'm replying here it's with total frustration over this acquistion because our IPT (of low level peon personnel) initially did not want to go with this approach but we were 'forced' to by the mid level management team. Now after a presentation to the Ivory Tower, the Ivory Tower is expressing the concerns we had over use of an IDIQ task order which were dismissed by the mid level approvers. Ack!

BTW - I've learned more reading the WIFCON forum in the past 6 months (since I stumbled upon it) than in all the 1102 training classes in the past 3 years.

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Is anyone aware that Don was correct 2 years ago? Is anyone aware of any protests, decisions, etc with using a multiple award IDIQ contract and then issuing a single IDIQ task order? After researching the practice here and through other sources, I'm not convinced its the way to go on a current solicitation. If anyone has used this FAR 1.102-4(e) 'not prohibited and therefore deemed innovative' practice and has any words of wisdom or advice please respond.

It took 5+ years, but here you go: http://www.wifcon.com/cgen/411699.pdf

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Thanks for following up, Don. Very interesting case. GAO held that:


“In sum, while the agency has significant discretion to tailor the procedures that it will use in placing delivery orders, it does not have discretion to use instruments that do not satisfy the requirements of FAR § 16.505(a)(7). The FBI’s contemplated award of a 5-year second-tier IDIQ instrument to a single contractor is inconsistent with the requirements of the applicable statutes and FAR provisions regarding what constitutes a “delivery order.” Those requirements are, at a minimum, that the delivery order be defined as to quantity, place of delivery and schedule. In essence, the two orders contemplated under these RFPs will deprive all the other TacCom contractors of a fair opportunity to compete for each of the delivery orders that will be issued in the future, despite their aggregate value of approximately $335 million. We therefore sustain this aspect of Harris’s protest.”

Based upon GAO's broad interpretation, it would appear that an agency could run a risk of a protest if it attempted to issue a Delivery Order with FAR Clause 52.217-6, Option for Increased Quantity, if it did not either identify quantity, place of delivery, or schedule.

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metteec,

I hope not. We issue task and delivery orders with options all the time -- but at least these order purchase something and they obligate dollars. I am supposing that in the case being discussed (Harris), the task or delivery orders did not purchase anything but merely included estimated qualtities, and actual quantities were bought by later "delivery orders".

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