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He might have meant a multi-agency multiple award contract.

I asked camphenry what he meant by MAC in order to make a point. His usage was confusing. Your response to my question to HIM reinforced his erroneous usage. You shouldn't have jumped in. Then you tried to defend your own misleading reference by citing Yahoo and The Washington Post. I guess I was wrong to expect better.

:(

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His erroneous usage has been used for years by the Navy. He didn't invent the term.

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Weno:

I don't see an alteration that requires use of 52.252-4. The clause I proposed is just an advance agreement about costs in the event of a partial termination in accordance with the T for C clause.

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His erroneous usage has been used for years by the Navy. He didn't invent the term.

I guess that makes it okay. I wasn't blaming him. I was trying to correct him by leading him to the correct usage. You interfered without helping.

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It may be ironic that the FAR Secretariat just published a proposed rule, FAR Case 2015-019, that would revise FAR 2.101 to define the term "Multiple-Award Contract" and make official the wide--but heretofore erroneous--usage, and also make official the potential confusion between MAC and MAC that Vern illustrated in this thread.

Proving, once again, that the most important attribute of a government contracts professional is a robust sense of humor.

H2H

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FAR 2.101 officially assigns the acronym "MAC" to multi-agency contracts. However, the proposed definition of multiple award contracts would not assign that acronym to that term, and thus it should not cause confusion. Anyone who doesn't understand the distinction between a multi-agency contract and a multiple award contract is an idiot, and it appears that there are plenty of them.

The term "multiple award contract" currently appears in 21 places in the FAR system (Title 48 of the CFR), but it is never associated with the acronym "MAC."

The term "multi-agency contract" appears in 23 places, and is assigned the acronym "MAC" at 2.101. A MAC might be single award or multiple award.

See also the Memorandum for Chief Acquisition Officers and Agency Senior Procurement Executives dated February 24, 2006, "Data Collection on Interagency and Agency-Wide Contracting":

For purposes of this data collection, an interagency contract includes the following vehicles:

(1) a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC), as defined in FAR 2.101;

(2) a multi-agency contract (MAC), as defined in FAR 2.101;

(3) a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) on the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS), see FAR 8.405-3, for use by multiple agencies (for BPAs established for use only by the customer agency, use Attachment 3); or

(4) other indefinite delivery vehicles with anticipated or actual use by external agencies (e.g., basic ordering agreements that that are available to multiple agencies).

(Which shows why it is important to use terms properly to avoid confusion.)

See also https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/interagency_acq/general_info.html

The vehicles used most frequently to support interagency acquisitions are Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs), and multi-agency contracts (MACs).

  • MAS contracts are task-order or delivery-order contracts awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA) or the Department of Veterans Affairs for similar or comparable supplies, or services, established with more than one supplier, at varying prices, under authorities in Titles 40 and 41 of the United States Code.
  • GWACs are task-order or delivery-order contracts for information technology established by one agency for governmentwide use that are operated by an executive agent designated by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to authority set forth in the Clinger-Cohen Act.
  • MACs are task-order or delivery-order contracts established by one agency for use by Government agencies to obtain supplies and services, consistent with the Economy Act.

Journalists and other acquisition know-nothings commonly err in their usage of acquisition terminology. You can find plenty of stories calling multiple award contracts MACs. That's because journalists are not acquisition professionals. Anyone who has been directly involved with anything reported by the news media knows that journalists are in a hurry, often don't know what they're writing about, and commonly get things wrong. Even the Congressional Research Service has gotten it wrong. But as pros, we should know better. But maybe not -- think of all the COs who call statements of work "scopes" of work.

Pathetic.

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I guess that makes it okay. I wasn't blaming him. I was trying to correct him by leading him to the correct usage. You interfered without helping.

Sorry, Vern. I was just trying to be the "Helpful Hardware Man" from ACE HARDWARE. I didn't know that you were setting a trap for the poor, unsuspecting Camp Henry.

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Actually, I really wondered if his multiple award contract was also a MAC. But I suspected it wasn't and that he was misusing the acronym, and I wanted to sort him out if that was the case. Don't think of it as a trap. Think of it as a free service.

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Please check the Home Page for FAC 2005-019 which was issued today.

Et tu, Robert? It's not a FAC (Federal Acquisition Circular), it's a proposed rule that is based on FAR Case 2015-19. A FAC is a final rule or an interim rule. FACs do not contain proposed rules.

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By the way, the term "multiple award contract" (singular), as proposed to be defined in FAR 2.101, is a professionally objectionable misnomer. What we call a "multiple award contract" is not a single contract with multiple awardees. "It" is actually multiple, independent contracts. The various contractors are not jointly or severally liable under a single contract. They don't share or divvy up responsibilities. Each contract bears the name of only one firm as contractor. They are entirely independent of one another. I believe that each has its own procurement instrument identifier (PIID). (Is that correct?) There is no requirement that the terms be identical for all contractors, and in most cases the terms of each such contract varies in some way from the terms of the others with respect to some specifics, like price, rates, product specification, key personnel, etc. The termination of one such contract is not the termination of all. Options must be exercised for each. A modification may be made to one without affecting the others.

I'm surprised that no lawyer has made that point in Public Contracts Law Journal or some other law review.

A better term would have been "multiple contract acquisition" (MCA). But multiple award contract is established now and won't go away.

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Vern,

I have to disagree with your assertions. The word "acronym" is defined as "an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g., ASCII, NASA )." Thus, MAC would be a perfectly cromulent acronym for either "Multiple Award Contract" or "Multi-Agency Contract" under English grammar usage conventions. The fact that the acronym introduces ambiguity and impedes effective communication is not the fault of the English speakers who use it, it is the fault of the FAR drafters who introduced the ambiguous term.

If the people who draft the official acquisition regulations want us to use MATOC then they should say so. DoD has a whole PGI available to provide such direction.

H2H

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You are not disagreeing with any assertion that I made.

I said nothing about the rules of English. My assertion was about proper use of official terminology. MAC is official terminology. I don't think the acronym is necessary in either case, but if you're going to use it, use it in accord with the official definition so as to minimize the chance of confusion. To me, calling a multiple award contract a MAC is like calling a supplemental agreement a change order or saying that you made a change in "scope" when all you really mean is that you changed the SOW. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. When doctors talk to each other they say tibia or fibula, not "lower leg bone."

Now, I've said enough about this. You and other readers either get me or you don't. I'm sure that some think I'm nitpicking and some think I make a good point. What I say isn't going to change many minds or much behavior.

I'm just sayin'...

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But please don't use "MCA", which is currently used for Military Construction Army. In addition, Multiple Award Acquisition doesn't distinguish between the proposed or ongoing acquisition to establish multiple awards and the resulting awarded contracts and pool(s), if any. 😊

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It seems to be difficult to develop an acronym that would be perfect.

I also noticed that FAR varies in how it refers to names/terms, such as "Multiple award" (preference) , "multiple awards" (of indefinite-quantity) "contracts ", "each of the multiple awardees under the contract", "all contractors offering the required supplies or services under the multiple-award contract", "earlier orders under the contract", in 16.504 and 16.505.

For instance, see 16.606 ( b ) (1) (iii) ( B ) - underline added

( B )The contracting officer shall

(1) Provide a fair notice of the intent to make a purchase, including a clear description of the supplies to be delivered or the services to be performed and the basis upon which the selection will be made to all contractors offering the required supplies or services under the multiple-award contract; and

(2) Afford all contractors responding to the notice a fair opportunity to submit an offer and have that offer fairly considered.

Actually, after looking closer, it appears that FAR is most often referring to multiple award "contracts" (plural) in reference to general statements and appears to refer to multiple award "contract" (singular) when discussing specific processes under the multiple award contracting scenario.

Sheesh.

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By the way, the term "multiple award contract" (singular), as proposed to be defined in FAR 2.101, is a professionally objectionable misnomer. What we call a "multiple award contract" is not a single contract with multiple awardees. "It" is actually multiple, independent contracts. The various contractors are not jointly or severally liable under a single contract. They don't share or divvy up responsibilities. Each contract bears the name of only one firm as contractor. They are entirely independent of one another. I believe that each has its own procurement instrument identifier (PIID). (Is that correct?) There is no requirement that the terms be identical for all contractors, and in most cases the terms of each such contract varies in some way from the terms of the others with respect to some specifics, like price, rates, product specification, key personnel, etc. The termination of one such contract is not the termination of all. Options must be exercised for each. A modification may be made to one without affecting the others.

I'm surprised that no lawyer has made that point in Public Contracts Law Journal or some other law review.

A better term would have been "multiple contract acquisition" (MCA). But multiple award contract is established now and won't go away.

Actually, the proposed rule simply implements Section 1311 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which uses and defines the term "multiple award contract" in the singular. A Snivel (oops "Civil") Servant within the Executive Branch may have originally coined the term.

Subtitle C--Small Business Contracting PART I--CONTRACT BUNDLING SEC. 1311. SMALL BUSINESS ACT. Section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632), as amended by section 1202, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(v) <<NOTE: Definition.>> Multiple Award Contract.--In this Act, the term `multiple award contract' means-- ``(1) a multiple award task order contract or delivery order contract that is entered into under the authority of sections 303H through 303K of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253h through 253k); and ``(2) any other indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract that is entered into by the head of a Federal agency with 2 or more sources pursuant to the same solicitation.''. [[Page 124 STAT. 2537]]

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