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Hammspace

IDIQ under an IDIQ - If could change the rules to allow it, how would you?

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Hi WIFCON,

Please allow me to propose a hypothetical, and get your feedback. 

IDIQs cannot have IDIQs under them under current law and regulation.  Once an IDIQ is created, the task/delivery orders under them must be definitive (e.g., specific items, labor categories, price/cost, period of performance, etc.).   The size and duration of the task order impacts the level of detail.  Small task orders have explicit detail.  However, many large dollar IDIQ task orders are far more broad.  If a task order under an IDIQ is measured in the tens of million of dollars and has option periods, it is very likely that further definition is occurring at the day to day level with the COR.  None of that definition is changing the scope of the task order, but is necessary for effective project management.   It would seem to be better contract administration if this is completed explicitly in the order itself, perhaps as a sub-line item.   This level of detail could not be known at contract/order award, but if added to an order as a modification, it certainly creates the appearance of an IDIQ under an IDIQ. 

So . .  suspending the natural response of this message board to live within the current set of rules, I'd like to know how to recommend that we change the FAR or agency supplements to allow for this to occur.  Several agencies allow for "Technical Direction" to serve this purpose (e.g., NAVY, EPA).  Neither reach the level of codifying in the task order, but the concept of further definitization is clearly there.  

If you could change the rules to allow an IDIQ to have an task order under it that evolved over time, with the details becoming codified, where would you make the changes in the rules?

My initial starting point would be FAR 16.505.  There is an anchor for modular contracting for IT there (FAR 39.103[a]), and this is a variant of that for any scope area. 

Another idea would be to allow for the creation of BPAs under IDIQs, as BPAs under GSA Schedule already serve this under FAR 8.4.  

Any other bright ideas out there?  

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20 minutes ago, Hammspace said:

This level of detail could not be known at contract/order award, but if added to an order as a modification, it certainly creates the appearance of an IDIQ under an IDIQ. 

Why do you think that? Modifying contracts to provide more detail is not new. It predates the existence of IDIQ contracts.

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1 hour ago, Don Mansfield said:

Why do you think that? Modifying contracts to provide more detail is not new. It predates the existence of IDIQ contracts.

Don - Feedback from auditors.  It is not the fact that a modification is done, but that the modification added more detail in the CLIN table than was present before.  For example, let's say the CLIN table has one row for technical services for $1M, and now a sub-CLIN is added that parcels the $1M into a series of sub-CLINs for different elements of that task.  These elements were not specified in the contractor proposal, but became clearer over performance.  In this scenario, the auditor has stated that the fact that the new detail wasn't present in the proposal makes it an IDIQ in an IDIQ.

I have encountered this mostly in programs where there is a known expansion of sites for a specific technical job, but the actual locations and times change based on need. 

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@Hammspace,

Does the original task order contain the information at FAR 16.505(a)(7)?

Quote

 

(i) Date of order.

(ii) Contract number and order number.

(iii) For supplies and services, line item number, subline item number (if applicable), description, quantity, and unit price or estimated cost and fee (as applicable). The corresponding line item number and subline item number from the base contract shall also be included.

(iv) Delivery or performance schedule.

(v) Place of delivery or performance (including consignee).

(vi) Any packaging, packing, and shipping instructions.

(vii) Accounting and appropriation data.

(viii) Method of payment and payment office, if not specified in the contract (see 32.1110(e)).

 

 

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@Hammspace,

Harris IT Service CorporationB-411699; B-411796, October 2, 2015, is the only case I know of where the issue of an "IDIQ under an IDIQ" was addressed. The test the GAO applied was whether the original task order contained the information required by FAR 16.505(a)(7). In that case, the GAO determined that the original task order did not. Therefore, they concluded that the task order was an improper IDIQ under an IDIQ. 

The auditor seems to be applying a different standard--probably one they thought up.

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