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Cardinal Changes in Services Contract (USPS)

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Company has submitted a bid for a contract to provide services at USPS sites. The RFP SOW lists specific services that must be provided at about 250 USPS sites on a periodic basis over a 12-month period. Bidder's offer included an annual fixed price per site for the services. The RFP includes the caveat that "USPS reserves the right to add or remove USPS facilities to the contract in accordance with the changes clause of the contract if such action is determined to be within the best interest of the USPS." USPS Changes Clause 4-1(c). USPS held discussions with bidder and informed bidder that it hopes to add substantially more locations to the contract, including up to all 25,000 USPS properties! Would that really be within the scope of the changes clause? When does adding sites to a contract like this exceed scope? 

Company wants this contract, but does not want to service all 25K locations. Providing discrete services to far-flung USPS locations is much more expensive than working in large facilities in metropolitan areas. How would you recommend the bidder communicate with USPS about this issue?

Finally, if USPS does add sites to a contract like this, the contractor would negotiate for a fair price for its work, and a fair price would be expensive. Company wants to make sure that they could charge USPS prices that actually include profit. USPS equitable adjustment clauses and guidance don't offer the comfort I need on this one, and so I am hoping the experience of this group can provide some practical insight. 

Thanks in advance for your insight and please let me know if you need additional details or citations to answer my questions.

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You could have submitted your offer with a qualification that your offer does not include Alaska or Hawaii, but you would have run the risk of being disqualified if the solicitation required availability in all 25K locations.

Does USPS anticipate making multiple awards to share the 25K locations?  Or only a single award?

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2 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

Does USPS anticipate making multiple awards to share the 25K locations?  Or only a single award?

They reserved the right to make multiple awards, but their goal is to get a single vendor to cover all their needs. 

What concerns me is that the actual RFP included a relatively small number of sites. Even with the statement reserving their right to expand the list, going from 250 to 25K locations seems out of scope. Do you disagree? 

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I am going to guess that you are already doing this but seeking legal advice from an individual versed in USPS contracting is probably your best approach to your question. 

Here are some general thoughts.....

The wording by the USPS attempts, in my view, to provide a very broad scope so as to allow any change to be considered "within the scope".  However one would think that there is a limit to how extensive (profound) a change is that it changes the very nature of the work.   Its seems the USPS is saying the sky is the limit right now.  

Your thought on difference between metro versus very rural could be in part headed in the right direction with regard to the cardinal change doctrine as it heads down the nature of the work - fairly and reasonably contemplated at contract award - route.  It might even fall within performance of work where what is required in a metro area is more and different than that of a rural area.

By your comments I have concluded, rightly or wrongly, that  beyond the specific statement the solicitation the USPS is offering what the possibilities might be but does not help with a "line in the sand" as to possible scope.  In my view this brings up the matter of what is so extensive that it is out of scope.  You may want to get the USPS to commit formally what the extent of the possible added work is.  Won't do you much good if they say well 24,750 more locations but it might if they say something different than the total of 25,000.

I offer my thoughts noting that it appears that the USPS Board of Contract Appeals and the Court of Federal Claims has applied the cardinal change doctrine to USPS contracts.

 

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Can thought been given to proposing that added sites shall be subject to Clause 2-30, cost reimbursement?

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