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Greetings,

I have a question regarding increasing the value of a wireless services task order via modification.  My office issues wireless task orders under FAR 16.5 valued both under and over the SAT.  We regularly get customers asking us to add and remove phone lines because military personnel come and go regularly.  Our Office of Cousel wants us to recompete all increases in services.  However, if Command X already has 50 lines under their existing task order with AT&T, recompeting and potentially awarding an additional 7 lines to Verizon is an administrative nightmare.  

We issue and administer hundreds of these task orders and to recompete everytime a command needs an additional cell phone line seems excessive.  It makes no sense to recompete and have two OR more task orders for the same command everytime they require more or less lines.  

What are our options here?  Can we just do an exception to fair opportunity (logical follow-on) justification and modify the task orders when needed?  Or can the changes clause at 52.212-4(c) be used?  Most of these task orders are under the SAT and the modifications would also be less than the SAT.

I've read almost every thread regarding MODs to task order to increase value and I still dont have a good answer to this question.  Any assistance, information or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Make the scope of your requirement read as all wireless needs for command personnel, at a fixed price per device per month, with the number of devices flexible at Government direction.

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The basic contracts are structured with "ELINs" where quantities must be selected based on the types of services that will be acquired. @ji20874 Are you suggesting that if we state in the task order solicitation that the number of lines is flexible, we can increase/decrease via modification at will?

@Don MansfieldWe can include options but they are limited to options per year of services not additional quantities.

Furthermore, most of these task orders have already been issued as we are in the year two of this MAC.  We have countless of requests to modify task orders that were issued with a base plus 4 one year options which now require additional lines of service.  Is there any way to modify or is this a situation where we have to recompete and restructure the MAC differently next go around?  Thanks for the replies.

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The task is to figure out an acquisition approach that provides flexibility to meet the organization’s flexible needs. With ji’s approach, one should be able to have estimated quantities of unit priced services, valid within some type of range for adds (E.g. NTE) or deducts.(min # of lines) . Shouldn’t need a contract mod for every add or deduct. 

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If  the original task orders were awarded on the basis of fair opportunity, consider doing a class  fair opportunity exception D&F based on economy and efficiency (logical follow-on). The efficiency part of it could be maintaining the same provider in a given organization. The economy part of it could be the cost avoidance of having  to do a recompete .You could base the value of the D&F on the best estimate of requirement changes.    

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you could make a reasonable case that the modifications you describe are within scope of the original order, and so wouldn't even require an exception to fair opportunity: I know there is a school of thought that says any increase in quantity is out of scope, but would seven additional phone lines change the competitive landscape that existed for the original 50? Would you have gotten a quantity discount had you originally solicited for 57? Would additional offerors have submitted proposals had they known about the additional work? Should potential offerors have known that personnel come and go and the number of phones was likely to vary and did they take that into account in their decision to propose or not, or in pricing their proposals?

Of course if you know that Verizon doesn't bother to propose on requirements less than 51, or if the base contracts have quantity discounts at 10, 50, 100, etc., or you have some other reason to believe that the competitive landscape would have been different had you originally solicited for 57, then it would be out of scope, however a logical follow-on exception to fair opportunity seems straightforward for the scenario you describe.

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