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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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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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  • 7 months later...

 

"Logical follow-on" applies to one scenario only: when a contract is awarded to a particular vendor because it is not "logical" to award a phased effort to anyone else:

 

Quote

Follow-on contracts are used when a project or program is carried out in phases and the government contracts for each phase separately. Examples are contracts for system development in which the concept phase is followed by the R&D phase, which is followed by engineering development phase, which is followed by the full scale development phase, and, finally, the production phase The contract for each successive phase is a "follow-on" to the contract for the previous phase. The follow-on is "logical" in the sense that it continues something begun under an earlier contract or is a consequence of an earlier contract.

Usually, the contractor who performed the contract for the previous phase has knowledge and experience with the project or program that no other company possesses and which accrues to the benefit of the government. 

- Vern Edwards, Wifcon, 9/20/2013

It is definitely not a term used to describe a successor/continuation to an existing vehicle or requirement, nor does it describe a situation where the CO  believes it's "logical" to keep requirements with one vendor because it's administratively cleaner !   

I believe this thread is in for a do-over, with the discussion focusing on the LSJ and not a "logical follow-on".  

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No LSJ (or JEFO) will be needed if the scope is appropriately established as ALL wireless services for Command X.  Then use pricing bands or options or whatever, but the additional 7 devices are already within the scope of the order.

Edited by ji20874
add "(or JEFO)"
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16 hours ago, ji20874 said:

No LSJ will be needed if the scope is appropriately established as ALL wireless services for Command X.  Then use pricing bands or options or whatever, but the additional 7 devices are already within the scope of the order.

A couple of thoughts - 

Is it a LSJ?  Minor issue but just wondering as that seems to be a phrase borrowed from FAR subpart 8.4.  By my read we are talking about an other than GSA FSS MAC (IDIQ)I.  If so seems we are really talking about a Justification for Exception to Fair Opportunity unless the agency FAR supplement or policy plays to the LSJ term.

In providing the above thought my real intention is this.  Per FAR 16.505 in the discussion of logical follow-on for over the the SAT the FAR provides this wording "If the contracting officer uses the logical follow-on exception, the rationale shall describe why the relationship between the initial order and the follow-on is logical (e.g., in terms of scope, period of performance, or value).

Makes me wonder if @REA'n Maker is making a valid point (other than a LSJ) that a Justification is required even if within the scope?  

No intent pick on @ji20874  but in researching this latest exchange I did find find this post from 2013 thread regarding "New Work - Modify or Compete" that seems to be in line with the concern expressed by REA'n.

"If you're relying on the logical follow-on authority of FAR 16.505( b )( 2 )( i )( C ) ("sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order already issued"), you should not use the Changes clause for the modification.

Here are my questions for the contracting officer:

( 1 ) Is the work within the scope of the existing task order, as defined by the Changes clause? select one: YES or NO. No if's or but's, just YES or NO.

. ( a ) If YES, then use the Changes clause as the authority for the modification to the existing task order.

. ( b ) If NO, go to (2) below.

( 2 ) If the work a logical follow-on as described in FAR 16.505( b )( 2 )( i )( C ), or can any of the other exceptions in FAR 16.505( b )( 2 )( i ) apply, perhaps ( A ) or ( B )? select one: YES or NO. No if's or but's, just YES or NO.

. ( a ) If YES, write your justification, issue the modification to the existing task order, and post your justification for the public to see.

. ( b ) If NO, compete the requirement among all the task order contractors."

And as a last thought does it not all revolve around the wording in the Fair Opportunity Ordering procedures?  I could be way out to lunch but what if the Fair Opportunity rules of the specific contract allows for "logical follow on" as the agency anticipates this for what ever reason, does not the contract rule and you would not have to be worried about a justification, you could follow the Fair Opportunity rules of the contract?

 

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