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Hello All,

Several of my agency's contracts combine requirements for services with requirements for construction. For instance, we ask contractors to provide technical assistance to schools and also ask them to refurbish/build new classrooms for those schools. The overall goal being to improve educational outcomes.

I have two questions for folks:

1. Is there a prohibition on combining these two different types of requirements? (I'm fairly certain the answer is no as there's no explicit language and FAR 36.101© implies it can be done; however, I would like the opinions of those much more experienced than I.)

2. In your opinion, is it prudent to combine these requirements? My main concerns center around safety, competency (a service contractor being required to do construction), and oversight.

As always, everyone's thoughts are much appreciated.

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If I've guessed your agency correctly, you use the same 15 Prime Contractors/ Implementing Partners for almost everything, and they sub out all their construction.

If you incorporate a requirement in your prime contracts about the Government approving subs based on some objective measure like Past Performance, that should ensure consistently competent subs.

Seems to me, if you split the construction off from the other services, then you would get endless fingerpointing over who is to blame when outcomes fall short.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Speaking in general terms, I don't think it's prudent. Construction is a specialty and it is often changes and claims intensive. If you award the contract to a prime that is not a general contractor, and the prime subs the entire job out, you are likely to run into problems and will have to work through a prime that doesn't understand the work. You could end up with a half-completed mess on your hands. Don't do it.

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Vern,

unless I've missed my guess about where FSCO works, most of these 15 or so Primes have developed at least some basic in-house expertise in construction management. This is how this agency has done pretty much all construction over the last 40 years. All construction is ancillary to a larger related service implementation.

Also, I've never seen a construction project for them over $1 Million, and they are usually under $150K.

FSCO, is that right ?

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Brian,

I've seen this done at several agencies I've now been a part of. I've asked the question becasue, like Vern, I'm concerned about the oversight issues. As for the specific agency you're thinking of, I was with them previously. The agency I'm currently with now does combine these requirements and the construction components do exceed $1 million.

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