Army customer has a requirement for software updates. In addition to the software updates, less than 200 hours of professional services may be required. The professional services are incidental to and used solely to support the software, and cannot be purchased separately. The total requirement is less than $100K. The total for the incidental professional services is approximately $47K. To me, this requirement does not appear meet the definition of Service Contract at FAR Subpart 37.1 because the Contractor's primary purpose is NOT to perform an identifiable task. Rather, the Contractor's primary purpose is to furnish the software updates. Additionally, this requirement does not appear to meet the definition of Service Contract in FAR Subpart 22.1000 because the principal purpose is NOT to furnish services through the use of service employees. FYI, last year the Army customer did not use any of the incidental professional services labor hours.
The Army Contracting Officer requires a signed Request for Services Contract Approval form prior to exercising the contract's option period. Here is an AFARS reference the Contracting Officer may have referred to when making this decision: Subpart 5107.5 -- Inherently Governmental Functions
5107.503 -- Policy.
(e) Requiring officials must provide the contracting officer with a copy of the ?Request for Services Contract Approval? form signed by an appropriate General Officer or Accountable member of the Senior Executive Service. Contracting officers shall not complete or sign the service contract approval form and shall not initiate any contract for service, or exercise an option , without an approved certification. The approval and completed worksheets shall be included in the official contract file. The accountable General Officer or Senior Executive may delegate certification authority for requirements valued less than $100,000 in accordance with Command policy. Contracting officers shall document the contract file with a copy of the Command policy before accepting a service contract approval that is signed below the General Officer/Senior Executive level.
(1) The fillable version of the ?Request for Services Contract Approval? form with worksheets can be found on the ASA (M&RA) website: http://www.asamra.army.mil/insourcing. [AFARS Revision #25, Item V, dated April 1, 2010]
Note: Command policy requires SES signature on the form. Questions for discussion: (1) Does this requirement meet the definition of Service Contract in FAR Subpart 37.1? (2) Does the preceding AFARS reference apply to the exercise of an option period for a contract supporting software updates which include incidental professional services? (3) Could the Contracting Officer simply document the file indicating he/she does not consider this requirement to be a Services Contract?