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Blanket Task Order


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Good afternoon,

  I am researching if anyone is familiar with Blanket Task Order.  Similar to a Blanket Purchase Agreement except this one is for construction (repair of pipes, gas lines, water lines, etc.) that are less than SAP ($150K) and requires a quick response from contractor awarded the Blanket Task Order.

  I have never heard of this procedure before.

Thank you for your assistance.


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No, and the term does not exist in the FAR. It sounds like a confusion of terminology. Since you reference the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT, not "SAP," which refers to simplified procedures and is not necessarily tied to the $150k threshold), I really think you're referring either to a BPA or perhaps a task order under a BPA. See FAR 13.303-5.

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FAR 1.102-4(e) reads in part -- "If a policy or procedure, or a particular strategy or practice, is in the best interest of the Government and is not specifically addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, Government members of the Team should not assume it is prohibited. Rather, absence of direction should be interpreted as permitting the Team to innovate and use sound business judgment that is otherwise consistent with law and within the limits of their authority."

Since Blanket Task Order is not a FAR defined term you will have to describe the BTO precisely. MATOC, MACC, and various other terms are used to label contract actions.

What will the base agreement/contract be (Blanket Purchase Agreement, Basic Ordering Agreement, Indefinite-Delivery Contracts -- Indefinite Delivery, Definite Delivery, Requirements)? (as used in FAR 16.501-1, 16.501-2, 16.703, 13.303) Or something different altogether?

What types of orders will you issue? Is your choice in harmony with the base agreement/contract type?

I was in an office that orders construction services off of a Basic Ordering Agreement.


That office used Basic Ordering Agreements for various supplies and services (we were given wide latitude to experiment):


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Some Corps of Engineers Districts were doing something similar a few years ago.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Question (in multiple parts) from the peanut gallery: Assuming you award the contract vehicle as (vaguely) described, how will individual tasks be priced? Will they be called out and priced in the overall Blanket Purchase Order?  Where is contractor Program Management priced?

If yes, then what happens if the contractor encounters differing site conditions? What happens if the (urgent) need is for a service that is not covered by the listing of priced tasks? What happens if the need is on a weekend or holiday--how is that priced? What happens if the contractor needs a different skillset from the one it priced? What about escalation of labor costs over time?

If not, then who pays for the costs of proposing and negotiating the individual orders? To me, there would need to be a PM task order that funded proposal preparation/negotiation costs because those costs would be direct-charged to the contract.

Thanks for any answers you would care to share with the peanut gallery.

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Guest Vern Edwards

The "blanket" order concept was once used under requirements contracts and IDIQ contracts to obligate funds and then let "ordering activities" place "calls" for work. In the old days they were called "blanket delivery orders," but now, when buying services, we would call them "blanket task orders." Here's how it worked, more or less:

  1. The contract would include prepriced CLINs for various types of prespecified supplies or service tasks. Each type of item or task was both prespecified and prepriced.
  2. After award of the contract the CO would issue a blanket order "obligating" funds for orders of deliveries or work for a specified period of time, but not specifying or ordering any actual work.
  3. When work was needed during the period covered by the blanket order, "ordering officers" at "ordering activities" would place calls for quantities of prespecified supplies or tasks at the established prices. Since all work was prespecified and priced, there were no negotiations.

Unlike calls against BPAs, calls against blanket delivery orders were binding.

There's a description of the general way it worked and clause language in Thompson Entomological & Tree Services, ASBCA 34518, 90-3 BCA 23117. Here's the contract language as quoted by the board: 



 Performance of services will be accomplished by the contractor only against Blanket Delivery Order(s) which will be issued by the Contracting Officer prior to the beginning of specified performance periods during the period of this contract. The contractor will not accept any call during any period which would cause the amount stated in the applicable Blanket Delivery Order to be exceeded. [emphasis added] The contractor will be required to perform the services as called for within the time [days and hours set out] specified in Section C. Blanket Delivery Orders will not list the items of services to be accomplished during the period. Each call must list the specific items of services.

That approach was used for simple work. I have no idea whether that's the kind of thing that ACQCON was asking about.

The concept is questionable in terms of fiscal law, since (a) you cannot record an obligation of funds in advance of an actual obligation, (b) a blanket delivery order as described in the clause above does not order anything, and (c) no obligation is made until a call is placed. Today a blanket delivery order might constitute "parking" of funds.

Once a call was placed, claims played out like they did under any other contract, in accordance with the clauses in the IDIQ contract.

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