Implementing A Task Order Proposal Process: Part 1 – Getting Starting with Task Orders

Implementing a Task Order Management System
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Implementing A Task Order Proposal Process: Part 1 – Getting Starting with Task Orders

The Federal Government has several different names and acronyms to describe multiple award contracts.  The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) defines a delivery order contract (DOC) as “a contract for supplies that does not procure or specify a firm quantity of supplies (other than a minimum or maximum quantity) and that provides for the issuance of orders for the delivery of supplies during the period of the contract.”  The FAR also describes a task order contract (TOC) as “a contract for services that does not procure or specify a firm quantity of services (other than a minimum or maximum quantity) and that provides for the issuance of orders for the performance of tasks during the period of the contract.”

These DOCs and TOCs include:

  • Multi-Agency Contracts (MACs)
  • Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts that are either single award or multiple award
  • GSA Schedules (sometimes referred to as Multiple Award Schedules and Federal Supply Schedules) that include blanket purchase agreements (BPAs).

The term ID/IQ is a general term used for both DOCs and TOCs. ID/IQs can be for single or multiple agency use. Some ID/IQs even have their own acronyms, including:

  • Government-wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC):  a special type of ID/IQ contract for acquiring information technology products and services approved by the Office of Management and Budget for use by any federal agency
  • Single Task Order Contract (SATOC): an ID/IQ-type contract with a single award used by the military for acquiring facility design, construction, and maintenance services.
  • Multiple Task Order Contract (MATOC): an ID/IQ-type contract with multiple awards used by the military for acquiring facility design, construction, and maintenance services.

The typical IDIQ-type contract is a public bid for a long-term contract (generally five years) with multiple awards given to meet specific product or service requirements order when the requirement becomes known. In other words, an ID/IQ contract is used by government agencies to purchase future goods and services at set prices when a need for those goods or services arises. What isn’t known at the time of the ID/IQ award is exactly when or how much a customer will order; the TOs provide this information.

The ID/IQ contract award amount has an expressly stated capacity (similar to a ceiling) amount with a stated minimum guaranteed quantity of work. Bidders who successfully demonstrate an ability to meet the stated technical/management requirements of the ID/IQ, can staff with personnel who possess the stated skills and expertise, have demonstrate successfully executed relevant past performance, and have proposed a realistic and competitive price are then awarded a spot on the ID/IQ contract. Once the ID/IQ contract awards are given, specific project work is issued and funded through individual task orders (TOs). Different contract vehicles use different terms for these requests: request for task execution plan (RTEP), task order request (TOR), request for task order proposal (RTOP), etc. For our purposes, we’ll use the acronym to describe an agency-requested proposal responding to a task order request on an ID/IQ. Once a TOR is issued, the ID/IQ awardees compete to win the work.

Usually the ID/IQ statement of work (SOW) includes specific and concise requirements, while the TOs identify only the ordering information, such as the place and period of performance or funding. Since the contractor understood the complexity of the tasks and bid proposed costs (such as labor, other direct costs, etc.) that were established in the awarded ID/IQ contract, the customer and contractor have no need to negotiate the cost of the TO contract.

TO requirements are developed by the agency technical personnel, such as the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) or task order manager (TOM) and are provided to the ordering agency Contracting Officer (CO) to issue the TO to the Contractor. The COR of the ordering agency should be involved in development the requirements of each TO and be knowledgeable of the requirements before providing it to the CO for issuance to the Contractor. Some contracts are specific to one agency, while others allow multiple agencies to issue TOs against the contract vehicle. In this instance, the lead agency’s CO will be the central point of contact.

– The Octant Best Practices Team

 

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