Since the enactment of the Competition in Contracting Act in 1984, price has been an essential element of every contract awarded by the Federal Government under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, along with technical capability and (more recently) past performance. In addition, before making an award, every contracting officer must determine that the price offered by the winning offeror(s) is “fair and reasonable.”
Agencies have wide discretion in establishing the value of the factors and subfactors under each of these three elements, and frequently price is identified as the least important of the factors to be evaluated.
But what if the price on a solicitation was not a factor to be evaluated at all? As part of the Professional Services Council’s long-standing acquisition reform advocacy agenda, we supported just such an experiment and it is now in effect for some agencies.
In Section 825 of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress provided that, for multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts, DoD, NASA and Coast Guard buying activities are not required to evaluate cost or price during the evaluation of the formation of the ID/IQ contract, provided other conditions are met. If cost or price is not evaluated at formation, however, cost or price must be an evaluation factor in conjunction with the issuance of any task or delivery order under such awarded contract. The Professional Services Council strongly supported that legislative proposal.
What all of these ID/IQ solicitations and resulting contracts have in common is that there is actually no work associated with the formation of the base contract. All of the actual work is solicited under task or delivery orders issued once the base contract is in place. As such, we argued that agencies were creating irrelevant price evaluation factors in order to comply with the then-existing statutory requirement to evaluate price at contract formation, and agencies were not making true comparative evaluations of offerors’ pricing since there was no factual basis for doing so. And it didn’t matter whether the ID/IQ contract provided for fixed prices, labor hour pricing, or hybrid pricing.
Keep reading article at: https://www.pscouncil.org/a/Content/2019/Can_Contracts_Be_Awarded_Without_Pricing.aspx