Commercial Items in IDIQ

Question

How do FAR 12 commercial item regulations apply to multiple award task order IDIQ contracts?

Answer

Let me clarify:
You have a single IDIQ contract that has FP, labor hour (T&M), and cost reimbursable provisions in the same contract?
Do you have single contracts that say “base support,” and it’s up to the contractor to work against a SOW? The SOW may state, “Provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” but your contract does not state they should incorporate commercial items to the maximum extent possible in satisfying the SOW?
If you are not doing market research and you have these “quasi-performance based” contracts, it sounds as if you don’t have solid performance based measures in place – that the program has not adequately and clearly defined what they need and the criteria that will be used to determine if the product/service delivered meets the need.
When I explain performance-based contracts and criteria, I use the example of ordering a brochure printed with red ink. Red is a very subjective term and color. You might have a vision of candy apple red, the program might envision fire engine red, and the contractor may deliver something printed chartreuse. Who is right? If the performance criteria stated that the item needs to be printed in Flag Red PMS 186C, then there is a clear criteria for measuring performance.
I will quickly add that commercial items can and should be incorporated at all levels of acquisition (FAR 12.000 and 12.101) to the maximum extent possible. And, that commercial items can be used as components or in support of a non-commercial end-item. For clarity’s sake, I would recommend separating commercial end item deliverables onto a separate contract with the appropriate clauses to avoid confusion for the CO, the contractor, and the auditors. Contracts with multiple and conflicting terms are a nightmare to administer.
Also, note that services can be commercial items and that services in support of a commercial item are, by default, commercial items, regardless of the source.

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