Can an Option on a Government contract be exercised if a lapse in time occurred between CLINs? What written information - guidance/rule/instruction/law - is available on if this can be done or not?
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It was a pleasure talking with you. Your customers and the warfighter are lucky to have such a committed contracting officer supporting them. I sympathize with your frustration with the slow funding process and the inability to award an option on time. Unfortunately, you can not award an option after the contract period of performance has expired. CLIN 001 has expired and CLIN 002 is no longer available because the Gov't could not exercise it without needed funding. Your references are at FAR 17.204 Contracts (b) The contract shall state the period within which the option may be exercised You did this with your CLINs/Section F and 52.217-9 "Option to Extend the Term of the Contract" According to this clause and fill-in, the Gov't had the capablity to exercise the option within 10 days of the end of CLIN 001.
We also discussed whether the Government could extend the pd of performance of CLIN 001, for no other reason than waiting for funding. No, this goes against all the concepts of the Competition in Contracting Act. The Gov't cannot extend contracts solely to avoid having to go through another source selection. Since you are waiting for funding so you can award an option that has already expired, what you are really doing is avoiding competition and CICA.
You and I both hope that the budget situtation gest easier so that these situations are not the common way of doing business. Starting all over again with a source selection or a sole source justification is very resource intensive and of course it is likely that we will not get the same employees.