If we do a bilateral contract modification to include FAR 52.217-8, does clause 52.217-9 also need to be included? On a separate note, can the 52.217-8 clause be alone in a contract or does it always need to be accompanied by other option clauses (52.217-6, 7, or 9)?
In response to your question, 52.217-8 can be used alone. It does not have to accompanied by other option clauses. BUT, unless I'm completely misuderstanding your scenerio, you are trying to use an option clause incorrectly. We add options to contracts, usually at the award of the basic contract, when we are anticipating the need to exercise an option at a later time. If you already have the 52.217-8 clause in the 3-month bridge contract to the 8(a), then you can exercise that option to extend the period of performance.
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If you want to modify the contract to add 3 more months of activity, then you should do a bilateral modification to add the additional work. I recommend that you do an excellent job explaining why you need an additional 3 months to prepare the new contract. By going sole-source, you are avoiding CICA (competition) rules. We are all encouraged to reduce uncessary sole-source agreements as much as possible. Possibly you could add 3 months of effort plus an option for 3 additional months by incorporating the 52.217-8 clause. Thus, you would be negotiating an addition 3 months and giving yourself the option to exercise an additional 3 months if you need more time. Don't expect this to be easy. You should be feeling alot of pressure to complete the source selection and award of the follow-on contract.