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  • Question

    What is the maximum amount by which a government construction contract can be modified? I have read somewhere in the FAR, I think, that modifications cannot exceed 50% of the contract award value.


    Answer

    Since we do not have all of the facts pertaining to your requirement, solicitation/contract or contractor(s), the following answer is based solely on the background and question provided.  As we do not have access to the contract folder or particulars that apply to this situation, we highly recommend you consult the Contracting Officer and the Legal Office.
     
    The Changes Clause applicable to the contract (FAR 52.243-4 is typically used for construction) gives the contracting officer the authority to make changes within the general scope of the contract in specific areas. At question here is the determination of a change to be within the scope of the original contract. " In a protest action, the test used by the GAO and the COFC is whether the change so materially altered the contract that the field of competition for
    the contract as modified would be significantly different from that obtained for the original contract."(Government Contract Law, third edition, 2007)
     
    Several GAO decisions have been rendered regarding scope determinations and several factors are considered. For example, changes in quantity, changes in function or the number and cost of the changes. There is no established rule regarding the costs of the changes being outside of the general scope but more important is whether the changes would have been anticipated by the offerors at the time the requirement was competed.
     

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