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    When activating clause 52.217-8 to extend services. Does this prohibit increasing the level of support? The verbiage that causes me pause "within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract". I understand the rates. But what does limits mean? Does it mean that requirements owners should not expect increasing the level of support and that should be done when the requirements are drawn up for the follow-on contract? Any assistance is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


    Answer

    The purpose of clause 52.217-8 is to allow continuation of the status quo when the award of a successor contact is delayed.  The language of the current version of the clause (November 1999) reads as follows: "The Government may require continued performance of any services within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract. These rates may be adjusted only as a result of revisions to prevailing labor rates provided by the Secretary of Labor. The option provision may be exercised more than once, but the total extension of performance hereunder shall not exceed 6 months. The Contracting Officer may exercise the option by written notice to the Contractor within ______ [insert the period of time within which the Contracting Officer may exercise the option]."

    The use of the word "limits" indicates that the extension is for services as in the contract as it exists immediately preceding the option to extend services  (including any previously executed options or modifications). Be aware also that your contract may contain clause 52.237-3 (Continuity of Services - January 1991) which encompasses phase-in training and other services necessary for a transition to the next contractor.

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