Does another responsibility determination need to be made before each delivery order is issued? Is the definition of an award the basic IDIQ that covers all of the terms and conditions with limitations on minimum and maximum quantity or is the definition of award the individual delivery order?
The standards for responsibility are stated in FAR 9-104-1 as
adequate financial resources
compliance with the delivery or performance schedule
satisfactory performance record
satisfactory record of integrity
have necessary organization, experience, accounting, and operational controls, and technical skills
have the necessary production equipment
and otherwise be eligible to received an award under applicable laws and regulations.
If this determination is made for the basic IDIQ award and the contractor is performing in an acceptable manner it would appear that he meets the criteria and all that would be required is to ensure that he does not have any active exclusions (otherwise be eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations).
If, however, another determination is required for each delivery order should it be done with as much research as you did for the basic award? It seems to me that part of the appeal of an IDIQ is the ability to award quickly especially if the contractor is performing well.
The FAR definition (Part 2) defines a contract to include all types of commitments that obligate the Government to an expenditure of appropriated funds. It further states that contracts include awards and orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance.
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While IDIQ contracts provide the ability to award delivery-order or task-order contracts (see FAR 16.501-2 and FAR 16.504) in a quick manner, any purchase or award must be made to responsible prospective contractors only, as indicated at FAR 9.103. Therefore, the initial or basic IDIQ award and each subsequent task or delivery order made, must ensure that the prospective contractor is determined to be responsible in accordance with the General Standards of Responsibility identified at FAR 9.104. Since contractors could be performing under other contracts or orders, including non-Government, their performance or past performance should always be taken into consideration before providing them with additional performance. It is highly possible and probable, during performance, that contractors incur various situations that could potentially impact their financial condition and other stabilities and capabilities, which could also have a major bearing on any future contract performance and compliances.
FAR 9.104-6 states that before awarding a contract in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, (also see FAR 13.106-2(b)(ii)) the contracting officer shall review the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). FAR Part 9 provides additional guidance for determining a contractor’s responsibility. Some of the determinations are based, not only on the dollar value of the acquisition, but also on other current situations or conditions with the contractor, which could have changed since the time of the basic award.
Since each order includes contract clauses, any clauses requiring the contractors’ certification(s) and other aspects of responsibility, must be taken into consideration and incorporated in any current order(s) which would be applicable under that current order.
Each contract and/or award further requires contract management to ensure contractors are meeting timely performance. Contract management includes identifying, tracking, and reporting of the contractors’ compliance, correction and completion during performance. As indicated at FAR 42.1503, this information must be reported in FAPIIS via the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS www.ppirs.gov)
Utilizing the above mentioned systems, as well as any other required monitoring, is critical for making an affirmative determination if a contractor’s performance is in an acceptable manner and whether they meet the criteria and are not officially excluded via debarment, suspension or other ineligibility. Every effort should be made to ensure the general standards are met, prior to making an award or placing any orders under the initial contract. The amount of time spent making the determination depends on the given situation. With consistent performance management and monitoring, the time and effort spent on a responsibility determination could be lessened.