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    Can I award a reduced period of performance to bring my BPA in line with the period of performance of the schedule contract? Will this create scope issues or be a violation of any other rules, regulations, etc?


    Answer

    There are inherent flexibilities with BPAs and Schedule contracts. This is the premise behind advocating this mode of contracting. 
     
    First off, the Blanket Purchase Agreement is not a contract. Each order placed there under against the Schedule becomes the contract. Thus, we must keep this in mind in answering the question.
     
    BPAs are structured in general terms while the Schedule is the underlying document that dictates the terms and conditions of the contract.  In fact, altering the GSA schedule could lead to problematic issues involving CICA. Therefore, GSA has stated that changing the terms and conditions of the underlying contract is strictly prohibited.
     
    Under the facts set forth in the question, the BPA can only be awarded to coincide with the Schedule.  There is the exception set forth at FAR 8.405-3(d) (3) which states that "a BPA may be awarded to Contractors that extend beyond the current term of their GSA Schedule contract so long as there are option periods in their GSA Schedule contract that, if exercised, will cover the BPA's period of performance.
     
    The contractor's Schedule should be reviewed to determine if there are options that can be exercised. If the options do not exist, then the BPA must coincide with the period of performance of the Schedule. Does this mean that if the BPA term extends beyond the period of performance of the Schedule, that a contract cannot be executed?  FAR 8.405-3(d) (3) does not address this issue on point.
     
    For clarity, reference FAR 8.405-3 (e) which stipulates the responsibilities of a contracting officer to review the BPA, at least annually to ensure "[t]he schedule contract upon with the BPA was established is still in effect."  Also, reference can be made to the sample BPA set forth on the GSA website.  Therein, at item 5, the term of the contract is specifically set forth in the following manner: "This BPA expires on __________or at the end of the contract period, whichever is earlier."
     
    Hence,  it is not necessary to have both the BPA and Schedule coincide.  The earliest term of either the BPA or Schedule will dictate the period of performance of the order.  Therefore, one need not reduce the term of the BPA for the reasons set forth above.  As such, there will not be any regulatory violations if an order is placed for a period of time that is shorter than the BPA. 
     

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