What are the steps/regulations that come into play for the Contracting Office when adding a new labor category to an awarded IDIQ?
Reviewing the conformed contract provided to the responder, your base contract does not address adding labor categories. Other than basic personnel qualifications for some of the categories, labor categories do not appear to be addressed until H.2. Task Order (TO) ordering procedures and in other areas only when referring to wage determinations.
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However, in answer to your question - depending on the nature of the labor categories (related or completely unrelated), your contract supports adding labor categories.
Rationale: The contract’s stated scope (pg 20, 2. Scope) is broad and, depending on the additional labor categories desired, should allow for such a modification. Your contract included FAR 52.243-1 Changes-Fixed Price (Alt V) and 52.243-2 Changes-Cost Reimbursement (Alt II). Although one of the alternates states specifications rather than services, because it is the alternate for research, additional labor categories are applicable to both clauses.
Caveat: Please do not assume price fair and reasonable based on 2012 pricing. Price fair and reasonableness should be evaluated each option year (FAR 17.207(d)), and price fair and reasonableness should be evaluated with any change especially adding new labor categories to ensure.
Also, speak to the small business specialist in your organization and explain your rationale. Just as you must consider the effect on small businesses when exercising an option (FAR 17.207(3)(2)) and just as you must consider small businesses in task order selections (GAO-B-400403, Delex Systems, Inc., October 8, 2008), you should also consider the effect on small businesses when considering modifications. This does not necessarily mean processing a new DD 2579, unless your organizational policy dictates. However, even if the form is not required, a true consideration of small businesses does require that your market research include a reasonable and sincere analysis of the proposed change and its effect on small business competition.
As market research is performed with every option, task order award, and modification, ensuring price reasonableness and evaluating the effect on small businesses is simply a more streamlined action than what is preferred for a new competition.
In the future, it is useful to have an IDIQ ordering guide or to add language to your Task Ordering procedures which address adding labor categories. Sample language that you may want to include in your next IDIQ:
“The Pricing Matrix included at Section J, Attachment 2, of each FIRST ACMEIDIQ contractor’s contract sets forth the labor categories that shall be quoted and the maximum rates that may be paid/reimbursed under this contract (except for OCONUS performance) inclusive of options if exercised. These rates are inclusive of prime labor, subcontract labor, overhead, and other burden, fee, and profit. Changes to the pricing matrix may be requested on an annual basis to reflect changes in the wage determinations used to establish the floor and CAP rates, and additions/deletions of labor categories.
Additional labor categories MAY be added at the task order level without the express written consent of the FIRST PCO. However, the rates for the additional labor categories should be commensurate with the pricing methodology employed to establish the rates awarded with the basic contract. Contractors are required to highlight new labor categories and rates not listed within their AMCEIDIQ contracts when they are proposed against Task Order Requirements. New labor categories and rates may be requested for addition into the AMCEIQ contract after the third submission of that category in response to three different Task Order Requests.”