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  • Question

    Since services and products that are set-aside under the Ability One program remain in the Ability One, can an Ability One contract be extended beyond five years for another base in five years with a J&A


    Answer

    Assuming a J&A was written for the original contract, it should have used the authority at 6.302-5 which allows for other than full and open competition based on the statute which supports the use of Ability One or Federal Prison Industries.  The J&A justifies the procurement source, i.e. Ability One.  It is not intended to support or justify the length of the contract.  Contract length limitations are identified in FAR 17.204(e) and supplemented at DFARS 217.204(e)(i).  The limitation is generally five years but can go up to 10 years with higher level approval.

    If you desire to add options, you will need to follow the same processes you would in awarding a new contract, such as ensuring the products and services are still on the procurement list, that they can't be bought from FPI, you will need to update the pricing and any other terms and conditions that have changed since award of the original contract.  You will also need to have a new J&A approved and you will need to seek higher level authority to go beyond the five year limitations, in accordance with the FAR, DFARS and your agency procedures.  So while it is feasible, it is probably not any less work than a new contract.  A new contract will also allow quicker close out of the current contract.

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