Is there any regulation, law, statute or case law, executive order or other regulation that prohibits the award of a FFP delivery order on an IDIQ contract prior to the first article testing being completed?
Generally, First Article testing (FAT) is conducted to ensure that the item(s) provided by the contractor meets the Government's technical requirements, see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 9.3. Awarding a delivery order before FAT is concluded puts additional risk on the Government which would need to be weighed against your need to obligate the funds. However, FAR 9.305 says that when Government requirements preclude this action (first article approval) the contracting officer may authorize the contractor to acquire materials or commence production to the extent essential to meet the delivery schedule. The Quality Assurance requirement of FAR 46.407 concerning nonconforming supplies should also be considered because without FAT approval items delivered may be nonconforming. This course of action should be coordinated with the requiring/technical activity and with your legal office.
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