What is the better contracts vehicle in order to avoid a work stoppage while we propose and negotiate
Basic Ordering Agreements [BOAs] essentially set up an umbrella contractual ordering instrument establishing terms and conditions, a description of supplies or services to be provided, and methods of pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders under the BOA. It is not a contract. [see FAR 16.703(a)]. The general application of BOAs is in situations where you need to “expedite contracting for uncertain requirements for supplies or services when specific items, quantities, and prices are not known at the time the agreement is executed, but a substantial number of requirements for the type of supplies or services covered by the agreement are anticipated to be purchases from the contractor…” [FAR 16.703(b)].
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If there is no existing BOA in place for you to place an order against, you will have to establish the BOA first, which takes almost as long as setting up a standard supplies or services contract. So if you’re looking at saving time, a BOA will not provide that. If you do have an existing BOA in place, you will still have to go through the competition requirements [see FAR 16.703(d)(1)(i) – (iii)].
If you can extend your current contract with escalation for the new period, that is the much, much easier way administratively for both the contractor and you to proceed.
I would strongly recommend you consult with your legal staff for further advice in this situation.