Is there a contract vehicle suited to incremental funding for supplies? We operate on reimbursable funding, sometimes we have to procure ice more than once a month. We are unable to pay for the whole year up front, and usually the month too. Would there be a contract type suited for this situation? Or could you recommend another method of procurement? Thank you for your assitance.
The following response is based solely on the question and background information provided. As we do not have all of the facts particular to your contract, program, and situation, we highly recommend you consult your Contracting Officer and Legal Office for guidance.
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There are "contract vehicles" suited to the situation you explain. For a commercial item (such as ice), where the dollar amount is likely below the simplified acquisition threshold, and the requirement is indefinite, vehicles such as Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) or Indefinite Delivery Contracts may be viable solutions.
See FAR 13.303 for the establishment and mechanics of BPAs. Your office may establish a BPA with a vendor or vendors that would include agreed-to pricing. Upon receiving a requirement, you would then place a call against the BPA (typically on a DD 1155). A call register could be leveraged to track items such as funding, lines of accounting, and expenditures. Multiple customers could use it, and because it is an "agreement", there is no contractually-enforced minimums, etc. the Government is bound to.
See FAR Subpart 16.5 for more information on Indefinite Delivery Contracts. If the Government does not know how much it wants of something, or when it will need it, either a Requirements contract or an Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract may work as appropriate vehicles. But, unlike BPAs, there is an obligation on the part of the Government for these - either a guarantee that the Government will get all its ice from that vendor (Requirements Contract), or that the Government will order a minimum amount (IDIQ).
Both BPAs and Indefinite Delivery Contracts, require a level of administration that you must ensure you possess the resources for. Consult your Contracting Officer for further details regarding administration requirements.
The cost or pricing arrangement placed upon any of these vehicles would be Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP), as FAR 12.207(a) specifies that acquisitions for commercial supplies can only be FFP or Fixed-Price with Economic Price Adjustment (FPEPA). To my knowledge, the procurement of ice doesn't meet the "application" standards for FPEPA found at FAR 16.203-2. Reference FAR 16.202 for a description and application of a FFP pricing arrangement.