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    The question is whether we can award follow-on Option periods to a select number of contractors but moreover, what reason do we need (if any) to support our decision. FAR 17.207 requires us to affirm a need continues to exist before exercising an option, so does it then follow we need to have a reason not to award an option? Can the reason be other than the status of our need (or lack thereof)? Can it be because say two of the four MAC contractors are having performance issues and we want them gone without an arduous T4C/D process? Can it be because we just want to administer two vice four contracts? Can be, well, just "because"? I note a similar question was asked and answered, but my question is more related to reasoning--as in will any reason do?


    Answer

    It is called an "option" because it is just that — the option of the Government to exercise or not. Of course it's best from a competition standpoint to not award options to underperforming suppliers, so if that is the primary reason, then great! There's also the concept of supply base optimization, which is the process of reducing the number of suppliers (based on rational criteria) in order to have a more efficient supply base. As long as your reason to award one or more options to certain suppliers and not to others is based on reasonable business judgment, and does not appear arbitrary or capricious, I don't foresee any problems.

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