How many times can 8 clause and/or use of DFARS subpart 217.74--UNDEFINITIZED CONTRACT ACTIONS (UCA) be used to prevent gap in service?
See the clauses and FAR references below to answer your question about the “-8” clause. You can exercise the option as frequently as you want, but all the exercises, together, cannot exceed 6 months. The other option you listed is to issue a letter contract, Undefinitized Contract Action. I am assuming that you want to use a UCA to go sole source with the current contractor while you wait for your “Service Contract Approval”. IMPORTANT - Nothing about using a UCA will allow you to go sole source to the current contractor. You still have to use FAR 6.3 reasons to go sole-source. You can use a UCA contract as often as needed, but I’m not sure how it solves your problem, unless your agency agrees to a FAR 6.3 exception.
52.217-8 -- Option to Extend Services.
As prescribed in 17.208(f), insert a clause substantially the same as the following:
Option to Extend Services (Nov 1999)
The Government may require continued performance of any services within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract. These rates may be adjusted only as a result of revisions to prevailing labor rates provided by the Secretary of Labor. The option provision may be exercised more than once, but the total extension of performance hereunder shall not exceed 6 months. The Contracting Officer may exercise the option by written notice to the Contractor within ______ [insert the period of time within which the Contracting Officer may exercise the option].
(End of Clause)
37.111 -- Extension of Services.
Award of contracts for recurring and continuing service requirements are often delayed due to circumstances beyond the control of contracting offices. Examples of circumstances causing such delays are bid protests and alleged mistakes in bid. In order to avoid negotiation of short extensions to existing contracts, the contracting officer may include an option clause (see 17.208(f)) in solicitations and contracts which will enable the Government to require continued performance of any services within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract. However, these rates may be adjusted only as a result of revisions to prevailing labor rates provided by the Secretary of Labor. The option provision may be exercised more than once, but the total extension of performance thereunder shall not exceed 6 months.
AFARS 5107.503 -- Policy.
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(e) Requiring officials must provide the contracting officer with a copy of the Request for Services Contract Approval form signed by an appropriate General Officer or Accountable member of the Senior Executive Service. Contracting officers shall not complete or sign the service contract approval form and shall not initiate any contract for service, or exercise an option , without an approved certification. The approval and completed worksheets shall be included in the official contract file. The accountable General Officer or Senior Executive may delegate certification authority for requirements valued less than $100,000 in accordance with Command policy. Contracting officers shall document the contract file with a copy of the Command policy before accepting a service contract approval that is signed below the General Officer/Senior Executive level.