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    Should a Requirements contract with CLINs utilizing BEQs (Best Estimated Quantities) be modified if the total amount of orders eclipses ordering estimates?


    FAR 16.503(a)(1) directs the contracting officer to state a realistic estimated total quantity in the solicitation and resulting requirements type contract. The contracting officer may obtain the estimate from records of previous requirements and consumption, or by other means, and should base the estimate on the most current information available.  Best would be to present the realistic estimated total quantity at the time of solicitation in order to avoid potential basis of competition issues in full and open competitive scenarios (FAR 15.206(d) and FAR 15.206(e)) and exceeding the scope of a justification and approval (J&A) in other than full and open competition situations (FAR 6.303-2(b)(3). Contracting officers may want to address the potential impact of FAR Part 6 competition requirements and FAR Part 5 publicizing requirements when modifying existing requirements contracts.
    Beyond the challenges of causing administrative re-work within your organization, as indicated with internal clearances, reviews, congressional notifications, etc., the potential for costly and time consuming protest increases the farther away from reality the estimated requirements drift. FAR 16.503(a)(1) does provide allowance for unusual circumstances causing the government to exceed or underrun estimates but a plain reading of the regulation leads to the acknowledgement that such deviation should be "unusual" and not regular events. If the unusual becomes regular, the estimate should be adjusted to reflect the new normal.

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