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    For the upcoming recompete, we are exploring the use of a longer term contract (~8-10 years), and allowing the carriers to propose rates/annual escalation for years 1-5; and during year 5 we are looking at the possibility of having the carriers essentially re-propose rates and new annual escalation to go into effect during years 6 through 8 or 10. We would also like to have on-ramp/off-ramp language to allow new contractors to compete on NGDS and/or "opt-out". We recently completed a SAW whereby the instructor recommended we reach out to "DAU's Ask A Professor" for any insights you may have on setting up a contract with these conditions and period of performance. (e.g. Clauses, Language, or any other special considerations). Thank you!


    Answer

    Service acquisitions with longer periods of performance, particularly multiple award contracts, should have requirements written in such a way as to provide for maximum competition for orders throughout the life of the contract. One way to encourage competition is to provide for decision points (on and off ramps) to ensure that the Government has a qualified pool of contractors that will provide continuous service throughout the life of the contract. The determination regarding how to apply and use “on-ramp/off-ramp” provisions are at the discretion of the contracting agency.

    Since every requirement is unique to the contracting agency and its customer, “one size” does not fit all. To get a sense of the variety of “on-ramp/off-ramp” perspectives, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses, you should conduct a number of searches at https://sam.gov/search

    Using a variety of keywords (e.g., “on-ramp”) and controlling for “federal organization” and “status” will return several solicitations and contracts that you can mold into a template. As you develop the template solicit feedback from your customer, policy office and general counsel.

    For overviews of complex service contracts featuring on-ramps/off-ramps the following may be useful:

    Navy SeaPort: https://www.seaport.navy.mil/

    GSA OASIS: https://www.gsa.gov/buying-selling/products-services/professional-services/buy-services/oasis-and-oasis-small-business

    GSA OASIS presentation: https://interact.gsa.gov/sites/default/files/OASIS%20Year%20of%20the%20Onramp%208%28a%29%20focus%201.14.2019.pdf

    The guidane for contract length (period of performance) for DoD can be found at DFARS 217.204, we encourage you to review that with your contracting support team.

     

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