Can delivery orders under an IDIQ contract be executed unilaterally and what gives the Contracting Officer the authority to do so?
A couple things come to mind. “Can you?” and “Should you?”
First, I can't find anywhere in FAR/DFARS/DFARS PGI that states you cannot issue orders unilaterally. The ordering clause 52.216-18 speaks to the gov't "issuing" orders using various methods. My interpretation is "issuing" orders is done unilaterally. In addition, DFARS PGI 213.307 states DD 1155 is authorized for use for orders placed IAW FAR 16.5. That form is generally used for unilateral contracts actions like purchase orders and IDIQ orders and is most often used unilaterally.
All that said, you need to ask yourself if it’s wise to issue a unilateral order w/o the contractor’s occurrence on the schedule UNLESS the specific schedule is already agreed to in the basic contract. If it’s not, at the minimum I’d get something in writing from the contractor that acknowledges/concurs with the schedule that’s about to come on the unilateral order or depending on that contractor’s past on time (or not) deliveries, do a bilateral agreement for the order in question. That way your covered.
As prescribed in 16.506(a), insert the following clause:
Ordering (Aug 2020)
(a) Any supplies and services to be furnished under this contract shall be ordered by issuance of delivery orders or task orders by the individuals or activities designated in the Schedule. Such orders may be issued from __________ through ____________ [insert dates].
(b) All delivery orders or task orders are subject to the terms and conditions of this contract . In the event of conflict between a delivery order or task order and this contract , the contract shall control.
(c) A delivery order or task order is considered "issued" when—
(1) If sent by mail (includes transmittal by U.S. mail or private delivery service), the Government deposits the order in the mail;
(2) If sent by fax, the Government transmits the order to the Contractor 's fax number; or
(3) If sent electronically, the Government either—
(i) Posts a copy of the delivery order or task order to a Government document access system, and notice is sent to the Contractor ; or
(ii) Distributes the delivery order or task order via email to the Contractor 's email address.
DFARS PGI 213.307 Forms. (Excerpt)
(B) The DD Form 1155 is also authorized for use for—
(1) Orders placed in accordance with FAR Subparts 8.4, 8.6, 8.7, and 16.5; and