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    1-Are there any limitations for ceiling increases? Should we have as long as we have a J&A? 2-For how long can we extend this contract? Should it be two years to stick to the FAR limitation of 5 years? Thanks ahead


    Answer

    1) Limitations on ceiling increases. This is really a scope and change (modification) issue. Surprisingly enough the FAR does not provide substantial guidance on how to conduct a scope determinition. Here's how I would deconstruct this.

    • FAR 6.101 mandates by incorprating 41 U.S.C. 3301 that contracting officers shall promote full and open compettion in soliciting offers and awarding contracts with certain limited exceptions.
    • FAR 6.001(c) provides one of those limited exceptions "contract modifications, that are within the scope of the contract..." bold italics added for emphasis.
    • So, in order to determine if that exception applies to your contract you must decide if the change you want to make (extending the contract length/period of performance) is within the scope. Unfortunately the FAR or any agency supplement will tell you how to do this. It is a two-pronged test that resulted from CICA that boards and courts use should their be a protest or dispute reaches their docket.
      • Step one: was the change reasonably contemplated prior to award. In your case; was it reasonable for the parties to assume the government might need to change/increase the contract length/period of performance. Note: this is highly subjective and requires a reveiw of all the facts and circumstances that existed at the time you awarded a contract from the BAA. If the answer is "No, it wasn't reasonable" then you would have to recompete or modify the contract using one of the statutory authorities at FAR 6.302 Circumstances permitting other than full and open competition because it would be a cardinal change (out of scope). If the answer is "Yes, it was reasonable", you proceed to step two.
      • Step Two: if it was known that the change would ultimately be made, would it have altered the field of original competition. This could mean different things (e.g. would someone else have submitted an offer, would someone who did submit an offer choose not to submit their offer, would offerors have proposed different pricing strategies, etc.) Again, this is highly subjective and depends on all facts and circumstances surrounding your BAA. If the answer is "Yes, it would have altered the field then you would have to recompete or modify the contract using one of the statutory authorities at FAR 6.302 Circumstances permitting other than full and open competition because, again, it would be a cardinal change (out of scope). If the answer is "No, it would not have altered the field of original competition" then you may make the change because it is within scope.

    2) You did not provide us enough information to provide a definitive answer. All I can say is that it appears you are bound to the 5 year rule for service contracts unless the contract that resulted from your BAA is for Advisory and Assistance Services in which case it would be 3 years. Among other citations see FAR part 17 and FAR 16.505 respectively. I can't provide more specific citation references due to the lack of information provided (e.g. multiyear contract, do you have options, is this an indefinite delivery contract, etc.).

    Note #1: I did review your Agency's FAR Supplement AIDAR and I did not see any statutory authorites for your agency to exceed these limitations.

    Note #2: The AAP site has a fantastic search capability. I quick search using terms such: as "5 years services", "extension", or "scope" would have instantly provided you similar answers to very similar questions. contract extensions and the limitations on length for service contracts are two of the most commonly asked questions. 

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