Are all follow on NIB/NISH service contracts non competitive direct awards? Once a contract has been awarded as an Ability One are all follow on contracts to be awarded to same contractor as direct award? Are there exceptions?
Ability One is a preference/priority program under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 8 (paragraph 8.002(a)(2). Since Ability One enjoys this preference by law, follow-on contracts are expected. The FAR allows that there may be instances where continuation of an order (contract) may not be prudent (reference FAR 8.705-4(c)). In those cases where the performance issues cannot be resolved, the Committee for Purchase must approve transfer to a commercial source (reference FAR 8.705-4(d)). If we combine the information above, we must conclude that once the Ability One provider is in place and performing satisfactorily his contract should continue as a direct award for the follow-on.