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    Are CPIF type contracts typically successful for high risk R&D type efforts? If some of the efforts will be O&M, and some R&D (both moderate and high risk), what is the best contract type for the main award? Can I use different contract types for the different individual task orders? Can you steer me toward some examples of successful CPIF contracts for R&D type work? Thanks for you assistance. Lee Ann Backes


    Answer

    It's very difficult for anyone to answer with authority whether a specific contract type is "typically successful" for a given Government requirement. It's easier to say if a contract type is not appropriate for a requirement. The requirement at FAR 16.103(d)(1) places the responsibility for the selection and documentation of the negotiated contract type on the contracting officer, so it's an important consideration.

    A FFP-Level of Effort contract would be suitable for R&D work (FAR 16.207-2) if the primary requirement is a report on the results of the R&D. Cost-plus-fixed fee types are also prescribed for R&D efforts, but they are not highly encouraged due to the cost risk placed on the Government. While a CPIF contract is not prohibited for R&D efforts, R&D is not provided as a specific example of appropriate CPIF application, as the FAR does for FFP-LOE and CPFF contract types. However, if the contractor agrees to a CPIF, it could be considered preferable to a CPFF contract due to the lower cost risk for the Government. DFARS PGI 216.1 also provides guidance on selecting contract types, specifically for R&D efforts. Different contract types can be used for different efforts/task orders by assigning the different types at CLIN-level. The "overall" contract type would be considered the type that is used for the largest portion of the planned funding. 

    I am also referring you to another AAP question/response relevant to your situation at this link. Finally, an individual in the Army who worked on an R&D contract that used a CPIF contract type submitted an AAP question earlier this year That person may be able to provide an example of a CPIF contract for R&D, or refer you to someone who can. Their email address is lesa.a.valleroy@us.army.mil.

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