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  • Question

    Would a contract for abestos abatement be considered a "service" or "construction."


    Answer

    There are at least two related but separate issues in the customer request to add asbestos abatement to the lab testing contract.
     
    The first issue is a scope determination. Should a lab testing contract be modified to add asbestos abatement?? The scope of the contract is determined, at least in part, by the original intent of the two parties signing the contract. In addition, you probably have a Competition in Contracting Act scope determination in this instance as well. Asbestos abatement was not included in the original solicitation, therefore, other potential contractors may have proposed competitively on the requirement if abatement  had been included. The current contractor may have priced the proposal very differently or not proposed at all if asbestos abatement had been included in the original solicitation.
     
    The new requirement for asbestos abatement does not appear to be within the scope or original intent of the current lab testing contract.
     
    Asbestos abatement - service or construction?  Based on the limited information provided, the question is difficult to answer definitively. Construction is defined in FAR 2.101 and a services contract is defined in FAR 37.101. Asbestos abatement appears to be more closely aligned  with the definition of a service contract. A service contract directly engages the time and effort of a contractor whose primary purpose is to perform an identifiable task. Construction means construction, alteration, or repair of buildings, structures, or other real property.
     
    The category you include the requirement in must be determined after reading the new requirement in total and not based on two words, "asbestos abatement". However, this requirement does appear to be a service rather than construction.
     

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