Can I leverage off a contract that aligns with our statement of work? Is contract shopping still allowed?
“Contract shopping” is still allowed and it seems that you MAY have found a potential contract to leverage off of that would fill your need. I say MAY because there are a couple of things to be aware of. First, the contract that you want to use has to align with your scope of work. Second, there must be space under that contract’s ceiling to accommodate the added work that you want to put on. And finally, both the contracting official who is in charge of the contract that you want to use and your contracting officials have to approve your use of that contract for your requirement.
Open full Question Details
It appears that you have covered the first issue when you state, “We have found a contract vehicle that aligns to the scope of work of what we do.” In addition, I will make the assumption (although we all know how dangerous that can be) that the contract you have found has sufficient ceiling space remaining to allow you to put the work you need done on it. So, that only leaves the third issue. The contracting official who is in charge of the contract that you want to use has to approve your use of that contract for your requirement. There is nothing that I can find that leads me to believe that you will be able to “force” the contracting official to allow it if they do not want to. Although, it might be possible to appeal to the contracting official’s chain-of-command and have them “force” the contracting official to allow it.
You have to recognize that there are legitimate reasons why the contracting official may not want to allow your use of their contract vehicle. They may not be comfortable that your scope of work aligns with their contract vehicle. They may know of additional requirements that are coming that will use the remaining ceiling space on the vehicle. The may have previous history with other organizations that have soured them on allowing the use of their contract by anyone other than their organization. It is possible that they may have direction from their chain-of-command that they are not allowed to let anyone else use their contract vehicle. Likewise, your contracting chain-of-command may have restrictions are you going out and using another contract vehicle.
Summary: As long as these three issues have been resolved, I see no reason why you could not leverage off another contract to fund a vendor that you need to do work for you.
Suggestion: Since your email address indicates that you are assigned to a Navy organization, we most strongly recommend that you contact both your local Navy comptroller and contracting organizations for more information and their policy interpretation of this issue.