Government Contracts FAR Rule on Indefinite-Delivery Contract Ombudsman
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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

FAR Rule on Indefinite-Delivery Contract Ombudsman

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council have issued Federal Acquisition Circular 2019-04, which contains two final rules amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Item I, Ombudsman for Indefinite-Delivery Contracts (FAR Case 2017-020), goes into effect September 6, 2019. Item II, Technical Amendments, which makes needed editorial changes to FAR 1.201-1 and FAR 52.246-21, went into effect August 7, 2019. The FAC also contains a Small Entity Compliance Guide. For the text of FAC 2019-04, see ¶70,002.209.

Statutory Requirement. The FAR Case 2017-020 rule implements a new clause for use in multiple-award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to provide information on the task- and delivery-order ombudsman. 10 USC 2304c and 41 USC 4106 require agencies to appoint or designate an ombudsman who is responsible for reviewing complaints from contractors and ensuring that all contractors are afforded a fair opportunity to be considered for the award of an order, consistent with the procedures in the contract. The rule implements a standardized method to provide ombudsman information to contractors via a single contract clause for use by all agencies.

New Clause. This rule revises FAR 16.506 to add a prescription that requires the use of a new contract clause, FAR 52.216-32, Task-Order and Delivery-Order Ombudsman. The clause provides contact information for the agency ombudsman, outlines the responsibilities of the ombudsman, and explains that contacting the ombudsman does not alter the timelines for other FAR processes. The clause’s Alternate I explains that complaints from contractors concerning orders placed under multi-agency contracts are primarily reviewed by the task- and delivery-order ombudsman for the ordering agency. The alternate also provides the offeror with the contact information for the ordering agency’s ombudsman. The rule makes a corresponding technical change at FAR 16.504. The final rule made no changes to the proposed rule (¶70,006.333).

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