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This short piece discusses recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) data chronicling an increase in the Defense Department's reliance on indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (or IDIQ) contracts. The data also indicates that, despite the clearly established preference for multiple awards, about three-quarters of the IDIQ awards made by DoD were to a single contractor, rather than multiple contractors.

Based on GAO's data, the essay describes the dramatic difference between current IDIQ practice and the process described in the the regulations, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the supplemental regulations promulgated by DoD (including the DFARS and the PGI).

The essay concludes with two modest suggestions: first, that Congress, OFPP, the FAR Council, the 809 Panel, or all of the above, would be well served by putting some thought into reorganizing or redesigning the FAR to better reflect modern practice. Second, Congress or the FAR Council could raise the bar and mandate more meaningful impediments to single-award IDIQ’s.

GW Paper Series

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2018-38; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-38

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