2017 NDAA Requires Report on Indefinite Delivery Contracts

Congress is taking a hard look at how to promote increased competition in federal contracting.

Among the provisions in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act is a requirement for the GAO to prepare a report on how the DoD enters into and uses indefinite delivery contracts–and recommendations for changes to promote competition with respect to indefinite delivery contracts.

Section 886 of the 2017 NDAA calls for the GAO to study indefinite delivery contracts entered into by the DoD in Fiscal Years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The GAO is then to prepare and submit a detailed report to Congress.

The report is to address five discrete topics. Of these, two are informational requests for data on the number and value of indefinite delivery contracts awarded by the Department of Defense. More interesting are the remaining three categories.

First, the report is to provide a comprehensive review of the DoD’s policies for entering into indefinite delivery contracts, including a discussion of what guidance, if any, DoD contracting officers are given regarding “the appropriate number of vendors that should receive multiple award indefinite delivery contracts.”

Second, the report is to include specific case studies of indefinite delivery contracts. These studies are to specifically address “whether any such contracts may have limited future opportunities for competition for the services or items required.”

Finally, the report is to provide guidance and recommendations for revising existing laws, regulations and guidance to enhance competition with respect to indefinite delivery contracts.

The report is to be submitted to Congress no later than March 31, 2018.

The report is part of the 2017 NDAA’s broader focus on enhancing competition, which includes (among other things) additional restrictions on using “brand name or equivalent” specifications and a review of DoD contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned contractors. The report should make for interesting reading when it arrives in 2018.

President Obama signed the 2017 NDAA into law on December 23, 2016.