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Contract vehicles and use of existing IT contracts

Are IDIQ contracts the only contract vehicle responsive enough to support the flexibility needed in Agile software development processes?

No. Contracts utilizing an Agile software development methodology may be used with any contract type, subject to limitations permitted by the contract vehicle (e.g., FAR Part 12).

OMB’s 2012 Contracting Guidance to Support Modular Development states that IDIQ contracts may be especially suitable for Agile software development because they provide a high level of acquisition responsiveness, provide flexibility, and accommodate the full spectrum of the system lifecycle that provide both development and operational products and services. However, there are other suitable arrangements. For example, BPAs may work with Agile software development using modular contracting methods. Additionally, stand-alone contracts or single award contracts may be used.

To avoid duplication, are agencies limited to only using existing enterprise-wide contracts for IT? What happens when existing contract vehicles do not provide for Agile software development services?

COs need to make a determination whether an existing contract vehicle supports Agile software development. If existing contract vehicles do not support Agile software development or have limitations, the CO is encouraged to use other contract vehicles.

Per FAR 8.002 and 8.004, agencies should be evaluating whether existing contract vehicles are suitable before creating new ones. Many agencies have established enterprise-wide contracts to reduce duplicative contract actions for a wide range of IT needs. That said, if a contract does not effectively support Agile software development (e.g., because contract holders do not have the requisite expertise with Agile software development processes, or other limitations on the contract vehicles), COs should follow agency procedures to document why the existing contract vehicle does not meet the particular requirements and why a new contract vehicle is necessary.

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