Project Management

Throughput Yield of Staffing for IDIQ Task Order Contracts

Mark E. Salesky

"IDIQ  stands for “Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity.” The U.S. Federal Government increasingly uses this form of contract to procure goods and services. IDIQ contracts are not new — both the government and industry have long used this type of undefinitized contract for recurring requirements, typically for commodities that are ordered from a pre-approved price list. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has used blanket purchase orders for decades for commodities; they have been very useful and popular with vendors, because they reduce the lead time and administrative costs of individual contracts. Business-to-business commerce uses open contracts for many activities, such as retail consumer items. For example, a vendor replenishes a point-of-sale beverage cooler with product and bills the storeowner with pre-established terms and pricing.

In the last decade, the federal government has refined its method to use IDIQs for services of all types, from janitorial work to highly advanced scientific support. Not unexpectedly, the U.S. Defense Department leads the way with volume and scope. Other federal agencies have followed rapidly. IDIQ services contracts convey real advantages for the government; somewhat less so for industry. But for certain, IDIQ contracts are favored by the U.S. Federal Government and, like it or not, …


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