DOD rule limits task-order contracts

A new rule limits Defense Department task-order contracts to five years with a provision to go to 10 years through option periods in the contract.

The final rule follows two interim rules that were published in 2004 and open to public comments. It implements provisions passed in the Defense Authorization acts of 2004 and 2005. Section 813 of the 2004 legislation limited task-order contracts to five years. Section 843 of the 2005 bill amended that to include the possibility of an optional extension to 10 years. The new rule opens the door for contracts to exceed 10 years if the agency’s leader authorizes it.

The rule applies to full and open competitions and not to purchases through the General Services Administration schedule or some other contract types.

One procurement expert who declined to be identified said the rule is the final stage of changes that have been under way since 2004. "The law change was significant," the expert said. "This is just the bureaucratic implementation."

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