It seems that the tides have turned in the Government contracting world firmly in the direction of IDIQs and GSA/VA schedules. If you are the Government, it is hard to imagine why it would not be the case. Instead of a lengthy 12-18 months procurement process, the Government can award a contract in two to four months, reducing risk of protest. In addition, the budget approval and end of the fiscal year window shrinking, it is hard to imagine that anything will change any time soon.
IDIQs are tricky; however, getting on an IDIQ vehicle is like getting on a bus with no available seats. You only make money if you compete for, and get a seat (e.g. a task order). Furthermore, if you are waiting, looking for an opportunity for a seat that is in your preferred color, shape, size, and distance to where you stand, you are losing your chances at getting a seat on this bus ever. In other words, your chances of getting a task order diminish exponent ially the longer you don’t compete and don’t win. The reason is simple: those who act quickly will acquire the most relevant past performance on this specific IDIQ, rather than other past performance references that are less relevant (and will score lower). Therefore, waiting to bid and being picky is counterproductive and puts you at a disadvantage.
Here are some facts about IDIQs:
- You shouldn’t be as picky about qualifying task orders as you would regular contracts because of how difficult it becomes to recover once your competitors win a few task orders and you don’t
- No, you still have chances of winning a task order even if you didn’t “carry the work” to the vehicle – despite a popular belief to the contrary
- Yes, you have to do capture rather than reacting and trying to write a task order response once the TORFP drops – and yes, there are very specific ways to get ahead on an IDIQ and “crack its code”