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When a purchase order is actually a delivery/task order, does anyone notice?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013

This could be interesting.

So I had just finished giving a reporter grief about what I saw as an insufficient and misguided attempt to find wrongdoing in the government contracting process. The reporter was talking about sole source announcements on, and how they did not disclose what he thought should have been disclosed, like pricing or more detailed reasons. I agreed that there might be wrongdoing going on somewhere in government contracting, but to my knowledge that weren't it!

Then this happened.Let me preface my comments by saying I hope this is nothing and more importantly, I hope I am wrong, but I don't feel like I am. As I have done previously, I invite any of the acquisition and contracting professionals out there to help me understand why I am right, but hopefully wrong.

Here's the deal. I was doing my customary research for some members when I discovered notes attached to some agency buys that did not seem to fit based on what they described and what research I was doing. Specifically, I was researching current year purchase order spending at the contracting office level. In basic terms, a purchase order is an instrument used by government agencies to procure supplies and services. The resulting purchase is considered "open market" because it is not an award against a GSA Schedule, and when accepted by the supplier, it is considered a standalone contract because it does not require the use of an established indefinite delivery vehicle (IDV) such as the GSA Schedule, a Blanket Purchase Agreement, Governmentwide Acquisition Contract or other Indefinite Delivery Contract (IDC). Additionally, when a purchase order transaction is submitted to FPDS-NG there is only one contract number referenced, the Procurement Instrument Identifier or PIID.

Conversely, a delivery (goods) or task (services) order is an award placed against an established indefinite delivery vehicle. When submitted to FPDS-NG, it creates a record that includes a PIID and a field for a Referenced IDV number, the contract number for the associated GSA Schedule, BPA, GWAC or other IDC.As I am reminded by very well-read and practiced acquisition professionals, a purchase order has its own terms and conditions whereas a delivery/task order will inherit the T's & C's from its parent contract.

I say all of this to lead into the fact that I found $10 million dollars worth of FY13 purchase orders that were actually delivery and task orders against established IDIQ contracts. Not only was the specified award type a purchase order, there was no 'Referenced IDV' associated with the transactions.

Here's hoping an 1102 will help me understand how this could be.


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Tags:  delivery order  IDV  indefinite delivery vehicle  purchase order  standalone contract  task order 

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