Friday, October 29, 2010

Continuation of Essential Contractor Services

DoD has amended the DFARS (the DoD FAR Supplement) to require contractors, that provide essential contractor services (as determined by the requiring activity) be prepared to continue such services during periods of crisis. The requirement will be mandatory in contracts awarded after October 29, 2010 but can be added to existing contracts with "appropriate consideration".

This rule is necessary to ensure that essential contractor services are not interrupted. According to DoD, the current changing threat environment, particularly under the additional challenges caused by such potential crises as destructive weather, earthquakes, or pandemic disease, has increased the need for continuity of operations capabilities and plans that enable agencies to continue their essential functions during a broad range of emergencies and crises.

DoD established this requirement for contractors to submit their plans to ensure continuation of essential contractor services that support mission-essential functions during a crisis situation. As a general rule, the designation of services as essential contractor services will not apply to an entire contract but will apply only to those service function(s) that have been specifically identified as essential contractor services by the functional commander or civilian equivalent.

DFARS 252.237-7024, Notice of Continuation of Essential Contractor Services, to require the submission of the plan as part of the offeror's proposal. The associate provision prescription is added at 237.7603. The contractor's continuity of essential services plan shall be considered and evaluated as part of the technical evaluation of offers. The functional managers of the services will most likely be consulted to determine the sufficiency of these plans. The contractor's Mission-Essential Contractor Services Plan, in the resultant contract, will remain active in accordance with the clause at DFARS 252.237-7023, Continuation of Essential Contractor Services.

Equitable Adjustment. If costs increase due to the continuation of services during an event that would create an excusable delay, contractors should be entitled to an equitable adjustment to the terms of the contract.

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