(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, agencies shall use firm-fixed-price contracts or fixed-price contracts with economic price adjustment for the acquisition of commercial items.
(b) (1) A time-and-materials contract or labor-hour contract (see Subpart 16.6) may be used for the acquisition of commercial services when-
(i) The service is acquired under a contract awarded using-
(A) Competitive procedures (e.g., the procedures in 6.102, the set-aside procedures in Subpart 19.5, or competition conducted in accordance with Part 13);
(B) The procedures for other than full and open competition in 6.3 provided the agency receives offers that satisfy the Government’s expressed requirement from two or more responsible offerors; or
(C) The fair opportunity procedures in 16.505, if placing an order under a multiple award delivery-order contract; and
(ii) The contracting officer-
(A) Executes a determination and finding (D&F) for the contract, in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section (but see paragraph (c) of this section for indefinite-delivery contracts), that no other contract type authorized by this subpart is suitable;
(B) Includes a ceiling price in the contract or order that the contractor exceeds at its own risk; and
(C) Authorizes any subsequent change in the ceiling price only upon a determination, documented in the contract file, that it is in the best interest of the procuring agency to change the ceiling price.
(2) Each D&F required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(A) of this section shall contain sufficient facts and rationale to justify that no other contract type authorized by this subpart is suitable. At a minimum, the D&F shall-
(i) Include a description of the market research conducted (see 10.002(e));
(ii) Establish that it is not possible at the time of placing the contract or order to accurately estimate the extent or duration of the work or to anticipate costs with any reasonable degree of certainty;
(iii) Establish that the requirement has been structured to maximize the use of firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment contracts (e.g., by limiting the value or length of the time-and-material/labor-hour contract or order; establishing fixed prices for portions of the requirement) on future acquisitions for the same or similar requirements; and
(iv) Describe actions planned to maximize the use of firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment contracts on future acquisitions for the same requirements.
(3) See 16.601(d)(1) for additional approval required for contracts expected to extend beyond three years.
(c) (1) Indefinite-delivery contracts (see Subpart 16.5) may be used when-
(i) The prices are established based on a firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment; or
(ii) Rates are established for commercial services acquired on a time-and-materials-or labor-hour basis.
(2) When an indefinite-delivery contract is awarded with services priced on a time-and-materials or labor-hour basis, contracting officers shall, to the maximum extent practicable, also structure the contract to allow issuance of orders on a firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment basis. For such contracts, the contracting officer shall execute the D&F required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section, for each order placed on a time-and-materials or labor-hour basis. Placement of orders shall be in accordance with Subpart 8.4 or 16.5, as applicable.
(3) If an indefinite-delivery contract only allows for the issuance of orders on a time-and-materials or labor-hour basis, the D&F required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be executed to support the basic contract and shall also explain why providing for an alternative firm-fixed-price or fixed-price with economic price adjustment pricing structure is not practicable. The D&F for this contract shall be approved one level above the contracting officer. Placement of orders shall be in accordance with Subpart 16.5.
(d) The contract types authorized by this subpart may be used in conjunction with an award fee and performance or delivery incentives when the award fee or incentive is based solely on factors other than cost (see 16.202-1 and 16.203-1).
(e) Use of any contract type other than those authorized by this subpart to acquire commercial items is prohibited.