Handle contract modifications
There are two common types of contract modifications that you may encounter:
- Unilateral modifications: These are modifications proposed by you or the government, which do not materially affect the terms of the contract or are specifically authorized by the contract.
- Bilateral modifications: These are modifications proposed by you or the government, which do materially affect the terms of the contract.
Whether your contract is renewed or extended as a unilateral or bilateral modification depends on a number of factors (described below).
Though you may have proposed it, a unilateral modification only needs to be signed by the contracting officer, and notification provided to you, for it to go into effect. A unilateral modification (change order) may be used to:
- Make administrative changes
- Issue change orders under a contract change or other clause
- Issue a termination notice
Are you a Schedule holder? Then you may request modifications to your contract using eMod.
Bilateral modifications proposed by either you or the government must be signed by your authorized representative and the government contracting officer. Examples of bilateral modifications you might request include:
- A request for contracting officer confirmation of a constructive change
- A request for an equitable adjustment in response to a unilateral contract modification by the contracting officer
- A proposal to modify contract requirements based on a change in the acquisition situation (e.g., a required supply is no longer available)
- A value-engineering proposal
When proposing a modification, provide the contracting officer with:
- Relevant technical information
- Relevant cost or pricing data
- Any other information that is requested or will assist them in evaluating your proposal
Be prepared to conduct negotiations with the contracting officer. If an agreement is reached, the contracting officer will issue a bilateral modification. If agreement can't be reached, the contracting officer may issue a unilateral change, which you have the right to pursue a claim against under your contract’s disputes clause.
Renewals and extensions are typically handled through the use of one or more options. Contracts are awarded with any options already included. Normally, the contracting officer will exercise an option, if there are no material changes affecting the terms of the contract, using a unilateral modification. However, for service contracts, the contracting officer must provide you with a preliminary written notice of the government’s intention to exercise the option at least sixty calendar days before the established start date of the option. If they fail to do so, then a bilateral modification is required.
Additional renewal information for Schedule holders
- If you’ve met your sales minimum and remain in good standing, you’ll be given the opportunity to renew/exercise the option to extend the term of your contract through the Option Process Ensuring iNtegrity (OPEN) process.
- If you let your contract expire, it cannot be reinstated. You must submit a new offer.
- If you do not wish to renew your contract, the notification of renewal provides instructions for declining the offer.