By Brett Egusa, Senior Legal Editor at Thomson Reuters

Today we learned that the Federal Government has many unique and flexible contracting methods that it can use to fulfill special procurement needs. Under FAR 17.1 and 17.2, for example, we learn that the Government has the ability to enter into unique “multi-year” and “multiple year” contracts which allow it to enter into needed “long-term” contracts which if administered correctly result in lower costs, less administrative burden, substantial continuity of production and performance for both parties and a more stable workforce for the contractor. FAR 17.3 provides an understanding of leader company contracting which the Government can utilize to improve its source of supplies for specialized products and services, FAR Part 17.5 expounds on interagency contracting which provides the underpinning to today’s successful GWACS, MACs and GSA FSS contracts and directed acquisition services provided by agencies like the Department of Interior, and !7.6 explains the ins and outs of “management and operations” contracts and how government owned/contractor operated facilities can be established. FAR part 18 sets forth contracting flexibilities available generally when special circumstances present themselves, and in specific situations as determined by federal authorities. Knowing the methods and flexibilities discussed in FAR Part 17 and 18 help agencies meet their requirements quicker and allow contractors to position themselves to mitigate risk and better support their federal customers.