Big changes are coming to the world of IDIQ contract bids, thanks to the Trump Administration. On April 18, President Trump signed an executive order which will bring significant changes to how Federal contracts are given out, with a specific emphasis on “Buy American” initiatives.
The executive order calls for sweeping changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 25, which will eliminate a lot of loopholes in how contractors adhere to the Buy American Act (BAA).
Some of the main points covered in the EO include:
It’s important to keep in mind that Executive Orders cannot create law, but they can issue guidance to all relevant executive-branch agencies as well as to the Justice Department.
While some aspects of April 18 Executive Order could theoretically require Congressional action, it would be unwise to assume it will go unheeded. To the contrary, it’s likely that the Trump Administration will be tenacious in pursuing these Buy American goals, which still seem achievable.
Nothing will change immediately, and it’s likely that some time, at least a year, will pass before major changes begin to occur. None the less, now is the time for those seeking IDIQ contract opportunities to start making strategic shifts to begin to qualify.
Obviously, those contractors using primarily domestic sources will benefit greatly here. Those who are already comfortable in their domestic focus may want to start reaching out to their government contacts and making this known.
However, be prepared for extra scrutiny. It is extremely likely that these orders will be taken as a reason to pry into your procurement procedures, supply lines, and other aspects of your business. It is also likely that agencies will err in favor of strict interpretation of Buy American laws, even in gray areas where some leeway was previously allowed. When in doubt, attempt to reach out to your contacts for guidance or more information on how they interpret the Trump EO.