Contracts & Legal

Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA)

A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) (FAR 16.703) is a written instrument of understanding negotiated between an agency or contracting activity and a contractor. A BOA may be used to expedite contracting for uncertain supplies or services when specific items, quantities, and prices are not known at the time of agreement is executed, but a substantial number of requirements are anticipated to be purchased from the contractor. A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) is NOT a contract.

Definition: A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) is a written agreement that contains pre-negotiated contract conditions applicable to future procurements between the parties during the agreement’s term. It consists of a description of the product or service and the procedure for establishing pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders.

Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) Required Content

Each basic ordering agreement shall: [2]

  • Describe the method for determining prices to be paid to the contractor for the supplies or services;
  • A description of supplies and services to be provided;
  • Include delivery terms and conditions or specify how they will be determined;
  • List one or more Government activities authorized to issue orders under the agreement;
  • Specify the point at which each order becomes a binding contract (e.g., issuance of the order, acceptance of the order in a specified manner, or failure to reject the order within a specified number of days);
  • Provide that failure to reach an agreement on a price for any order issued before its price is established is a dispute under the Disputes clause included in the basic ordering agreement;
  • Contract clauses apply to future contracts between the parties during their term;
  • Contemplates separate future contracts incorporating the required and applicable clauses agreed upon in the basic ordering agreement by reference or attachment;
  • If fast payment procedures will apply to orders, including the special data required by FAR 13.403

Why use a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA)

The main reasons a contracting officer or program manager should use a BOA is to: [1]

  •  Expedite contracting for uncertain requirements when specific quantities and prices are not known at the time of execution of the agreement.
  • A substantial number of requirements for the type of supplies or services covered by the agreement are anticipated to be purchased.
  • Procedures can result in economies and reduce administrative lead-time

Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) Requirements

When placing orders issued under a BOA, the Contracting Officer should: [1]

  • Issue orders for required supplies or services covered by the BOA after the competition
  • Ensure the use of the BOA is not prejudicial to other offers if the order is placed after the competition
  • Must describe pricing methodology.
  • Include shipping terms and conditions.
  • List one or more authorized government agencies and specify when each order becomes a legally enforceable contract.
  • Signs or obtains any applicable justifications and approvals, and any determination and findings, and complies with other requirements as if the order were a contract awarded independently of the BOA
  • Issue orders on appropriate contractual instruments
  • Incorporate by reference the provisions of the BOA
  • Cite the applicable FAR authority for requirements not competed
  • Comply with FAR synopsis requirements
  • Neither make any final commitment nor authorize the contractor to begin work on an order until prices have been established

Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA) Restrictions

  • Not permitted to mention or suggest future orders
  • Not to be used to hinder competition.
  • Neither make any final commitment nor authorize the contractor to begin work on an order until prices have been established
  • Under the Disputes provision, failure to obtain agreement on price for any order issued before pricing is fixed constitutes a disagreement.
  • The Contracting officer shall not authorize the contractor to commence work on an order under a BOA until prices have been established unless the order establishes a pricing ceiling and identifies pricing procedures, or there is an urgent and compelling government need.

Difference Between Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) vs. Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)

The main difference between a BOA and a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is that BPA establishes “charge accounts” with qualified contractors with a predetermined price list. A BOA on the other hand describes the method for determining prices to be paid to the contractor for the supplies or services. The prices will actually be determined prior to the contract award through the described method.

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Updated: 8/6/2023

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