What is an IDIQ?


It Started with Indefinite Delivery Contracts

Existing in federal procurement since 1981, and only recently making its way down to state and municipal levels, Indefinite Delivery (ID) contracting is a procurement mechanism designed to streamline the competitive bidding process for governmental owners.

Invented by the Department of Defense for use by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), ID contracts have been used routinely and effectively by the DOD for installation maintenance, minor repair, and construction projects since their inception in 1981. If the Indefinite Delivery contract covers the provisions of construction services, it is typically referred to as a “JOC,” or “Job Order Contract”. Contracts designed primarily for non-construction related services are referred to as “TOC,” or “Task Order Contracts”.

Three Types of ID Contracts

There are essentially three types of Indefinite Delivery contracts:

  • Definite Quantity Contracts,
  • Requirement Contracts, and
  • Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contracts.


What Is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract?

In contrast to Definite Quantity and Requirement Contracts, as defined by the Federal Acquisition Regulations, an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity or IDIQ contract provides for an indefinite quantity, within stated limits, of supplies or services to be furnished during a fixed period, with deliveries or performance to be scheduled by placing orders with the contractor. The legal origin of IDIQ contracts is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) section 16.504(a) (48 C.F.R. 16.504(a)).



IDIQ contracts are most often used for service contracts and Architect-Engineering (A-E) services. Awards are usually for base years as well as option years. The government places Delivery Orders (for supplies) or Task Orders (for services) against a basic contract for individual requirements. Minimum and maximum quantity limits are specified in the basic contract either as the number of units (for supplies) or as dollar values (for services). The government uses an IDIQ contract when it cannot predetermine, above a specified minimum, the precise quantities of supplies or services that it will require during the contract period.


An IDIQ contract allows for a certain amount of contract process streamlining, as post IDIQ contract award negotiations can be made only with the selected company (or companies), and such contracts are exempt from protest, per Federal Acquisition Regulations Subpart 33. IDIQ contracts are awarded by numerous U.S. government agencies, including the General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense. IDIQs can be in the form of multi-agency contracts under the Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) system, or they may be government agency-specific contracts.  


IDIQ Proposal Responses

The proposal requirements are usually more mechanical and require less new and creative content from your professional staff. Unless sample or actual task orders are a part of the IDIQ solicitation, there is minimal, if any, technical response or designated key personnel required. Past Performance and Previous Experience are generally one of the most important evaluation criteria, followed by the Management Plan (contract management, task order management, subcontractor management, and employee management including recruiting, training, and retention). Pricing is often quoted at a rate that allows for reduction at the Delivery Order or Task Order level.


Your chances of winning future business are increased tenfold if only 10 awardees are selected. You now only have to compete with 10 companies for task orders, some of which can total billions of dollars. Aggressive awardees know how to reduce competition for task orders to the point that there is often very little competition.


Do You Need to be on an IDIQ?

Very simply, Yes! You will be left out of billion dollar markets if you do not hold an IDIQ contract. Rainmaker is the IDIQ Expert idiqexpert.com