How long can a government contract be?

Most contracts are awarded to meet ongoing requirements. Therefore, it makes sense to have a contract in place to cover that requirement at all times. However, is there a maximum length for those contracts? What is the “right” length of a federal government contract?

That can be a tricky question.

If the contract duration is too short – it’s a lot of work to recompete it often (i.e. every month is too short). But if the contract is too long, or is perpetual, then no new contractors have a chance to win it (i.e. a contract that is awarded every hundred years is unwinnable for nearly every company).

The solution lies between these two extremes.

In this episode, we explain the “standard” length of federal contracts. Plus, we outline why the “standard” is just that, a standard – not an absolute. There are exceptions of course.

In addition, we tackle the more important question of how long a contract SHOULD be. We explain some of the factors that impact the length of a contract and how to work through them.