Job order contracting (JOC) is a collaborative construction project delivery method that enables organizations to get numerous, commonly encountered construction projects done quickly and easily through IDIQ or multi-year umbrella contracts. JOC reduces unnecessary levels of engineering, design, and contract procurement time along with construction project procurement costs by awarding long-term contracts for a wide variety of renovation, repair and construction projects. These contracts are often referred to as IDIQ contracts in the federal government.
With an emphasis on partnering and teamwork between owners and contractors, JOC provides the methodology to execute a wide variety of minor construction and maintenance projects indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, fixed-price, multiple simultaneous orders for renovation, rehabilitation and repair work for large facilities and infrastructures.
JOC contractors are selected on qualifications and performance as a best value procurement, lowest responsive and responsible bidder, or a combination of both depending on local, state or federal statutes. JOC is about performance, reliability, dependability and quality. At the same time, JOC is about results and working within budget and time constraints. The JOC contractor provides "on call" construction services from concept to close-out.
JOC today has more than a 25-year record of implementation within the United States Department of Defense. Currently, there are hundreds of successful contracts going by the JOC name or by its counterparts of delivery order contracting (DOC), task order contracting (TOC) and simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements (SABER).
JOC deployment hasn’t remained solely federal. The JOC concept and principles have been further embraced in all areas of publicly funded state facilities, universities, housing authorities, transportation agencies, and school systems.
A major element of the JOC contracting process is the use of a unit price book (UPB) or list, which provides preset costs for specific construction tasks. The unit price book can cover nearly every construction, repair or maintenance task, whether it's minor renovation projects or recurring projects like bathroom renovations, installing carpeting, replacing windows or doors, or even painting, the pricing is developed from the line items in the unit price book or list . If a task is not in the UPB, it can be negotiated, priced and added at any time to the book via addendum.
Contractors can be selected based on best-value or most qualified competitive bid, depending upon the owner's requirements. As part of its proposal, or bid, the contractor submits a coefficient (a multiplier) to be applied to the preset unit prices appearing in the UPB or list unless specified otherwise. The coefficient must include not only the contractor's overhead and profit, but also any adjustment that may be needed to the UPB based on the contractor's costs in the local area of the contract (which are functions of labor costs, subcontractor base, market conditions and client-specific terms and conditions).
After contract award, and during the course of the contract, the coefficient will be used to calculate the price for each project which will be the preset unit prices multiplied by the quantity multiplied by the coefficient.
JOC contracts don’t define actual, individual jobs but normally award a potential maximum amount of work over an annual term. For example, a contract may have an annual maximum of $5 million or more but only a minimum guaranteed amount such as $35,000. As a result, the JOC contractor is not guaranteed any specific volume of work and this drives it to generate the best performance possible.
For each project, the owner and the contractor follow the same five steps: (1) Conduct a joint scope meeting at the site to review and discuss the work and the construction schedule; (2) prepare a detailed scope of work; (3) contractor prepares a price proposal via an automated software platform that uses unit prices from the UPB, quantities, and coefficient, and submits a proposed construction schedule, list of subcontractors and other documents required by the owner; (4) owner reviews price proposal/estimate to make sure the right tasks and quantities were used; (5) if owner is satisfied with price, schedule, subcontractors, etc. owner may issue work order for the project. The process is transparent and efficient when implemented correctly.
This relationship carries with it a strong motivation for the JOC contractor to provide outstanding service and quality work to receive additional work orders, because the amount of work being assigned by the facility owner or manager is based on the JOC contractor's performance. The agreement should also foster increased communication between the contractor and owner to enhance the partnership aspect of the JOC contract because JOC is the originating collaborative project delivery method.
A JOC contract follows certain procedures leading to an agreement focusing on achieving good work performance and reasonable costs. Among the procedures leading to the formalization of a JOC contract are the following items and provisions:
The major advantages of job order contracting include:
Top-performing JOC contractors achieve a high percentage rate for completion of projects on time and on budget. Also, the JOC process provides for a single contract to be used for the delivery of multiple or repeated work orders without having to re-bid the same work as required in other commonly used delivery systems. It allows for back and forth communication and development efforts throughout a project. This differs greatly from the traditional delivery method of design–bid–build. JOC provides the greatest advantage in situations involving recurring work when delivery times, type of work and quantity of work are indefinite. While JOC is not used for major new construction, it is best for straight-forward construction, adjustments, renovation, repair and maintenance of facilities and infrastructures.
Other advantages include:
It is legal to use job order contracting when a project is funded, in whole or in part, with Federal Funds. The federal government uses the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to regulate acquisitions. Job Order Contracting is covered in the FAR in three key areas:
JOC is a firm fixed-price, indefinite quantity contract that is competitively procured. JOC is ideally suited to accomplish facilities projects because it expedites the procurement process, saves money and is completely transparent.
"Competitive JOCs"-Poor Practice? The practice of awarding more than one JOC contract for one location and then bidding the contractors against each other on each job order. Owners have the idea that if two contractors compete against one another, they will get a better price. The way to avoid the problem of only having one JOC contractor is to award multiple JOC's each having their own defined geographical boundaries or award work based on a rotation. The work in a particular boundary will always go to the JOC contractor awarded that geographical area unless that contractor is failing to perform or is over committed. In that case the work could be given to another JOC contractor in an adjacent region. The goal is to never compete two JOC contractors on an individual project since they are using the same unit price book.
Attempting to compete multiple contractors on a JOC project is motivated by the following reasons:
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