IDIQ is a U.S. federal government contracting acronym meaning indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity. This is a type of contract that provides for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a fixed period of time. The legal origin of IDIQ contracts is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), section 16.501(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 as either 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 the it will require during the contract period.
An IDIQ contract allows for a certain amount of contract process streamlining, as 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 frequently awarded by various U.S. government agencies, including the General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense. They 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.
For federal information technology contracts, the use of GWAC and IDIQ Multiple Award practices grew during and beyond the 1990s. Traditionally, products and services acquired via GSA-awarded contracts were resold by GSA throughout the federal government. For example, GSA resold long-distance telecommunications services, telephone equipment, and professional services, based on GSA IDIQ contracts with private-sector suppliers. Also, GSA oversaw information technology procurements conducted by other executive branch agencies. Each of those procurements was for use by the agency conducting the procurement. In the early 1990s, Information Resources Management Service commissioner Thomas J. Buckholtz proposed that GSA offer agencies opportunities to conduct their procurements so that all agencies could buy from the resulting contracts. By early 1993, twenty-four non-GSA projects were pursuing GWAC procurements. In 2006, a journalist estimated a total of $290 billion of then-current GWAC activity, including contracts still in use, procurements out to bid, and procurements being planned.
Portions of this text were taken from various U.S. Government websites, as referenced. As works of the U.S. Government, the text so taken is in the public domain.