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How to Use SPARC

SPARC is an IDIQ contract vehicle that provides a refined pool of highly qualified partners. Work will be detailed in individual task orders. Task orders are then competed amongst the partners. By using these pre-qualified partners, the SPARC procurement timeline is shortened and more flexible compared to a full and open competition. Customers have the additional advantages of reduced paperwork, cost-effective rates, and competitive bids on each task order solicited.


SPARC Contacts

  • CMS customers should reach out to their respective Office of Acquisitions and Grant Management (OAGM) counterparts
          (Contracting Officer-CO, Contract Specialist-CS)
  • HHS Operational Divisions should contact their respective contract shop


Creating a SPARC Task Order

Graphic depiction of the 5 stage process for opening a task order under SPARC.

Planning and Documentation

As a SPARC customer, it is your responsibility to plan and document your task order. The pace of planning each task order is under your control. Planning the acquisition includes defining requirements, determining the budget, and developing the solicitation documentation. While planning your task order, in conjunction with your Contracting Officer, determine the contract type and type of competition you’d like to employ for your task order.Market research must be conducted for all unrestricted task orders.

Required Documentation

See the links and downloads at the bottom of this page for tools and templates to get started

  • Statement of Work or Statement of Objectives
  • Independent Government Cost Estimates
  • Acquisition Plan or Simple Acquisition Plan
  • Sources Sought
  • COR Certificate

Task Order Contract Type

SPARC includes provisions for various pricing arrangements including, but not limited to:

  • cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF), 
  • cost-plus-award-fee (CPAF), 
  • cost-plus-incentive (CPI), 
  • firm-fixed-price (FFP),
  • firm-fixed-price-award-fee (FFPAF), 
  • fixed-price-incentive (FPI), 
  • time-and-materials (T&M) and 
  • labor-hour (LH).

Competition Type

The IDIQ contract is divided into 2 pools, a small business pool and an unrestricted pool, so that a portion of the tasks can be reserved for small business participation.

  • Unrestricted – all vendors can bid 
  • Restricted – only small business vendors may bid
  • Small Business set aside – set aside for specific small business socioeconomic categories 
  • Sole Source – possible with 8(a), under 4 million

Note: CMS will conduct small business sources sought notices and assessments for all task orders not unilaterally set aside for small business by the task order Contracting Officer (CO).  For any unrestricted task orders, the task order CO will include the Small Business Participation element as an evaluation factor for large business contractors.


Once OAGM has approved all necessary documents, the solicitation can be issued on SPARC. This process will take approximately 30 – 45 days and includes fielding questions from SPARC partners, receiving notices of intent, and proposal submission.

Proposal Evaluation

After proposals are submitted, the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) convenes and reviews proposals.


Once the TEP completes evaluation of the proposals, OAGM will issue the award for the Task Order.


Following the award, OAGM and the customer will conduct kick-off the selected partner(s). As a best practice, ensure motivation of SPARC partners by periodically reviewing performance and submitting to OAGM.

Additional Information

Additional information as to the specific process for initiating the task order process can be found on the Task Order Procurement Guide.  For other questions review the Frequently Asked Questions.

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