How to Use SPARC:

How to Use SPARC:

This section of the SPARC website as an agile guide for using the SPARC IDIQ and provides high level instructions for issuing a Task Order (TO).  SPARC customers should contact their respective Contracting Officer (CO) and Contract Specialist (CS) for specific instructions.

General Policy for Issuing a Task Order

CMS requires new efforts to be competed among the SPARC partners with the exception of Task Orders (TO) meeting the exceptions for Fair Opportunity described in FAR 16.  

The requesting business unit should utilize lean methodologies and the United States Digital Services (USDS) playbook guidance to maximize the use of agile contracting best practices (

Tech FAR handbook:


SPARC Task Order/Contract Types (CMS/HHS)

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 (FPAF)
  • Fixed-Price-Incentive (FPI)
  • Time-and-Materials (T&M)
  • Labor-Hour (LH)


SPARC Types of Competition

SPARC utilizes various competition types for awarding work to contractors in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The SPARC IDIQ contract is divided into two pools, a small business pool and an unrestricted pool. The competition types are listed below along with the limitations on competition.      

Type/Vendors that Can Bid: 


All vendors can bid


Only small business vendors may bid

Small Business set aside: 

Set-aside for specific small business socioeconomic categories

Sole Source (8a):  

Only the selected vendor may bid (only if total acquisition is under four million dollars).

A "set-aside for small business" is the reserving of an acquisition exclusively for participation by selected small businesses. The results of market research help the acquisition team set up the procurement accordingly. SPARC offers the following set asides:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) set-aside (when there are two or more capable contract holders)
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO) set-aside
  • HubZone set-aside
  • 8(a) set-aside

Note: Any SPARC task order estimated to be under 29 million for all optional years and services (based on the IGCE) will need to be issued under SPARC as a restricted/small business procurement. For any unrestricted TO, the TO CO will include the small business participation element as an evaluation factor for large business contractors.

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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Page Last Modified:
09/06/2023 05:05 PM