48 CFR § 16.101 - General.
(a) A wide selection of contract types is available to the Government and contractors in order to provide needed flexibility in acquiring the large variety and volume of supplies and services required by agencies. Contract types vary according to (1) the degree and timing of the responsibility assumed by the contractor for the costs of performance and (2) the amount and nature of the profit incentive offered to the contractor for achieving or exceeding specified standards or goals.
(b) The contract types are grouped into two broad categories: fixed-price contracts (see subpart 16.2) and cost-reimbursement contracts (see subpart 16.3). The specific contract types range from firm-fixed-price, in which the contractor has full responsibility for the performance costs and resulting profit (or loss), to cost-plus-fixed-fee, in which the contractor has minimal responsibility for the performance costs and the negotiated fee (profit) is fixed. In between are the various incentive contracts (see subpart 16.4), in which the contractor's responsibility for the performance costs and the profit or fee incentives offered are tailored to the uncertainties involved in contract performance.