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Terms in this set (91)

...The specific inspection clause in the contract contains
requirements for
the contractor based upon the approval of the Government. There are four basic types of
inspection requirements.
1. Government Reliance on Inspection by the Contractor (Non-commercial). FAR
52.246-1, Contractor Inspection Requirements, is the standard clause used to
identify this quality level. The clause is required for use for supplies or services
when the contract amount does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold,
unless the contracting officer decides that some form of Government inspection
and testing is necessary, per FAR 46.301. The clause does allow some specialized
Government inspection and testing, but relies on the contractor for overall
inspection.
2. Government Reliance on Inspection by the Contractor (Commercial). FAR
52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions-Commercial Items, includes inspection
and acceptance for commercial items/supplies. It states that the contractor will
only tender those items or services that conform to the requirements of the
contract. It further elaborates that the Government reserves the right to inspect or
test any supplies or services that have been tendered for acceptance.
3. Standard Inspection Requirement. The standard inspection clause, FAR 52.246-2,
Inspection of Supplies—Fixed-Price, requires that the contractor establish and
maintain an inspection system not otherwise defined, except that it must be
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acceptable to the Government. The standard inspection clause can be the only
inspection clause in a contract, or it can be the foundation for other Government
inspection specifications. The FAR specifies other clauses for use with different
contract types and in specific situations. With minor adjustments in wording for
contract type and applications, these are basically the same as the standard
inspection clause.
4. Higher-Level Quality Control Requirement. FAR 52.246-11, Higher-Level
Contract Quality Requirement (Government Specification), is the clause used
when the technical requirements of a contract mandate closer control of work
processes or attention to such factors as planning. This type of clause requires the
contractor to comply with Government inspection or quality assurance
procedures, if such are described in the contract. An example of a higher-level
quality control standard is ISO 9000, as stated in FAR 46.202-4.
...There may be acontract requirement for the contractor to adhere to ISO 9000 for its quality control. The
CAO must ensure that the COR/COTR is familiar with ISO 9000 relative to any requests
and/or approvals that may be required.
ISO 9000 is a method for ensuring quality control that was founded in 1946 by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In order to meet the trend of
increasing quality expectations worldwide, American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) approved in 1987—and revised in August 1994, a series of quality management
and quality assurance standards: Q9000-9004. The ISO 9000 and Q9000 standards
provide guidelines for selection and use of the remaining standards. The ISO 9004
standard applies to internal quality management and ISO 9001, 9002, and 9003 apply to
external quality assurance.
In some agencies, the ISO 9000 is used in lieu of agency standards, (i.e., DoD allows
the use of ISO 9000 for new contracts and follow on efforts in lieu of MIL-I/Q
standards). The intent is to allow contractors maximum flexibility in establishing efficient
and effective quality programs that meet contractual requirements.
In order for a company to become ISO certified, it must go through the registration
process of application, document review, assessment, registration, and surveillance. A
company's quality system will be evaluated for conformance to one of the ISO standards
(ISO 9001, ISO 9002, or ISO 9003) by a quality system registrar who is an accredited,
independent third party.
In the United States, registrars are generally accredited by the Registrar Accreditation
Board (RAB), a subsidiary of the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC). Once
approved, the registration is generally valid for three years. Periodic surveillance audits
are performed to ensure continued compliance with the quality system.
identification of performance problems. Various problems can occur and some of these
problems involve one party potentially breaking a promise, technically referred to as a
breach. A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise
that forms the whole or part of a contract. A breach occurs when:
o A party to a contract fails to perform, either in whole or in part.
o Gives notice beforehand that it will not perform the contract when the time for
performance arrives (constructive breach).
o A party makes performance impossible for itself or the other party.
Every breach of contract gives the injured party the right to pursue and collect
damages. The party harmed by a breach may sometimes, in addition to pursuing and
collecting damages, be excused from its performance responsibilities. The Government
can be guilty of a breach when it issues a unilateral change to a contract that is outside the
scope of the contract or fails to disclose pertinent site information for onsite work. The
contractor can be guilty of a breach when it abandons contract performance or commits a
fraudulent act in connection with a contract. To avoid breach of contract, the contracting
officer should:
o Verify and record evidence of actual or potential performance problems,
constructive changes, or other breaches by first correctly identifying the terms and
conditions at issue, if any.
o Contact the contractor to obtain an understanding of the problem, and only
contact those individuals necessary to verify evidence.
o Make sure the information provided identifies both the symptoms and causes of
any potential problems.
o Identify and obtain corrections to any Government report (progress reports,
inspection reports, etc.) and inform the requiring activity.
There may be a need to conduct fact-finding with the officials involved in a problem
to identify its symptoms and cause. Methods the Contracting Officer may use to gather
these facts include:
o Discussions with the contractor.
o Personal observations at the work site.
o Discussions with a COR/COTR.
o Discussions with quality assurance personnel.
In order to verify and document evidence of actual or potential performance
problems, constructive changes, or other breaches, the Contracting Officer will perform
fact-finding as stated above.
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Information from the COR/COTR and the quality assurance personnel provide
valuable indicators of any actual or potential performance problems and/or constructive
changes. The data supporting the inspection and acceptance methods utilized in the
contract are provided in respective reports, (i.e., inspection, acceptance, scheduling, and
approval submittals).
...The place of acceptance is specified in the contract, as
stated in FAR
46.503. If the quality assurance:
If QA Then acceptance is ordinarily at
Occurs at source of origin Source
Occurs at destination Destination
There may be occasions when the Government does not inspect and accept the
supplies and/or services in a timely manner. In such instances, implied acceptance has
occurred. In other words, implied acceptance occurs when the Government fails to notify
the contractor of its rejection within a reasonable time after delivery or completion. The
length of time that is reasonable depends upon the nature of the supplies, the difficulty of
inspection, and the impact of the delay upon the contractor. Acceptance also is
conditioned upon latent and/or patent defects. The following definitions are provided:
o Latent defects are defects that existed at the time of Government acceptance but
could not be discovered by a reasonable inspection (FAR 2.101).
o Patent defects are defects that existed at the time of acceptance and could have
been discovered by a reasonable inspection (FAR 46.101).
Supplies and/or services should not be accepted when they do not conform in all
aspects of the contract requirement. FAR 46.101 states that non-conforming supplies or
services can be classified in the three categories below:
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Contract Non-conformance - The Government has the absolute right to insist upon
strict adherence to the contractual requirements. No matter how slight a defect, the
Government is entitled to reject an item if it does not conform to all the specifications, as
stated in the contract.
Normally, the Government will reject a product that does not conform to the contract
requirements when that nonconformance adversely affects safety, health, reliability,
durability, performance, interchangeability, or any other basic objective of the
requirement.
The contracting officer shall ordinarily reject supplies/services when nonconformance
is critical or major. However, there may be circumstances when acceptance
of such non-conformity is in the best interests of the Government. Any time a nonconforming
supply or service is being considered for acceptance, approval must be
authorized by the requiring activity (customer). These circumstances include reasons of
economy or urgency. As stated in FAR 46.407, determinations of non-conformance will
be based upon:
o Advice from the technical activity that it is safe and will perform its intended
purpose.
o Information regarding nature and extent of the nonconformance.
o A contract adjustment.
The contracting officer shall obtain concurrence of the responsible technical activity
and the responsible health official when health factors are involved.
The contracting officer also should hold periodic site meetings with requiring activity
and end users to obtain, as well as provide, pertinent information on a contract's status.
These meetings help foster a team approach to contract administration. Periodic meetings
...The Government has the absolute right to insist uponstrict adherence to the contractual requirements. No matter how slight a defect, the
Government is entitled to reject an item if it does not conform to all the specifications, as
stated in the contract.
Normally, the Government will reject a product that does not conform to the contract
requirements when that nonconformance adversely affects safety, health, reliability,
durability, performance, interchangeability, or any other basic objective of the
requirement.
The contracting officer shall ordinarily reject supplies/services when nonconformance
is critical or major. However, there may be circumstances when acceptance
of such non-conformity is in the best interests of the Government. Any time a nonconforming
supply or service is being considered for acceptance, approval must be
authorized by the requiring activity (customer). These circumstances include reasons of
economy or urgency. As stated in FAR 46.407, determinations of non-conformance will
be based upon:
o Advice from the technical activity that it is safe and will perform its intended
purpose.
o Information regarding nature and extent of the nonconformance.
o A contract adjustment.
The contracting officer shall obtain concurrence of the responsible technical activity
and the responsible health official when health factors are involved.
The contracting officer also should hold periodic site meetings with requiring activity
and end users to obtain, as well as provide, pertinent information on a contract's status.
These meetings help foster a team approach to contract administration. Periodic meetings
Categories Characteristics
Critical Non-conformance o A nonconformance that is likely to result in
hazardous or unsafe conditions for individuals using,
maintaining, or depending upon the supplies or
services.
o Or is likely to prevent performance of a vital agency
mission.
Major Non-conformance o A non-conformance, other than critical, that is likely
to result in failure of the supplies or services.
o Or to reduce materially the usability of the supplies
or services for their intended purpose.
Minor Non-conformance o A non-conformance that is not likely to reduce
materially the usability of the supplies or services for
their intended purpose,
o Or is a departure from established standards having
little bearing on the effective use or operation of the
supplies or services.
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can be held onsite with the contractor and Government technical personnel who have
contract administration responsibility. The goal is not only to identify potential change
situations, but also to obtain monitoring data through observations. Onsite meetings allow
the Government and contractor personnel to identify, as well as resolve, technical
problems at the operating level.
...The key to effective, innovative problem-solving
techniques is not merely to search for textbook or regulatory solutions. Proactive
problem-solving techniques involve:
o Careful thought.
o A sense of practicality.
o A positive approach (whenever possible).
The contracting officer should consult regulatory guidance to ascertain what may be
required as a function of contractual terms and conditions. A performance problem is any
known, unknown, or predictable situation that may endanger or disrupt the efficient
execution of a contract's terms and conditions, regardless of whether the situation was or
may be caused by the contractor, the Government, or both.
When a performance problem occurs, the potential impact on cost, delivery, and other
requirements must be determined. When an actual or potential performance problem is
identified and it is not just a simple matter of clarifying a contract's requirement, a
determination must be made concerning the problem's significance. The overriding issue
is the extent of damage the Government will incur if the problem is not resolved. The
amount of time and effort required to resolve the problem has a direct relationship to the
problem's significance to the end-user's requirements. Factors that should be considered
are:
o Delivery.
o Price.
o Quantity.
o Quality.
When a serious problem surfaces, one of the first issues to consider is whether the
contractor should continue performance. From the evidence gathered, the contracting
officer should be able to determine the seriousness of the problem, in addition to the
amount of time correction of the problem will take. Another consideration the
Contracting Officer should take into account is whether it will be more costly to the
Government to pay additional money and suspend/stop the work until the correction is
completed, or pay for the correction to be made later.
...The two principal objectives of contract administration
planning are:
1. To establish a system that reinforces the performance of both parties' (both buyer
and seller) responsibilities.
2. To provide means for the early recognition of performance problems either before
or when they occur.
How the contract will be administered is an acquisition planning phase consideration,
with the finalization of a plan occurring after the contract has been awarded. The results
of contract planning are reflected in the contract administration plan. Not all contracts
require a formal contract administration plan. The requirements for contract
administration plans are based on individual agency's policies and procedures.
For commercial items or services, little contract administration will be needed, and
therefore, the plan should be simple and straightforward. Large and complex acquisitions
and non commercial contracts will require more detailed plans, and contract
administration will require a considerable effort by both the Government and the
contractor.
The specific nature and extent of contract administration varies from contract to
contract. It can range from the minimum acceptance of a delivery and payment to the
contractor, to extensive involvement by program, audit and procurement personnel
throughout the contract term. Factors influencing the degree of contract administration
include:
o The nature of the work.
o Type of contract awarded.
o The experience and commitment of the personnel involved.
Failure to read and understand a contract frequently results in contract administration
problems. When contract administration monitoring or surveillance systems are planned,
they must be designed to ensure that the Government and a contractor can live up to their
promises and fulfill responsibilities. The primary concern of the contract professional
during contract planning is avoiding problems and setting up systems to mitigate the risk
to both the Government and the contractor when problems surface.
The key to effective contract management is a flexible contract administration plan.
The steps in planning for contract administration are:
...When the Contracting Office receives a contract
for administration, the contract professional first reviews the contract file. To familiarize
yourself with the contract clauses and requirements, your first step in contract
administration is to review the pre-award file documentation, especially when another
contracting office awarded the contract. For instance, there may be questions regarding
the interpretation of an agency specific contract clause or the minutes from the preproposal
meeting that may include some pertinent information regarding specific
requirements. Some other contract file areas of prime importance are:
o The assignment of contract administration functions.
o Criticality designator and security requirements.
o Production surveillance requirements and reporting.
o Supporting contract administration requirements.
o Other special contract requirements (when applicable).
After completing a review of the contract file, all critical areas bearing on
performance and monitoring should be identified. With this knowledge, the contracting
professional can determine how critical the requirement is to the Government and how
much time and effort are needed to ensure successful contract administration.
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The contractor is responsible for timely contract performance. The Government will
maintain surveillance of contractor performance as necessary to protect its interest. When
the contracting office retains a contract for administration, the Contracting Officer
administering the contract determines the extent of surveillance. To determine the extent
of performance monitoring, the Contracting Officer will:
1. Meet with the requiring activity to discuss performance monitoring. The
Contracting Officer should meet with the requiring activity to discuss
requirements for contract administration. This discussion should include sharing
any acquisition history concerning the contractor and the required supplies or
services. The contract professional will focus the discussion regarding contract
monitoring on the requiring activity's priorities, ensure the Government is
working as a team, and foster understanding of the priorities and potential
problem areas.
2. Assess factors that indicate the appropriate monitoring level. The Contract
Administration Office will determine the monitoring level. Many factors, as stated
in FAR 42.1104, are involved in determining how much monitoring is necessary
for the contract. Some of these factors to consider are the criticality of the
requirement as assigned by the Contracting Officer, the contract performance
schedule and the contractors' history of contract performance. Most customary
commercial practices may not require contract administration in the acquisition of
a commercial item. However, the Government reserves the right to inspect or
test the commercial item as tendered for acceptance and to require its repair or
replacement (or re-performance if a service) at no increase in contract price.
When acquiring commercial items, the Government relies on the contractor's existing
quality assurance systems as a substitute for Government inspection and testing before
delivery, unless customary market practices for what is being acquired include in-process
inspection. If such inspection is customary, the Government's inspection must be
consistent with commercial practices.
However, the Government will never waive its right to inspect and accept an item if it
will prejudice its other rights under the acceptance paragraph in FAR 52.212-4
...Higher-Level Contract Quality Requirement (Government
Specification) requires a contractor to comply with a specific Government
inspection system or quality control system or quality program.
The Government can only require the contractor to submit data for monitoring
purposes as specified in the initial contract. Any required data must be specifically
authorized within the schedule, specification, or by a contract clause. Therefore, it is
important to determine, upfront, what type of inspection system is required by the
contract to decide whether you want to rely solely on it for monitoring a contractor's
performance.
A contract is basically an instrument that allocates and defines risks and
responsibilities between the contracting parties. Its terms and conditions set forth each
party's obligations, as well as each party's rights if the other should fail to carry out its
obligations. The contract professional should understand how the standard and unique
terms and conditions, as stated in the contract, affect the contractor's risks. Once the
contract professional can identify the risk and understand what the contractor might do to
protect their interest, then the appropriate monitoring level necessary to protect the
Government's interests can be established.
Select the most appropriate monitoring method(s). Numerous techniques and
procedures exist for determining whether satisfactory delivery or contract completion will
take place. They include reliance on the contractor's inspection system, 100 percent
inspection, sample inspection, inspection by exception, monitoring production or delivery
schedules, and monitoring schedules devised by Government personnel to measure
contract performance.
...Normally, records of
past performance within the contracting office will be sufficient for planning efforts. If
the contracting office has not had any previous experience with the contractor, the
contract professional may want to look for other indicators of past performance. The
contract file itself is the best place to look for other indicators. Past performance or
responsibility determination data in the contract file may contain information from other
Government offices, and/or a contractor's commercial clients. Therefore, it is imperative
that contract professionals keep information provided by both Government and nongovernment
personnel strictly confidential.
According to FAR 42.1503, agency evaluations of contractor performance prepared
under this subpart shall be provided to the contractor as soon as practicable after
completion of the evaluation. Contractors are given at least 30 days to respond or provide
additional information. The completed evaluation shall be presented to Government
personnel, and the contractor whose performance is being examined. A copy of the
annual or final past performance evaluation shall be provided to the contractor as soon as
it is finalized.
The Government needs to monitor only timely delivery or performance and inspect
the delivered items or work performed. In coordinating a surveillance method for a
contract, according to FAR 42.1104, the contract administration office should make use
of and rely on the contractor's inspection system, data management system, or production
control system.
The goal of contract monitoring is to unveil actual or potential default situations and
the need for Government action. The contract professional needs to be proactive, and act
promptly and carefully to initiate immediate improvements while preserving the
Government's right to future remedies available under the contract. Although
Government action may supplement─ but not supplant the contractor's own efforts to
solve performance problems─ the Contract Professional needs to be aware of what
Government action will be required as early as possible.
...The
Contracting Officer is the official authorized to enter into, administer, and terminate
contracts. The CO also can make related determinations and findings. A single CO may
be responsible for delegating duties to specialized contracting officers as stated below.
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o Termination Contracting Officer (TCO) - The official authorized to perform postaward
actions limited to the termination of contracts.
o Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) - The official authorized to perform
any post-award contractual action assigned by the CO. Some agencies have set up
separate offices called a Contract Administrative Office (CAO) to handle postaward,
functions as prescribed by that agency. An Administrative Contracting
Officer would be assigned to the CAO.
For purposes of clarity, all text references to a "Contracting Officer" refer to the
Procurement Contracting Officer (PCO), that is, the CO responsible for all duties,
regardless of whether those duties have been delegated to other Contracting Officers. The
PCO can be the ACO in a cradle-to-grave situation.
The term "cradle-to-grave" simply means the contracting office responsible for the
pre-award and award will also be responsible for the administration of the contract. There
are some advantages in doing this. For instance, if the same Contract Professionals were
involved throughout the contracting process, they would be very familiar with the history
of the contract and all of its intricacies.
On the other hand, there is the option of having the contract administration done by
an Administrative Contracting Officer located at a Contract Administration Office.
One advantage of the delegation of administration is that the contracting personnel
have an in-depth experience in the administration phase, and have experts to assist in
areas such as property administration. However, there are certain functions that cannot
be delegated, and must remain the responsibility of the PCO.
...The Contracting Officer usually heads up the contract
administration team. Contract Administrators and Contract Professionals generally assist
the Contracting Officer in performing this role. At FAR 2.101, the definition of a
contracting officer, "...includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting
officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer."
The FAR is silent on designating these authorized representatives as Contracting
Officer's Representatives (CORs) or Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives
(COTRs). However, generally when the contract is complex and various personnel are
responsible for specified tasks there is a COR assigned to the contract. It also is silent on
how technical and non-technical representatives are to be addressed, as well as when or
how they should be officially designated. The result is that these issues are covered by
individual agency supplements to the FAR, and generally reflect organizational structure.
The Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), also known in some agencies as the
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR), serves as the eyes and ears of
the CO and usually does not have contracting authority. A COR is appointed by the PCO
via a letter that contains instructions and outlines specific responsibilities in relation to
the contractual document. Usually, this occurs when contract administration functions are
retained and not assigned to a CAO, but Contracting Officer's follow agency's
regulations.
The COR, as defined by DFARS 202.101, is the individual that the contracting officer
has designated and authorized to perform specific technical or administrative functions. A
COR/COTR is usually a person with technical expertise in the area of the contracted
effort that possesses the necessary background to monitor technical aspects of contract
performance. Typical primary responsibilities of a COR/COTR include:
o Monitoring performance.
o Evaluating work as it progresses.
o Exercising appropriate technical direction within the scope of the contract.
o Inspecting and accepting completed work for the Government.
The roles and authorities of these team players depend on the size of the Government
organization and the complexity of the contract. Some typical responsibilities of key
contract administration personnel are:
o Contracting Officer - The contracting officer is principally responsible for the
existing business relationship between the Government and a contractor including
analyzing costs and interpreting and implementing contractual terms and
conditions.
o Project Inspectors - Project inspectors can report to a Contract Administrator,
Contracting Officer, or COR/COTR depending on the contract administration
plan for each project. Their responsibilities include monitoring and inspection
duties, such as reviewing the contractor's progress reports, inspecting all work
performed by the contractor for contract compliance, maintaining a list of
subcontractors on the project, and if required, submitting periodic or daily reports
to the contracting officer or COR/COTR.
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Although they may not be specifically designated, the Contracting Officer may
request that other Government officials become involved in contract administration
functions as necessary. The following list of individuals may provide input as requested
and may be available to perform various tasks.
o Program or requiring activity personnel.
o Administrative support personnel.
o Legal counsel.
o Cost and price analysts.
o Quality assurance specialists.
o Property control administrators
o Small Business Administration.
As mentioned previously, the delegation of contract administration responsibilities to
key team members should be made in writing. While signed by the Contracting Officer,
the designee should countersign the letter of delegation and a copy of the completed letter
should be placed in the contract file. When a contract is assigned to DCMA for
administration, a copy of the contract—agency-specific provisions or clauses—and other
related documentation is provided to the ACO.
...Contract administration planning from the
PCO and CAO perspective is to ensure that each individual understands his/her roles and
duties necessary for successful contract completion. After the contract is awarded, the
CAO receives the contract from the PCO and is tasked with establishing a post-award
orientation conference to foster this understanding. As stated in FAR 42.501, a postaward
orientation aids both the Government and contractor personnel to:
o Achieve a clear and mutual understanding of contract requirements.
o Identify and resolve potential problems.
It is not, however, a substitute for the contractor to fully understanding the work
requirements at the time offers are submitted, nor is it to be used to alter the final
agreement arrived at in any negotiations leading to contract award.
Post-award orientation is encouraged to assist small business, small disadvantaged,
and women-owned small business concerns. While cognizant Government or contractor
personnel may request the Contracting Officer to arrange a post-award orientation, it is
up to the contracting officer to decide whether a post-award orientation, in any form, is
necessary. When a post-award orientation is conducted, it should be conducted promptly
after the contract award to achieve maximum results.
To help you plan for a post-award orientation, use the DD Form 1484 as a checklist.
This form will also serve as your documentation to the file when the orientation
conference is completed. A list of the forms is found at DFARS 253.303. A planned,
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structured discussion between the Government and the contractor, a post-award
orientation focuses on issues, such as:
o Understanding the technical aspects of the contract.
o Identifying and resolving oversights.
o Preventing problems.
o Averting misunderstandings.
o Determining how to solve problems that may occur later.
o Reaching agreement on common issues.
...With the factors in FAR 42.502 in mind, the Contract
Administrator must identify and review specific key contract requirements and
milestones. These requirements and milestones most likely have been identified in the
contract administration plan. These requirements and milestones have been pulled from
the Statement of Work, requirements documents, source selection information if
applicable, purchase request and other memoranda and information in the file. The
success of a post-award conference rests on the assessment by the Contract Administrator
to identify key issues/concerns that could possibly affect contract performance. Hence,
the contract administration plan is quite important in identifying possible problems. PostCO
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award orientations are most vital when potential risks to the contractor or the
Government has not been addressed within the contract itself. A post-award conference
identifies these risks and considers ways of reducing anticipated problems during contract
performance. Some common questions to ask in determining the need for a post-award
conference include:
o Is this the contractor's first Government contract?
o Has the contractor had little or no previous experience with this type of product or
service?
o If the contractor has had previous Government contracts, were an unusual number
of problems associated with them?
o Is any aspect of this contract urgent or critical to the Government?
o Does the contract type require a relatively high degree of administration?
There may be a need for a general briefing on one or more aspects of the contract
administration. The post-award goals of any contract are to assure that supplies or
services are:
o Delivered or performed when and where specified in the contract.
o Acceptable in terms of conforming to the contract's specification or statement of
work.
o Furnished in compliance with other terms and conditions of the contract.
Compliance with other terms and conditions includes requirements, such as:
o Security classifications and requirements.
o Record-retention requirements.
o Service contract act requirements.
o Federal and state labor requirements.
o Federal policies on nondiscrimination because of age.
When the decision is made to hold a conference or conduct some other form of a
post-award orientation, there must be additional documentation included in the contract
file.
...Each contractual problem is
different, and no single approach can be used to resolve every disagreement that may
arise. In general, four steps may be used to resolve points of disagreements on key issues.
Step 1 - Fact-Find and Document the contractor's position. If the problem requires joint
contractor/Government problem solving, set up a separate meeting with only those who
need to be in attendance as soon as possible. Take appropriate action to resolve the
problem and seek technical or legal advice when necessary.
Step 2 - Select the best solution to the problem and seek agreement on it. Identify if the
contracting officer should issue a unilateral modification. This action would be the
Government's solution to an impasse with a contractor.
If a contract change seems necessary, it must clearly define the extent of proposed
change and be implemented promptly. The contracting officer must complete and sign a
contract modification (SF30) in all cases.
Document the contract file by including in the conference report, as well as all other
material, correspondence or follow up actions from the Post-award Orientation in the
contract file. In the event of any subsequent disagreements with the contractor, this
material can be used to reconstruct facts and events as they occurred. A well-documented
contract file will identify and verify the Government's initial position on any
performance problems that were anticipated during the orientation or in the early steps of
implementation.
Step 3 - Provide information on the contract to interested parties. Provide any
documentation to members of the contract administration team as well as the contractor
when that information affects their role in contract performance. The Contracting Officer
also may receive requests for information from other interested parties, such as other
companies that have proposed but were evaluated and determined to be unsuccessful
offerors. Release of any information is subject to the requirement of the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA).
Step 4 - Obtain executed contractual documents, bonds or insurance.
Since bonds and certificates of insurance must be executed before performance begins,
the deadline for submission should be stated in the contract. It is usually within 10 days
after the award. When bonds and certificates are required, request them immediately,
normally in the letter accompanying contract award. Reference the contract clause that
requires the submission and establish a time for receipt, if the contract does not provide a
date.
...Below are some general indicators of
ast performance.
o Quality of product or service can be viewed in terms of how well the contractor
has complied with contract requirements, and whether it conformed to standards
of good workmanship.
o Timeliness of performance can be measured in terms of how well the contractor
adhered to contract schedules and its responsiveness to technical direction.
1 The DoD has a FAR deviation regarding the evaluation of past performance information on contracts.
Agencies are required to comply with the following table and not required to evaluate all contracts in
excess of $100,000 (Exceptions under FAR Subparts 8.6 and 8.7 remain in effect).
2 The DoD contract thresholds for PPI collection are based on a DoD class deviation to the FAR and apply
to the original face value or, where modifications occur, to the "as-modified" face value of contracts. For
"as modified," if a contract's original face value was less than the applicable threshold, but subsequently
the contract was modified and the "new" face value is greater than the threshold, then an assessment (or
assessments) should be made, starting with the first anniversary that the contract's face value exceeded the
threshold. If the contract threshold is expected to exceed the collection threshold by exercise of option,
modification or order, it may be advisable to initiate the PPI collection process prior to the value of the
contract exceeding the threshold.
3 Only required if there is a disagreement between the assessing official and the contractor.
4 Or equivalent individual responsible for program, project, or task/job order.
5 For contracts under the $5,000,000 threshold, buying activities should continue to accumulate contractor
information data as required by service or agency level guidance. (An example of such performance
information collection system is "Red/Yellow/Green".)
Business Sector Dollar Threshold 2 Reviewing Official 3
Systems (includes new
development and major
modifications)
>$5,000,000 One level above the program
manager4
Services >$1,000,000 One level above the assessing official
Operations Support Fuels >$5,000,0005 One level above the assessing official
Information Technology >$1,000,000 One level above the assessing official
Construction >$500,000 One level above the assessing official
Architect - Engineering > $25,000 One level above the assessing official
Science & Technology All. No threshold. One level above the assessing official
CO 3301-DL
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o Cost control can be evaluated by examining to see if the contractor, among other
things, operated at or below budget, submitted reasonably priced change
proposals, or provided current, accurate, and complete billings.
o Business practices indicate how well the contractor worked with the contracting
officer and technical representatives.
o Customer satisfaction measures the interface with the ultimate end user of the
product or service.