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  • Question

    Is it appropriate to have program management personnel acting as the representative of the Government by acknowledging that the supplies or services are in conformity with the contract requirements or specification (act of acceptance) instead of the designated COR already assigned to the service contract? If acceptance is the contracting officer's responsibility, should that responsibility be officially designated to a COR on a service contract, or officially designate the program management personnel as the COR or COTR through a letter of authority (LOA)? Since there is a designated COR on this IT service contract, wouldn't it be more appropriate to have a COR perform the acceptance of services?


    Answer

    This is one of those questions that is extremely difficult to answer without knowing ALL of the facts surrounding the circumstances of the Contracting Officer’s decision or the qualifications (and career field) of the program managers.
     
    The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) specify when a COR must be designated.  The DOD COR HDBK specifies the minimum training and experience requirements a COR must have.
     
    There are often scenarios where a COR does not have the technical expertise to conduct inspection and certify acceptance.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the person who does have that expertise should be the COR.  In fact, on many contracts this duty is delegated to DCMA.  If the Contracting Officer has determined that program management personnel should be designated as the authorized personnel to “accept” contractor performance, the contract file is properly documented and all personnel know their roles and responsibilities regarding the fact that only the Contracting officer is authorized to change the contract and accept items that do NOT conform to contract requirements; there is a chance that this contract oversight process is compliant with the FAR and all DoD and Agency regulations.

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