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    What is the difference between a Contracting Officer's Representative and a Contract Specialist duties, if there is any? I would like ot know where in the FAR one can find this information and


    Answer

    This is an interesting Question.  I’m assuming you are new to the Contract Specialist field, and a GS-1102 or military equivalent, yes?  Welcome!
     
    First, as a contract specialist your duties come from your position description (PD) and what your supervisor and warranted contracting officer assign to you.  The COR almost always comes from the requiring activity (the customer) and as such could be from any other career field but the contracting career field.  As always, rare exceptions may apply.  As a Contract Specialist, you are not allowed to formally designate a COR, that is sign their “Letter of Designation”.  I’ll explain.
     
    From FAR 1.602-1(a): “Contracting officers have authority to enter into, administer, or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings.  A contracting officer receives this authority through their warrant, the SF 1402.
     
    A COR helps the contracting officer (KO) and all of the stakeholders for the contract (including task or delivery orders) “administer” the contract or task order.  The contracting officer is actually delegating some of their contract administration authority (from their warrant) to the COR and normally this is an additional duty for the COR.  Note, the contracting officer (KO) is not allowed to delegate any of their “enter into” (which includes executing contract modifications), or the “terminate”, or the “make related determinations and findings” authorities to a COR, as these require the contracting officer’s signature.  However, the COR may assist the KO in research, fact finding etc. during these activities should the KO require that assistance.
     
    As a result, if the KO does not designate a COR in writing, then contract administration must be done by the KO.  If the contract is not delegated to a DCMA Contract Administration Office (CAO) and a COR is not designated, the KO (and often with the help of a contract specialist), will conduct ALL contract administration.  When the KO relies on a Contract Specialist (CS) to help with contract administration, they typically do not also designate the CS as a/the COR in writing; normally because they are the one supervising the CS and they maintain signature authority for all documentation.  But… there is nothing which prohibits a KO from formally designating the CS as the COR.
     
    Back to your question… the FAR/DFARs or any of the Service Supplements to the FAR only specify the process, procedures and requirements for assigning a COR, see DFARS 201.602-2(d) and PGI 201.602-2.  See FAR 7.104(e) and 16.301-3(a)(4)(i) for guidance on the timing of when CORs should be identified and designated.
     
    The actual duties a COR performs is highly dependent on the contract/task order the COR is assigned to.  (Note: CORs need to be designated at the task, delivery or call order level).  I like to say that the actual duties to be designated to perform should be a discussion/negotiation between the KO and the customer.  The goal is to make sure the government receives what we paid for in an effective and efficient manner.  Typical post award duties designated to a COR include: inspection, acceptance, invoice review/approval, providing technical direction and guidance, etc., etc.
     
    The DOD COR HDBK dated 22 Mar 2012, provides advice and guidance on what duties the KO should have a COR accomplish.  You can find a copy of the DoD COR HDBK at the following two links:
    http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/cpic/cp/panel_on_contracting_integrity.html
    https://acc.dau.mil/cor
     
    Also see, AFI 63-138 – Acquisition of Services; which discusses the role of the COR, QAS, FAE, etc.  Link:
    http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_aq/publication/afi63-138/afi63-138.pdf
     
    In conclusion, I hope this helps clarify for you the difference between a COR and a Contract Specialist and how their duties come about.  We highly suggest you review some of the questions and answers regarding COR here at the ask-a-professor website: https://dap.dau.mil/aap/pages/qlist.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=24&cgiStart=0&RefreshField=20
     
    It will amplify even more what we’ve stated above.

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