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  • Question

    Which document takes precedence? The SOW or the Government approved drawings?


    Answer

    This response assumes that FAR clause 52.236-21, Specifications and Drawings for Construction (Feb 1997), is included in your contract are required for all construction contract over the SAT.  Under paragraph (a) of this clause it states “In case of difference between drawings and specifications, the specifications shall govern.”  Based on this your SOW in the contract would rule over the approved drawing. 

    (a) The Contractor shall keep on the work site a copy of the drawings and specifications and shall at all times give the Contracting Officer access thereto. Anything mentioned in the specifications and not shown on the drawings, or shown on the drawings and not mentioned in the specifications, shall be of like effect as if shown or mentioned in both. In case of difference between drawings and specifications, the specifications shall govern. In case of discrepancy in the figures, in the drawings, or in the specifications, the matter shall be promptly submitted to the Contracting Officer, who shall promptly make a determination in writing. Any adjustment by the Contractor without such a determination shall be at its own risk and expense. The Contracting Officer shall furnish from time to time such detailed drawings and other information as considered necessary, unless otherwise provided.

    Also under
    paragraph (e) of this clause it states that “Approval by the Contracting Officer shall not relieve the Contractor from responsibility for any errors or omissions in such drawings, nor from responsibility for complying with the requirements of this contract, except with respect to variations described and approved in accordance with (f) below.”  Paragraph (f) would require the contracting officer to do a contract modification to formally acknowledge the change to the terms of the contract.  Other than this, the contractor is not relieved form complying with the original specs even if the government “approves” something different on the drawings. 
     
    (e) If this contract requires shop drawings, the Contractor shall coordinate all such drawings, and review them for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with contract requirements and shall indicate its approval thereon as evidence of such coordination and review. Shop drawings submitted to the Contracting Officer without evidence of the Contractor’s approval may be returned for resubmission. The Contracting Officer will indicate an approval or disapproval of the shop drawings and if not approved as submitted shall indicate the Government’s reasons therefor. Any work done before such approval shall be at the Contractor’s risk. Approval by the Contracting Officer shall not relieve the Contractor from responsibility for any errors or omissions in such drawings, nor from responsibility for complying with the requirements of this contract, except with respect to variations described and approved in accordance with (f) below.

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