1. is there a requirement for a different warrant or type of warrant to execute a construction contract?
2. Are there different rules for construction contracting if the contract amount would be under the simplified acquisition threshold?
FAR 1.603 discusses the selection and appointments of Contracting Officers. Specifically, FAR 1.603-3 (a) states that “Contracting officers shall be appointed in writing on an SF 1402, Certificate of Appointment, which shall state any limitations on the scope of authority to be exercised, other than limitations contained in applicable law or regulation. Appointing officials shall maintain files containing copies of all appointments that have not been terminated.”
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In response to your question 1, there is no special warrant for construction. However, an appointing official could limit a Contracting Officer’s authority to certain types of contracts. One must read the warrant of the Contracting Officer to know their limits and scope. FAR 1.602- 1, Authority, provides the Contracting Officer direction on their actions as follows:
a) Contracting officers have authority to enter into, administer, or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. Contracting officers may bind the Government only to the extent of the authority delegated to them. Contracting officers shall receive from the appointing authority (see 1.603-1) clear instructions in writing regarding the limits of their authority. Information on the limits of the contracting officers’ authority shall be readily available to the public and agency personnel.
(b) No contract shall be entered into unless the contracting officer ensures that all requirements of law, executive orders, regulations, and all other applicable procedures, including clearances and approvals, have been met.
As for question 2, FAR part 36 prescribes policies and procedures peculiar to contracting for construction and in accordance with FAR 36.101(b) when a requirement in this part is inconsistent with a requirement in another part of this regulation, this Part 36 shall take precedence if the acquisition of construction or architect-engineer services is involved.
Furthermore FAR part 13 discusses construction in a few locations.
FAR 13.106-1(d) “The contracting officer shall issue a written solicitation for construction requirements exceeding $2,000.”
FAR 13.003(g) Authorized individuals shall make purchases in the simplified manner that is most suitable, efficient, and economical based on the circumstances of each acquisition. For acquisitions not expected to exceed --
(1) The simplified acquisition threshold for other than commercial items, use any appropriate combination of the procedures in Parts 13, 14, 15, 35, or 36, including the use of Standard Form 1442, Solicitation, Offer, and Award (Construction, Alteration, or Repair), for construction contracts (see 36.701(a));
All procurements of construction over $2,000 must have a written solicitation and contain the appropriate wage rates. There are different clauses in various areas of the FAR you would select for construction contracts based on if they are over or under the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT). You would need to review the prescription of each clause and make sure you are selecting the appropriate clause for your contract.
There are lots of things to learn about construction contracting more than can be written in an AAP response. Recommend that you sign up for CON 244, Construction Contracting, class at DAU to get more knowledge in this subject area.