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    Since this is in the contract in the PWS, is COR authorized to approve commercial purchases subject to G&A of 14.9%? In the ACQuipedia, it states that the COR is NOT permitted to approve overtime. The COR approves all overtime on this contract. Should contract be modified? Can any of the above actions considered to be giving direction? COR is telling them what to do, approving (not merely monitoring) contractor purchases.


    Answer

    Wow, there is much to digest from this question.  But without the contract, the contract file in front of us or a copy of the COR’s letter of designation, it is very difficult to answer this question with precise specificity.
     
    In general terms, the rule is a COR is not authorized to approve (or direct) overtime.  The rationale behind this is based on this premise:
     
    Overtime would result in additional time (money) the contractor is expending (an allowable cost) and thus would be considered to be a “change” to the contract.  Only contracting officer’s are authorized to change a contract; so by default the COR is not (emphasis added) allowed to do so.  If they did, this could be construed as “technical direction” which result in a constructive change to the contract or an unauthorized commitment.  Both are no-no’s we try to avoid.
     
    That said, there are instances where the writers of the PWS or SOW have determined that O/T will be needed from time-to-time during contract performance and it is built into the scope.  Depending on a number of factors such as contract type (FFP, CR, etc.), the CLIN structure and other terms and conditions; it is possible to have a contract where government directed O/T does not result in, or require a change to the contract (modification).  In these instances, a contracting officer acting judiciously may decide that delegating the authority to direct/approve O/T is appropriate.  The contract would have to specify the limits on the amount of O/T and the respective monetary amount.  Whether they delegate or authorize the COR in these scenarios is something should consider very carefully.
     
    Now, on to “approving commercial purchases”…  The answer to this one is similar to O/T but it is fraught with much, much more danger and there are a lot more things to consider than just the terms and conditions of the contract.  To answer this also requires much more information as a result, we refrain from answering at this time.
     
    Note to readers: a telephone conversation with the submitter was able to provide a little more direction, guidance and advice.


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