What is an Anticipatory Cost Letter, and why would it be used.
Anticipatory cost letters are not something DoD uses to the best of our research. There is reference in 48 CFR and apparently EPA does use anticipatory cost letters. An anticipatory cost letter would be an authority to begin work before a contract was issued. Rather than an anticipatory cost letter, the situation may call for a letter contract or an advance payment for those items/effort that must begin immediately.
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You will want to seek advice of your contracting officer and legal office as well to determine USN and unit practices in this area.