1. Do the requirements of FAR Subpart 46.4 apply to commercial contracts?
My interpretation of 46.401 has me thinking that this is only applies to contracts with clauses 52.246-2 through 52.246-12.
2. If Subpart 46.4 does not apply to commercial contracts, would there be a need to have a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) as outlined in 46.401 and DFAR 237.172?
Since your question centers around the use of a QASP and you reference DFARS 237.172 in your question, I’ll conclude that you are referring to a Commercial Service contract.
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DFARS 237.172 addresses the need to develop a QASP to be used in a Service Contract at the same time that a SOW or a SOO is prepared:
237.172 Service contracts surveillance.
Ensure that quality assurance surveillance plans are prepared in conjunction with the preparation of the statement of work or statement of objectives for solicitations and contracts for services. These plans should be tailored to address the performance risks inherent in the specific contract type and the work effort addressed by the contract. (See FAR subpart 46.4.) Retain quality assurance surveillance plans in the contract file.
This part of the DFARS also references the reader back to FAR 46.4 in the manner that the QASP should address risk. If the contract uses the clause at 52.212-4 – “Contract Terms and Conditions -- Commercial Items” then para (a) describes the Inspection/Acceptance provision. It states, in part that “The Government reserves the right to inspect or test any supplies or services that have been tendered for acceptance.” The QASP is the document that describes the work requiring Government surveillance; and the method of Government surveillance (FAR 46.401 (a) (1) & (2)).
Keep in mind, the QASP is the Government’s document for the Government’s use. The contractor is still responsible for utilizing their own quality control procedures when tendering services IAW the terms and conditions of the contract.