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    I believe I already know the answer but could you please identify if any requests for work from this government contractor can be accepted or not? The contractor is responsible for this service but does apparently does not have the means or method to test samples and is asking if they can set up an account with us directly. In my mind, being acquisition certified, and a Resource Manager, but now I am serving in a command that is not in the Acquisition Community. My thoughts are that to be proper, USAREUR should mod the contract and should work with our command directly and us not try and set up an account with the contractor. To me, that just smells of violations. Below is the inquiry. "Good Afternoon, I would like to inquire about the possibility of having water samples from MK Airbase, Romania tested in Landstuhl. KBR has been contracted under the USC II support contract to provide base life support operations in Romania, to include providing water testing IAW DoD 4715.05-G. I would like to find out if it is possible as a contractor in support of USAREUR to be able to establish an account for testing, and what the procedures would be to do so. V/R Brian Hench" Like I said I think we need to make contact with USAREUR and that COR to work this out to avoid any potential improprieties and violations. P


    Answer

    Excellent question.  Aside from the reference you sent, I did considerable research to see if there was any “unique” guidance regarding the contracting out of water testing services (normally an Army Vet Corps function).  There isn’t.  So here’s my take on your situation.
     
    Yes, definitely make contact with the Contracting Officer, the COR and key personnel from the requiring activity of this contracted service.  But don’t be alarmed that there are any potential improprieties or violations; it’s way too early for that.  In fact, this is not as uncommon as you may think; there are many scenarios where contractors end up using government labs, depots, etc. as essentially subcontractors.
     
    In the big picture we want to make sure we do what is right for the government; have the water tested by a reputable facility (and personnel) that meets all contract terms and conditions.  Hopefully the contract terms and conditions require the water to be tested in accordance with any/all required Federal, Military, and Army standards.  Then we want this to be accomplished in a way that is the best value to the Government; which means within schedule and quality requirements at a fair and reasonable price.
     
    I’m going to make a couple of assumptions based on your question and background: First, the contract did not identify the testing of water as a government provided resource.  Second, the contract does not prohibit the contractor from using a government facility to conduct water testing (that would be unlikely).
     
    It is highly probable that the contract could be a cost reimbursable or time and material effort.  That means the contractor will only be paid for costs that are allowable, allocable and reasonable.  So, if the Army lab conducts the tests and does not charge the contractor for doing the tests, then the contractor can NOT invoice (request payment via public voucher) the government because they did not incur the cost.  That would be fraud.  I doubt your contractor would do this, as a result the government actually received what it wanted in the first place – water to be tested in accordance with contract terms and conditions, etc.
     
    If it is a fixed price contract, the government will need to (at a minimum) discuss this situation with the contractor and determine if there is any consideration or adjustment of contract price that should be considered as a result of the government doing the testing.  Rationale: the contractor is now shifting risk back to the government.  Potentially there are corresponding scope and competition considerations that must be evaluated.
     
    Again, the response is the “big picture”, it should give you more than enough information to have a beneficial conversation with the folks you mentioned and I recommended.
     
    References:
    Technical Guide 188, US Army Food and Water Vulnerability Assessment Guide.
    Food and water risk assessments (FWRA)
    Mil-Std-3006: Sanitation Requirements for Food Establishments. Washington, DC: Office of The Surgeon General, US Dept of the Army; June 1. 2008.
    Technical Bulletin MED 530: Occupational and Environmental Health Food Sanitation. Washington DC: US Dept of the Army; October 30, 2002.
    Technical Guide 248: Guide for Deployed Preventive Medicine Personnel on Health Risk Assessment. Aberdeen
    Proving Ground. MD: US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. August 2001.


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