How do a COR separate the authority between the functional chief (engineer) and the contracting officer over the COR?
Note to other readers: Attempts to call the submitter of the question to get more detail were unsuccessful.
Open full Question Details
This is a difficult question to answer without the context or knowledge of what the functional chief (engineer) is asking/demanding/requesting of the COR or the contractor.
In COR training (CLC 106, CLC or COR 222) we have a module on communication and the way to communicate the COR’s authority, the KO’s authority, and “everyone else” including the COR’s supervisor.
Bottom Line: The COR gets any authority they have related to the contract from the contracting officer (KO); the KO is actually delegating some of the authority they have in their warrant to the COR.
I’ll focus on two extreme scenarios only as literally there are close to an infinite number of potential scenarios here:
1) If the functional chief engineer (FCE) is requesting the COR to change the contract (e.g. ask for more work, delete work, modify a deliver schedule, change the way (or where) contractor personnel are performing work, etc.) The COR should tell the FCE “I don’t have this authority, we need to set up a meeting with the KO to discuss.” If the FCE is being belligerent or abusive, tell them “look, I get your passion and expertise, but we still need to make sure this gets done correctly or we’ll be answering questions from auditors or inspectors and those trolls from contracting in the future and trust me, we do NOT want that!”
2) If the functional chief engineer (FCE) is going directly to the contractor or contractor personnel and telling them to change the contract (again, e.g. ask for more work, delete work, modify a deliver schedule, change the way (or where) contractor personnel are performing work, etc.) The COR should tell the FCE “Sorry, but you do not have that authority, we need to set up a meeting with the KO to discuss. If your request makes sense and the KO agrees; perhaps they will change the contract correctly to get this accomplished.” Or something like that.
Remember, this is all about communicating and of course (observing and documenting as well). Sometimes when it comes to communication, it matters much more HOW you communicate rather than WHAT you communicate. We often call those “soft skills”. If you are the one who may be lacking in the “soft skills”, it may behoove you to take some training on improving in this area. It will have a positive impact on everything you do and not just COR duties. You can peruse free on-line - self paced soft skill training from the DAU iCatolog.
The KO is never allowed to delegate authority to change the contract/task order in any manner and this will be highlighted on the COR’s Letter of Delegation.