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    Title - Material Review Board and Nonconforming Material Approval Update for the question below: (original question at the bottom) Is government approval of repairs (that still result in a non-conformance, but it is a non-conformance that the government has decided is in its best interest to accept) for non-conformances mandatory before the contractor begins work on implementing the repair? Scenario - Aircraft modification is ongoing using a FFP contract. FAR 46.407 is referenced on the contract and accepted as policy. A minor Nonconformance is identified. The contractor submits the proposed repair (the part will still be non-conforming, but the contractor believes it is in the best interest of the government for the government to accept the non-conforming part after repair) to the government. While waiting for government approval, the contractor starts the repair action of the minor NCM, thus the contractor is making material changes to the part (drilling holes, grinding, cutting, etc) prior to the government determining that those changes are in the best interest of the government. (Original Question - Is preapproval of Nonconformances mandatory (FAR 46.407 authorized) before the contractor begins work on the solution? Is there policy guidance on the timing of the approval process? Scenario - Aircraft modification is ongoing using a FFP contract. FAR 46.407 is referenced on the contract and accepted as policy. A minor Nonconformance is identified. The contractor submits the proposed solution (NCM fix) to the government. While waiting for government approval, the contractor starts the repair action of the minor NCM. Posted - 1/7/2015 2:38:00 PM Subject Area - Production, Quality, and Manufacturing)


    Answer

    As I understand the question, the following facts apply:
     
    - This is a FFP Government contract;
    - The contractor has submitted a non-conforming item they were contracted to deliver, and were notified by the Government of the non-conformance (categorized as minor);
    - The contractor submitted a proposed "fix" to the non-conforming delivery that would still result in the delivered item being considered "non-conforming".
     
    You also seem to suggest that, on a prior occasion, the Government determined that it was in the Government's best interest to accept the remaining "non-conformance" resulting from the contractor's effort to remediate the original non-conformance.
     
    Your question appears to be, then, is there policy guidance "on the timing of the approval process" for specific repairs which fall under the general category of this condition which the Government has already determined to be in its best interest to accept?
     
    Not knowing the specific circumstances that apply here make it difficult to comment on why the government would approve a fix which still results in a non-conforming delivery.  That said, FAR 46.407 does acknowledge there may be circumstances under which a CO may determine acceptance is in the best interests of the Government. 
     
    The language throughout this section indicates that Government responses to the contractor's proposed remediation efforts must be "promptly furnished to the contractor".  The FAR further explains that "promptness is essential because, if timely (acceptance or rejection) is not furnished, acceptance may be implied as a matter of law".  The intent here is that the government provide prompt responses so as not to "unduly delay" the contractor's progress, but the Government is not to be deprived of its right to adequately assess the contractor's remediation, either.
     
    The language does not offer specific, firm timeline guidance other than to say responses must be provided "promptly".
     
     


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