As a Contracting Officer, do I have to assign a Construction Manager, who has the required educational qualifications, as a Contracting Officer Representative?
Suppose I don't want a CM acting in my behalf. What recourse do I have?
Unless the Navy-Marine Corps FAR Supplement or a SYSCOM or local policy MANDATES you appoint these CEC Officer CMs to be the COR, then no, you do not have to appoint them.
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But then you have to ask yourself this: “am I going to maintain ALL contract administration functions/tasks/responsibilities and duties myself or appoint someone else to be my COR?” If you appoint someone else to be your COR; all you need to do is make sure they meet all of the experience and training requirements (see DoDI 5000.72, link below).
If you want oversee the contract yourself, you need to follow the DFARS guidance and document your file the rationale. We’ve answered many, many questions about COR appointment, but as a refresher:
Start with the guidance for DoD which can be found at DFARS PGI 201.602-2(iv)(A), which states:
“Contracting officers shall (emphasis added) designate a COR for all service contracts, including both firm fixed price and other than firm fixed price contracts, awarded by a DoD component or by any other Federal agency on behalf of DoD. The surveillance activities performed by CORs should be tailored to the dollar value/complexity of the specific contract for which they are designated. Contracting officers may exempt service contracts from this requirement when (each of) the following three conditions are met:
(1) The contract will be awarded using simplified acquisition procedures;
(2) The requirement is not complex; and
(3) The contracting officer documents the file, in writing, why the appointment of a COR is unnecessary.
Note: Bold Italics added for emphasis.
Please note: the word “Service” above encompasses Construction Contracts based on DoD’s Service Portfolio Taxonomy. In addition, consult DoDI 5000.72
Now, what might be more beneficial is if you tailor the COR Appointment letters to be very restrictive in what authorities and responsibilities the COR will have. Then, over time as they become more familiar with construction contracting you can add to their duties. After all, how else are they supposed to learn and get experience?? I believe we call this mentoring and OJT.