What is the authority of the Contracting Officer and from where is it derived?
The following response is based solely on the question and background information provided. As we do not have all the facts particular to your situation, we highly recommend you consult, as applicable, your contracting officer and/or Legal Office for further guidance.
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Given that you are a DoD employee:
"DFARS 207.103 Agency-head responsibilities.
(g) The program manager, or other official responsible for the program, has overall responsibility for acquisition planning."
"FAR 1.601 -- General.
(a) Unless specifically prohibited by another provision of law, authority and responsibility to contract for authorized supplies and services are vested in the agency head. The agency head may establish contracting activities and delegate broad authority to manage the agency’s contracting functions to heads of such contracting activities. Contracts may be entered into and signed on behalf of the Government only by contracting officers. In some agencies, a relatively small number of high level officials are designated contracting officers solely by virtue of their positions. Contracting officers below the level of a head of a contracting activity shall be selected and appointed under 1.603.
(b) Agency heads may mutually agree to --
(1) Assign contracting functions and responsibilities from one agency to another; and
(2) Create joint or combined offices to exercise acquisition functions and responsibilities.
FAR 1.602 -- Contracting Officers.
FAR 1.602-1 -- Authority.
(a) Contracting officers have authority to enter into, administer, or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. Contracting officers may bind the Government only to the extent of the authority delegated to them. Contracting officers shall receive from the appointing authority (see 1.603-1) clear instructions in writing regarding the limits of their authority. Information on the limits of the contracting officers’ authority shall be readily available to the public and agency personnel.
(b) No contract shall be entered into unless the contracting officer ensures that all requirements of law, executive orders, regulations, and all other applicable procedures, including clearances and approvals, have been met."
Specific details are addressed in FAR 1.602-2 -- Responsibilities.