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    When The vendor is not being timely or responsive and we need to complete a deobligation in order to close out the contract, what recourse do we have? What would the authority be for completing a unilateral deobligation? any other options?


    This response is based on the information provided.  We suggest you discuss with your contracting officer and/or legal department as appropriate. 
    The question presented lacks significant detail necessary to provide a tailored answer—contract type, age of funds, final payment status, resolution of any indirect rates, incremental funding clauses, etc., would all play into such an answer.
    In talking with you over the phone, you indicated that you have many contracts, some FP and others CR, some still requiring audit of indirect rates, etc., and that your main concern was that the contractors seem to be dragging the process out, are not responding in a timely manner, and that you were seeking advice on how to expedite closeout—thus the question, “What would be the authority for completing a unilateral deobligation” given the contractors’ responses. 
    There are multiple schools of thought on the need for/use of a unilateral versus bilateral modification, each supported based on the specifics of the situation and circumstances.  Because your situation involves generalities rather than a specific contract action, we cannot provide advice to support a unilateral deobligation; however, a search of previous answers to similar questions under DAU’s Ask a Professor as well as other contracting forums such as or will provide some help on the specifics of whichever contract you’re trying to close.  No single authority will work for all or even most situations. 
    If you would like advice on a specific contract, please contact us with the details and we can go from there.

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