Since June, we've been working with a vendor to award a PO (sole source) for the removal and disposal of chemicals to be performed July 17. The last statement on the initial SOW stated that the vendor agrees to provide us with the manifest for delivery to disposal site and certification of disposal releasing us from liability. The contact for the vendor is a different person now and he replied today (in regards to the SOW): 'Everything looks fine except for the last statement in the scope of work. We need to have that removed. We can provide a certificate of destruction, but that in and of its self does not release the customer from liability'. What are our options?
This response is based on the information provided. We suggest you discuss with your contracting officer and/or legal department as appropriate.
Open full Question Details
We do not know the details of your requirement, RFP or model contract. But this is not a FAR question, it is a business decision. It would seem you are dealing with hazardous waste and are then required to meet certain federal, state and/or local laws and regulations. The vendor is not willing to take on the liability. If that is a requirement of effort, the vendor is non-compliant and you should not award the contract. Some questions to ask are:
If we insist on contractor liability, how would that raise cost?
If we insist on contractor liability, might the vendor refuse to enter the contract?
If we remove the requirement, what is the risk to the government?
Are there other vendors out there that can do the job and accept liability (one assumes market research has answered this)?
Your office must make a business decision with regard to risk to bear and price to pay. The contractor is not required to enter a contract with the government (at least not based on the scenario presented)