What is the Governments definition of the term clearly identify and does part number alone qualify? Is there anywhere that states exactly what fields need to be flowed to Subcontractors to identify tools?
The following response is based solely on the question and background information provided. As we do not have the entire facts particular to your contract, program, and situation, we suggest you discuss with your contracting team, program manager and/or legal department and Government oversight partners as appropriate.
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I will answer your question generally; specifically; and then some great generalizable points you raise.
First to the general question of where are terms and processes operationalized within a contractor’s Property Management System. Looking at FAR 52.245-1, Government Property (b) and (f) (GPC) state:
(b) Property management. (1) The Contractor shall have a system of internal controls to manage (control, use, preserve, protect, repair, and maintain) Government property in its possession. The system shall be adequate to satisfy the requirements of this clause. In doing so, the Contractor shall initiate and maintain the processes, systems, procedures, records, and methodologies necessary for effective and efficient control of Government property…
(f) Contractor plans and systems. (1) Contractors shall establish and implement property management plans, systems, and procedures at the contract, program, site or entity level to enable the following outcomes:…
SO, your PMS procedures must define to your organization and the Government how you will meet your contractual requirements with regards to Government property, which includes the requirements of the GPC.
NOW, a quick 3-part test:
1. What do you procedures state?; 2. Are you following them?; and 3. Do they enable you to comply with contractual requirements?
If everybody (contractor and Government) agrees that the last two answers are, then in most cases you should be contractually compliant. If not, corrective actions are most likely warranted.
Okay, now to your specific question of what to do when a term isn’t defined as described in FAR 52.202-1, Definitions? FAR 1.108 (consistent with contract law) states:
FAR 1.108 (a) Words and terms. Definitions in Part 2 apply to the entire regulation unless specifically defined in another part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Words or terms defined in a specific part, subpart, section, provision, or clause have that meaning when used in that part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Undefined words retain their common dictionary meaning.
Even if we settle on which of the 22 definitions of “clear” at www.dictionary.com, “7. free from doubt or confusion” that still leaves room for reasonable people to disagree (OK, I’ll say it ... “IT DEPENDS!”)
“Free from doubt or confusion”. In many cases PN identifies what (e.g., 100 Mw power generator) whereas the inclusion of the additional descriptors (SN or IUID) tell which one. Does part number always provide that to the level required or is additional information required? If there is a serial number, is it required for traceability for tracking or maintenance? …
Due to the many variables, I cannot answer your specific questions other than refer you to the discussion above.
Another great topic you bring up is, where can I go when there is no specific guidance in the contract?
FAR 52.245-1 (b) provide some additional assistance:
… The Contractor may employ customary commercial practices, voluntary consensus standards, or industry-leading practices and standards that provide effective and efficient Government property management that are necessary and appropriate for the performance of this contract (except where inconsistent with law or regulation).
Although DoDI 5000.64 generally is not incorporated as specific T&Cs of a contract, you MAY consider it to be an ILP/BP. As such using it to establish your internal processes and procedures to enable contractual requirements could be appropriate.
I would caution in applying where the “OR” belongs in the list as there is an “AND” at the end of the list. Reading subparagraphs 4.7 with 4.6 helps provide context that the “OR” could only mean between “UII or DoD recognized IUID equivalent if available and necessary for unique identification”.