What authority should we be using for Construction modifications to contracts that are not actually change orders? i.e. funding mods, exercising options, administrative mods, suspensions of work mods, etc.
In order to prepare a modification, one must have authority to do so. The changes clause (FAR 52.243-4) is for “in scope” changes to the contract. It is to be used in contracts that are for dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements; and construction, when a fixed price contract is contemplated and the contract amount is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.
For other types of modification they will have different authority. For example to exercise an option, the authority would be FAR 52.217-9. For suspension of work, the authority would come from FAR 52.242-14, Suspension of Work.
The specific FAR cite shall be cited on the SF30 as the authority to do this contractual action.
DAU currently has a Contract Modification Authority Decision Help Guide located at https://www.dau.mil/tools/Lists/DAUTools/Attachments/48691/Contract%20Modification%20Authority%20Decision%20Help%20Guide.pdf. This tool can assist in determining authorities in the future.