Can the Government furnish GFP on a contract by shipping directly to a subcontractor instead of sending the items to the prime contract holder?
The Government should not ship GFP accountable to a prime contract to a subcontractor without the prime contractor’s consent since there is no contractual relationship between the Government and the subcontractor. If the Government ships GFP directly to a subcontractor without consent from the prime contractor, the Government’s risks associated with the property may also be increased (e.g., accountability). Your statement regarding prime contractor receipt, inspection, and administration is correct. GFP provided to a prime contractor comes with warranties of suitability of use and timely delivery. FAR 52.245-1(d)(2) states in part that GFP “…will be delivered to the Contractor by the dates stated in the contract.” If the prime contractor is denied an opportunity to inspect the property accountable to the contract, the reporting of discrepancies incident to shipment is likely to be impacted. Also, sending GFP directly to a subcontractor without the prime contractor’s consent interferes with the prime contractor’s subcontractor control responsibilities identified in FAR 52.245-1. Subcontractor control responsibilities include identifying items being provided and any restrictions or limitations of use, flowing down the requirements FAR 52.245-1 and other contract terms and conditions relative to Government property such as liability provisions.