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    Does FAR 52-246-11 have to listed in the contract before you can request the contractor to comply with a higher lever quality such as AS9100 or ISO9001 in the SOW.


    If 52.246-11 is not used in one of your awarded contracts, then that’s an issue to be explained/resolved by the cognizant contracting officer and your local contracting policy office.

    In general, the use of Clause 52.246-11 is used as prescribed in FAR 46.311(a) which states that,

    “The contracting officer shall insert the clause 52.246-11, Higher-Level Quality Requirement, in solicitations and contracts when the inclusion of a higher-level contract quality requirement is necessary (see 46.202-4).”

    46.202-4 -- Higher-Level Contract Quality Requirements.

    (a) Agencies shall establish procedures for determining when higher-level contract quality requirements are necessary, for determining the risk (both the likelihood and the impact) of nonconformance, and for advising the contracting officer about which higher-level standards should be applied and included in the solicitation and contract. Requiring compliance with higher-level quality standards is necessary in solicitations and contracts for complex or critical items (see 46.203) or when the technical requirements of the contract require --

    (1) Control of such things as design, work operations, in-process controls, testing, and inspection; or

    (2) Attention to such factors as organization, planning, work instructions, documentation control, and advanced metrology.

    (b) Examples of higher-level quality standards include overarching quality management system standards such as ISO 9001, ASQ/ANSI E4; ASME NQA-1, SAE AS9100, SAE AS9003, and ISO/TS 16949, and product or process specific quality standards such as SAE AS5553.

    46.203 -- Criteria for Use of Contract Quality Requirements.

    The extent of contract quality requirements, including contractor inspection, required under a contract shall usually be based upon the classification of the contract item (supply or service) as determined by its technical description, its complexity, and the criticality of its application.

    (a) Technical description. Contract items may be technically classified as--

    (1) Commercial (described in commercial catalogs, drawings, or industrial standards; see Part 2); or

    (2) Military-Federal (described in Government drawings and specifications).

    (b) Complexity.

    (1) Complex items have quality characteristics, not wholly visible in the end item, for which contractual conformance must be established progressively through precise measurements, tests, and controls applied during purchasing, manufacturing, performance, assembly, and functional operation either as an individual item or in conjunction with other items.

    (2) Noncomplex items have quality characteristics for which simple measurement and test of the end item are sufficient to determine conformance to contract requirements.

    (c) Criticality.

    (1) A critical application of an item is one in which the failure of the item could injure personnel or jeopardize a vital agency mission. A critical item may be either peculiar, meaning it has only one application, or common, meaning it has multiple applications.

    (2) A noncritical application is any other application. Noncritical items may also be either peculiar or common.

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