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    Verifying if a warranted contracting officer has to sign the AF 3000 material submittal, or can a Contract Officer without a warrant sign?


    Answer

    When I checked in AFFARS, I found that the AF Form 3000 has been archived, so it's no longer required for Air Force construction contracts.  In accordance with AFFARS 5336.9001, "Contracting Officers are encouraged to use existing contractor-developed forms to the maximum extent practicable. In those instances where commercial forms are not available, the following templates may be used to administer construction programs:

     

    *            Contract Inspection and Acceptance Report

    *            Construction Cost Estimate Breakdown

    *            Schedule of Material Submittals

    *            Contract Bonds Checklist

    *            Pre-performance Conference Checklist"

     

         From reading the prescription for the old AF Form 3000, it appears this form was intended to supplement FAR clause 52.236-5 -- Material and Workmanship in the contract.  Essentially, it looks as though the form was a submittal for the contractor to obtain the government's approval for materials and equipment the contractor planned to install during the actual construction.  According to the clause, the Contracting Officer’s approval is required for "machinery and mechanical and other equipment to be incorporated into the work."  The clause further states "when required by this contract or by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall also obtain the Contracting Officer’s approval of the material or articles which the Contractor contemplates incorporating into the work."  The AF Form 3000 or an equivalent material submittal used by the contractor permits the Contracting officer or his or her designated representative to review and approve the materials and equipment the contractor plans to install during construction.  This is to ensure these items conform to the contract specifications and that they meet quality standards as required by the contract.

     

         Bottom line: the clause permits the Contracting Officer some discretion in establishing the review/approval requirements for the construction materials submittals by the contractor.  In accordance with FAR 1.602-2(d), the Contracting Officer may designate and authorize, in writing and in accordance with agency procedures, a contracting officer’s representative (COR), to act on his or her behalf.  Since the Contracting Officer does have some discretion implementing FAR clause 52.236-5, it stands to reason that the Contracting Officer could authorize a COR to review the contractor's submittal and either have the COR sign the submittal for approval or forward to the Contracting Officer to sign.  Of course, you need to read the contract (probably in the specifications or SOW) to find out what it says the process is for obtaining the government’s approval of submittals.  The contract also needs to identify the COR's name and contact information in the contract and the contractor needs to know and understand the COR's as well as the Contracting officer’s role and responsibilities as they relate to the pre-construction submittal process. 

     

         While an experienced and reliable COR can be invaluable in administering a construction contract, the Contracting Officer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the COR is NOT overstepping the limits of his or her authority nor causing a constructive change to the contract.

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