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  • Question

    Is QASP part of the contract? Or is it an internal document that can be change anytime if necessary?


    Answer

    The QASP may or may not be in the contract, but it should always be in the solicitation.

    In FAR 46.101 states: Contract quality requirements means the technical requirements in the contract relating to the quality of the product or service and those contract clauses prescribing inspection, and other quality controls incumbent on the contractor, to assure that the product or service conforms to the contractual requirements.

    Based on this wording, contracting personnel differ on if this means the QASP.   In a solicitation, the contractor submits a Quality Control Plan in which the contractor will describe how they plan to assure their performance meets the quality standards prescribed in the contract.

    Lets look at the definition of both:

    The Quality Control Plan (QCP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) is developed by the contractor and submitted for Government approval in compliance with their contract deliverables. The Contractor, and not the Government, is responsible for management and quality control actions necessary to meet the quality standards set forth by the contract and follow-on task orders. Once accepted, the Contractor then uses the QCP to guide and to rigorously document the implementation of the required management and quality control actions to achieve the specified results. 

    The Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) on the other hand, is put in place to provide Government surveillance oversight of the Contractor’s quality control efforts to assure that they are timely, effective and are delivering the results specified in the contract or task order. The QASP is not a part of the contract nor is it intended to duplicate the Contractor’s QCP. The Government may provide the Contractor an information copy of the QASP as an Attachment to the solicitation to support the Contractor’s efforts in developing a QCP that will interrelate with the Government’s QASP. The QASP should reflect the Contractor’s responsibility to perform effective Quality Control. The QASP should be developed concurrent with and traceable to PWS, Standards, and AQL. It should be implemented as written to assure objectivity and consistency.

    There is nothing in the FAR saying you can or cannot have the QASP as part of the contract. 

    In FAR 46.101 states: Contract quality requirements means the technical requirements in the contract relating to the quality of the product or service and those contract clauses prescribing inspection, and other quality controls incumbent on the contractor, to assure that the product or service conforms to the contractual requirements.

     

    Based on this wording, people go back and forth about if this means the QASP.   In a solicitation, the contractor submits a Quality Control Plan in which the contractor will describe how they plan to assure their performance meets the quality standards prescribed in the contract.

     

    Here is the definition of both:

     

    The Quality Control Plan (QCP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) is developed by the contractor and submitted for Government approval in compliance with his contract deliverables. The Contractor, and not the Government, is responsible for management and quality control actions necessary to meet the quality standards set forth by the contract and follow-on task orders. Once accepted, the Contractor then uses the QCP to guide and to rigorously document the implementation of the required management and quality control actions to achieve the specified results. 

     

    The Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) on the other hand, is put in place to provide Government surveillance oversight of the Contractor’s quality control efforts to assure that they are timely, effective and are delivering the results specified in the contract or task order. The QASP is not a part of the contract nor is it intended to duplicate the Contractor’s QCP. The Government may provide the Contractor an information copy of the QASP as an Attachment to the solicitation to support the Contractor’s efforts in developing a QCP that will interrelate with the Government’s QASP. The QASP should reflect Contractor’s responsibility to perform Quality Control. The QASP should be developed concurrent with and traceable to PWS, Standards, and AQL. It should be implemented as written to assure objectivity and consistency.

     

    There is nothing in the FAR saying you can or can't have the QASP as part of the contract.  Many KO's believe it shouldn't be because any changes to the plan requires a bilateral modification. That requires contractor approval, and may create the potential for a dispute. We create the QASP and can put it in the solicitation, and from this, the Contractor creates the QCP which must be approved by the Government, just like their proposal.

    I recommend not putting it in the contract.  The contractor is already bound by their QCP (just like their proposal).

    For more information, see this link:  https://www.navsup.navy.mil/site/public/flcph/documents/contracting/cor_guides/A_CORs_Guide_to_QASP.pdf

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