Is there any official documentation I can read that defines a CDR and specifically when to administer them?
Great question. You actually have a lot of flexibility for a Contract Discrepancy Report (CDR) as there is no mandated format or content checklist to follow. Unless of course your local organization or contracting officer has a preferred method/format.
That said these are the common elements most CDRs have:
Administrative Information: contract number, dates, corresponding contract information impacted (CLINs, PWS or SOW parargraphs, specifications, drawings, etc. impacted)
Facts: what is the non-conformance, what part of the contractor’s effort is not meeting contractual requirements? Date(s) of occurrence, inspection results, etc.
Contractor’s Response: root cause analysis (if any), rationale, etc.
Government Actions or Response: recommendations or formal technical direction given to the contractor, proposed remedies, etc.
Here are a few resources to help you:
a) The DD Form 2772: This is a non-mandatory DD Form which can be used to document a contractor discrepancy.
b) WIFCON post: This is a link to a WIFCON post showing an example of a structured surveillance approach and documentation of a CDR.
c) Guidebook for the Acquisition of Services: see section 7.3 page 55.
d) Finally: FAR part 46 and DFARS part 246 (and your agency supplement) has additional information related to inspection and acceptance and non-conformances.