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    A DoDEA contracting officer has a $1 million warrant. There is a contract whose current value exceeds $1 million. The next option period on the contract needs to be exercised. The value of the option is less than $1 million. Can that contracting officer sign the modification exercising the option?


    Answer

    FAR 1.603-1(a) and FAR 43.102(a) don't definitively address this scenario.  However, the authority for issuance of warrants resides with Agency/Component HCAs.

    When warrants are issued without clear details regarding any limits on the level of authority granted, the application of these limits may be interpreted differently, with some believing it applies at the individual action level and others believing it is the aggregate contract value.

    Accordingly, the DoD Contracting Officer Warranting Program Model (https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/usa000606-12-dpap.pdf), pages 4B-5B, states:

    “The requirements of FAR 1.603-3(a) provide that any limitations on the scope of authority to be exercised shall be stated on a SF 1402, Certificate of Appointment.  However, there is a general issue which may need to be addressed either in the individual organizational program or in the organization’s supplement to the FAR and the DFARS regarding contracting officer authority as it relates to contract modifications and to the issuance of task orders (TOs) or delivery orders (DOs) against indefinite-delivery contracts (FAR 16.5).

    Specifically, is the authority to modify a contract based on the total value of the contract as modified or of the modification only?  Similarly, is the authority to issue TOs/DOs based on the total value of the contract as changed or of the instant TO/DO only?”

    So it is your DoDEA HCA who needs to answer your question.  If their intent in granting the limited authority was not clear as written in the SF 1402, then a clarification should be requested, and provided, in writing.

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