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    Q. Can a requirement generator serve as COR? Thank you.


    Answer

    This is a really good question and comes up now and again. That said, there is no straightforward answer. When it comes to separation of duties regarding acquisition functions there are very few clear cut limitations. One of those is (see the DoD FMR) between paying agent responsibility and acceptance responsibility. Those activities require a separation of duties. There are also other areas (e.g. Opertational Test & Evaluation), but we will not go into those details. 

    There are many, many instances where if the COR is part of the requiring activitiy, is involved from start to end of the pre-award and award phase of the acquisition, then they are intimately knowledgeable of what the contract performance requirements are and as a result make outstanding CORs.

    The key is what authorities and responsibilities the KO (contracting officer) assigns and delegates to the COR. Remember, CORs are being delegated responsibilites and actions that are inherent in the KO's warrant. Examples include doing inspection, doing governemnet acceptance, providing the contractor technical direction.

    What guides and covers the COR's actual actions to avoid any apparent or real conflicts of interest are U.S. Code, Regualtions, and Agency policies. As a  Federal employee, your DD has a legal duty to engage in ethical conduct in all interactions and to avoid actions which may even give the appearance of improper conduct. The 14 Ethics Principles found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 5, Section 2635.101, serve as an excellent guide and summary of ethical obligations. Additional guidance is in the DoD Joint Ethics Regulation at DoD 5500.7-R which are often augmented by Agency level Ethics related regulations or policies. None of these go away because a person is a COR and any violation could result in adverse action agains the COR-DD. This is one of the reasons we require all CORs to take and pass ACQ 0030 (which replaced CLM 003) Overview of Acquisition Ethics.

    If you still have a concern, we strongly suggest you seek advice of your contracts legal officer and/or Ethics advisor.

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