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    Can you please tell me where it is required for the customer to sign such documentation (e.g. market research reports, IGCEs) and what, if any documentation (e.g. justification and approvals, technical evaluations, other documents) are required to be signed individually on the document by the customer (please cite references). This appears to be non-value added busy work.


    Interesting question...

    What constitutes an “approved PR package” varies widely depending on the contract action. It could be as simple as just a purchase request form (DD 448-MIPR, AF Form 9, DA Form 3953, etc.) to one that requires everything from the purchase request form to certified drawings or specifications and everything in between (DD Form 1423 – CDRLs, DD Form 2579 – SB Coordination, DD Form 254 – Security Classification Guide, Government Property List, Certification of Nonpersonal Services (see DFARS PGI 237.503), Award Fee Plan, QASP, etc., etc., etc.).

    A comprehensive review and research of all of these would be too exhaustive. As a result, we limited our research to the documents you specifically mentioned.

    First, general guidance:

    Any official form that is required typically includes instructions on who should/must sign the form. DFARS subpart 211.7 and DFARS PGI 211.7001 did not mention the signature requirements for Purchase Requests.

    In most instances the FAR, DFARS, and DFARS PGI rarely stipulate who must “sign” documents. They normally direct who must “approve” the document or that one be accomplished. Notable exceptions include the requirement for the contracting officer to sign the contract or modification (FAR 4.101, FAR 15.504(c), and FAR 43.103 respectively). In the event the FAR or the Agency’s FAR Supplement does not expressly state who must sign (approve) the document then we fall back to FAR 1.108(f) Imperative sentences. When an imperative sentence directs action, the contracting officer is responsible for the action, unless another party is expressly cited. (bold italics added for emphasis). However, that does not imply the contracting officer (KO) must be the one to complete the action (sign a document), it means the KO must make sure it gets accomplished.

    Market Research Report, Independent Government Cost Estimate, or Technical Evaluation:

    Our research of FAR part 10, DoD SD-5, FAR part 11, FAR part 15, and FAR part 37 (and corresponding DFARS and DFARS PGI) revealed no specific guidance on who must, or even if one is required, sign any of these. Note: we did not search for actions related to Construction, A-E, or Sealed Bidding. Nor did we search any service component or 4th Estate FAR/DFARS Supplement.

    Determination and Findings (D&F) and Justification and Approval (J&A):

    When it comes to D&Fs, the primary references is FAR subpart 1.7. FAR 1.704(g) requires a signature and date of the official authorized to sign the D&F. FAR 1.707 states “…it shall be signed by the appropriate official in accordance with agency regulations. Authority to sign or delegate signature authority for the various D&F’s is as shown in the applicable FAR part.” Example: the D&F required to exercise an Option. FAR 17.207(f) states “Before exercising an option, the contracting officer shall make a written determination…” neither the DFARS, DFARS PGI, or AFARS (if using the Army as an example) implements or supplements that guidance.

    J&As: FAR 6.303-1(a) requires the contracting officer justify and certify in writing the accuracy and completeness of the action(s). FAR 6.303-1(b)(2) requires the J&A to be approved by an appropriate official designated at FAR 6.304. DFARS 206.304 and DFARS PGI 206.304 provides guidance to DoD when certain conditions exist.

    Finally: Because most of the documents you are referring to would end up in the contract file; we reviewed FAR subpart 4.8 Contract Files and DFARS subpart 204.8 and did not find anything prescriptive regarding “signatures”.

    Back to your comment of “non-value added busy work”; the best we can offer is the following from the Statement of guiding principles for the Federal Acquisition System:

    FAR 1.102-2(b) Minimize administrative operating costs. (1) In order to ensure that maximum efficiency is obtained, rules, regulations, and policies should be promulgated only when their benefits clearly exceed the costs of their development, implementation, administration, and enforcement. This applies to internal administrative processes, including reviews, and to rules and procedures applied to the contractor community. Again, bold italics added for emphasis.

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