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  • Question

    Looking for some standard contract language on the warranty, specifically anything that would prevent the government from certain actions because they would void the warranty.


    Answer

    We are not aware of "contract language" as you described it in your question.  Probably the biggest risk of voiding the warranty occurs when the government takes beneficial occupancy of a building before construction is complete.  In accordance with FAR clause 52.236-11, except for latent defects or fraud when the government takes beneficial occupancy, all risk of the project falls on the Government.  During this period extreme care must be exercised not to alter, repair or change in any way the facility or any equipment therein. If any occurs, it may alter the Contractor’s and Government’s rights under the contract clauses for warranty and inspection.  Also, the responsibility for maintenance and security of the project now rests with the using activity.  Inadequate maintenance and significant modifications to the facility may void the contractor's warranty.

    Honestly though, I don't think putting special contract language in the contract solves your problem.  The purpose of the contract is to spell out the government's and contractor's rights and responsibilities governing our contractual relationship with one another over the life of the contract.  However, it sounds like what you're trying to do is put safeguards in place to prevent government personnel from taking actions that might void the warranty.  Why don't you write a policy memorandum signed at appropriate leadership level that prohibits the activities you're concerned about, train your personnel on the policy, inspect for compliance (e.g. like when contracting does a periodic review of the COR's contract file documentation) or make it part of the personnel appraisal process if the issue is serious enough.  However, before adopting any of these internal procedures, I strongly encourage discussing them with your contracting officer, policy folks, contracts reviewer, customer and human resources.

     

     

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