Our ACO is livid about this sittuation. We in QA don't believe we can leagally approve this work to be accomplished (therefore obligating the Government for the Over and Above payment). Can you tell me a reference, USC Reference, FAR Reference or other that identifies the limitations of PCO to ACO to further delegations? I recall reading somethng before that absolutely says that PCO delegations to ACO's cannot further be delegated.
There are two things to consider in answering your question. First is the sub-delegation of certain responsibilities. Second, is who can authorize the payment of over and above work? Let’s start by looking at the first question. Per FAR 42.302 (a), the contracting officer will delegate contract administration functions to a Contract Administration Office (CAO) and not directly to an Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO). The CAO will then assign the functions assigned to the appropriate section of the CAO.
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So, to answer the first question in regard to your situation, the ACO is not re-delegating any functions, the CAO is executing the functions as delegated. Now, looking into your specific situation, it will depend on how your contract is written. DFARS Subpart 217.77 addresses Over and Above Work. That subpart refers you to DFARS PGI 217.7701 as well as the clause at DFARS 252.217-7028. The first thing to consider is if the over and above work is included in the contract. If it is, then the work is within the scope of the contract and the clause at DFARS 252.217-7028 should be included in the contract. That clause states that “the contractor and ACO shall mutually agree to procedures for Government administration and Contractor performance of over and above work requests.” The clause further states that the contractor shall submit information sufficient to satisfy the requirement and obtain the authorization of the contracting officer for the contractor to perform the work.
Therefore, the contracting officer, not the QA, would be responsible for the approval of the work. That being said, DFARS PGI 217.7701 does allow for a blanket work authorization setting forth a dollar limitation for all over and above work on the contract. If a blanket work authorization is included in the contract, then the contracting officer has already obligated the Government. If that is the scenario you are operating under, then the QA is not obligating the Government, rather they are approving work within the scope of the contract using money that has already been obligated. If there is not a blanket work authorization in place, then any new over and above work would have to be approved by the contracting officer obligating the Government. This would normally be done via a contract modification signed by the contracting officer.