Does a FAR provision exist requiring formal delegation of a COR, COTR, or GTM for contract oversight, including property accountability, or does language only have to be included in the solicitation or contract specifying that one or more individuals will be assigned this responsibility? I've researched the FAR, DOSAR, FAH, and FAM, and can find no guiding documentation.
Great question, but let’s break this down into manageable chunks.
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1) “Does a FAR Provision (or Clause) exist requiring formal delegation of a COR/COTR/GTM…”? No. The guidance is found in multiple locations including:
FAR 1.602-2(d) “…Designate and authorize, in writing, a contracting officer’s representative (COR) on all contracts and orders other than those that are firm-fixed price, and for firm-fixed-price contracts and orders as appropriate…”
Notice it does not say when the designation is needed or how to notify the Contractor; so more guidance is needed.
FAR 7.104(e) says “…as early as practicable…” so that gives the Contracting Officer some leeway in answering the “when?” question. Note that FAR Part 7 discusses Acquisition Planning.
FAR 16.301-3(a)(4)(i) says”…at least one contracting officer’s representative (COR) qualified in accordance with 1.602-2 has been made prior to award of the contract or order…” Note that FAR 16.3 discusses cost reimbursement contracts.
2) How do I designate a COR? A COR should be given a Letter of Designation. I'm sure your Agency or organization has a template of one for you to use. How is the contractor notified of who the COR(s) is/are? In your case you would use DOS clause DOSAR 652.242-70 Contracting Officer’s Representative, in your solicitation and contract to identify who the individual(s) is/are. The FAR council leaves this clause up to each individual Agency to develop.
3) What is a COR? Is a Property Specialist or a GTM (Government Technical Representative) a COR? Well… it depends on what roles you are having your property specialist or GTM responsible for. Normally a property specialist’s function is highly specialized and identified in FAR Parts 42 and 45 (and your applicable Agency Supplement). If they are from the GS-1102 career field and their duties are limited to property administration there is probably no need to identify them as a COR (note: OFPP and FAI no longer use the acronym COTR). In other words, the property specialist will not be reviewing or approving invoices for payment or giving technical direction outside the realm of GFP.
The GTM is a trickier scenario and again depends on what they are doing. If the GTM is authorized to give technical direction to the contractor and is the eyes and ears of the contracting officer, then they are probably a COR and should be designated as such. However, if the GTM is providing technical direction, advice, support, expertise to the Contracting Officer and COR; and has limited or no authority to direct the contractor, then they are probably just a subject matter expert called upon when needed and therefore not a COR in the true sense of the definition (sorry for the run-on sentence). The question you need to ask yourself is “does my GTM perform specific technical and administrative functions for this contract?” such as review invoices; approve drawings or deliverables, etc. Note: see the definition of a COR in FAR 2.101.