Contracting Officer Representative (COR)
DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION
Contracting Officers are responsible for deciding if they need an individual to serve as their authorized representative (i.e., COR) for purposes of monitoring the technical or administrative aspects of contractor performance during the life-cycle of the contract. FAR 1.602-2(d), DFARS 201.602-2(d) and PGI 201.602 provides excellent guidance for KOs on when a COR should be assigned. Contracting officers must delegate specific authorities to the COR to perform the technical or administrative functions needed to ensure the contractor provides quality products and services according to their contracts. Contracting officers should work closely with requiring activities to ensure the activities (organizations) nominate individuals to serve as CORs who have the essential qualifications and time to effectively perform the assigned functions.
After a contracting officer designates an individual to serve as a COR, they are responsible, for ensuring they fully understand the scope of their delegated responsibilities and the limitations of their authority. If they have any questions or issues regarding their responsibilities or authority, they must obtain clarifications from the contracting officer before they begin performing as the COR. CORs and their respective organizations are responsible for obtaining the training and experience needed to be assigned and remain qualified to serve as CORs.
In accordance with Enclosures 3 and 4 of DoDI 5000.72, Requiring Activities are responsible for identifying and nominating individuals for COR assignments, and ensuring that the individuals will be provided the necessary resources (time, supplies, equipment, and opportunity) to perform the designated functions. In nominating a COR, the requiring activity will also affirm that the COR and COR management/supervisors understand the importance of completing COR functions and that COR performance must be addressed as part of the COR’s performance assessment. CORs are the eyes and ears of the KO. The key role of the COR is to observe, document, and communicate contractor performance to both the CO and Contractor.
The KO should consult with Enclosure 6 of DoDI 5000.72 to determine and identify the specific tasks and duties to be performed by the COR for the particular contract or task/delivery order. Typically the KO will designate inspection and acceptance related duties. Table 1 in Enclosure 6 of DoDI 5000.72 provides a list of 59 potential tasks or duties. This list is not all inclusive and a KO may identify unique contract administration related requirements for that particular contract or task/delivery order which could be delegated to the COR.
As you can see, there are many duties the COR may be ask to perform. However, there are duties and actions they are NOT authorized to perform, including:
- Promise or authorize more work
- Get involved with subcontractors without the permission and direction of the prime
- Divulge budget information
- Award, agree to, or sign any contract, delivery order, or task order. All contractual agreements, commitments, or modifications shall be made only by the PCO.
- Grant deviations from or waive any terms and conditions of the contract.
- Impose or place a demand upon the Contractor to perform any task or permit any substitution not specifically provided for in the contract.
- Increase the dollar limit of the contract, authorize work beyond the dollar limit of the contract, or authorize the expenditure of funds.
- Give direction to the Contractor or to the employees of the Contractor except as provided for in the contract.
- Change the period of performance.
- Authorize the purchase of equipment except as authorized under the contract.
- Authorize the furnishing of government property except as required under the contract.
- Authorize subcontracting or the use of consultants.
- Approve shifts of funding between line items of the budget
- Approve travel and relocation expenses over and above that provided for in the contract
- Authorize the use of overtime
- Issue stop work orders
DOD COR TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION PROGRAM
The Panel on Contracting Integrity directed the development of a DoD Standard for COR Training/Certification to ensure properly trained and ready CORs are available before contract award. The following prescribes DoD Policy and instruction on the training and experience requirements for CORs in DoD:
Released in March 2015, it identifies the requirements and steps necessary to ensure properly trained and qualified personnel are available before contract award for COR assignments.
Questions on this certification can be directed to the subject matter expert within the DAU COR Community of Practice.
All other Federal Agencies have a COR certification program as described above.