Medium 9781567263947

Managing Federal Government Contracts

Views: 93
Ratings: (0)
You've Got Questions – We've Got Answers
Questions can arise at any point in the process of working with government contracts. Now, you have an accessible resource you can trust for authoritative answers.Managing Federal Government Contracts: The Answer Book covers the contract management process from planning to closeout and all the steps in between. Using the regulations and legislation as a basis, author Charles Solloway draws on his many years of experience to craft answers that will help you address the issues you face every day .
This book provides answers to the questions most commonly asked by government program and contracting personnel, contracting officer's representatives, contractor employees, inspectors, and all those involved in government contract management. The question-and-answer format makes getting the information you need quick and efficient. Examples of forms and templates drawn from actual contract work are included to make your work easier. Along with the basics on the roles of the various contract team members and the different aspects associated with each contract type, this resource covers:
• Partnering issues
• Data use for efficient contract management
• Remedial actions and how to properly initiate them
• The government's role with subcontractors
Don't let your questions go unanswered. Get Managing Federal Government Contracts: The Answer Book.

List price: $59.95

Your Price: $44.96

You Save: 25%

Remix
Remove
 

42 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

Chapter 1: Basic Information for Contract Managers

ePub

This chapter is devoted to questions and answers that involve the basics of contract management, and it defines the key players involved in the contract management process. This information is essential for those new to the field and can serve as a reminder for the rest of us.

Part 1 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) describes this vision for the acquisition system:

•Participants in the process should work together as a team and be empowered to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. They should keep in mind that the system exists to serve the customer.

•The acquisition team includes representatives of the technical, supply, and procurement communities; the customers they serve; and the contractors that provide supplies and services.

It is important to keep the team approach in mind when involved in contract management or any other aspect of federal government acquisition.

Once a contract is awarded, it is monitored by both government and contractor personnel to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract and to identify any remedial or other actions that should be taken. These contract management actions might include increases or decreases in cost or price, changes in terms and conditions, the execution of contract provisions that allow the ordering of additional supplies or services, and even termination of the contract. They might also include any steps needed to close out the contract once the contract requirements have been satisfied.

 

Exhibit 1-1: Sample Contract Officer Representative (COR) Letter

ePub

This chapter is devoted to questions and answers that involve the basics of contract management, and it defines the key players involved in the contract management process. This information is essential for those new to the field and can serve as a reminder for the rest of us.

Part 1 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) describes this vision for the acquisition system:

•Participants in the process should work together as a team and be empowered to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. They should keep in mind that the system exists to serve the customer.

•The acquisition team includes representatives of the technical, supply, and procurement communities; the customers they serve; and the contractors that provide supplies and services.

It is important to keep the team approach in mind when involved in contract management or any other aspect of federal government acquisition.

Once a contract is awarded, it is monitored by both government and contractor personnel to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract and to identify any remedial or other actions that should be taken. These contract management actions might include increases or decreases in cost or price, changes in terms and conditions, the execution of contract provisions that allow the ordering of additional supplies or services, and even termination of the contract. They might also include any steps needed to close out the contract once the contract requirements have been satisfied.

 

Exhibit 1-2: The Heroes in the Trenches

ePub

This chapter is devoted to questions and answers that involve the basics of contract management, and it defines the key players involved in the contract management process. This information is essential for those new to the field and can serve as a reminder for the rest of us.

Part 1 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) describes this vision for the acquisition system:

•Participants in the process should work together as a team and be empowered to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. They should keep in mind that the system exists to serve the customer.

•The acquisition team includes representatives of the technical, supply, and procurement communities; the customers they serve; and the contractors that provide supplies and services.

It is important to keep the team approach in mind when involved in contract management or any other aspect of federal government acquisition.

Once a contract is awarded, it is monitored by both government and contractor personnel to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract and to identify any remedial or other actions that should be taken. These contract management actions might include increases or decreases in cost or price, changes in terms and conditions, the execution of contract provisions that allow the ordering of additional supplies or services, and even termination of the contract. They might also include any steps needed to close out the contract once the contract requirements have been satisfied.

 

Exhibit 1-3: The Uniform Contract Format (FAR Part 15)

ePub

This chapter is devoted to questions and answers that involve the basics of contract management, and it defines the key players involved in the contract management process. This information is essential for those new to the field and can serve as a reminder for the rest of us.

Part 1 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) describes this vision for the acquisition system:

•Participants in the process should work together as a team and be empowered to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. They should keep in mind that the system exists to serve the customer.

•The acquisition team includes representatives of the technical, supply, and procurement communities; the customers they serve; and the contractors that provide supplies and services.

It is important to keep the team approach in mind when involved in contract management or any other aspect of federal government acquisition.

Once a contract is awarded, it is monitored by both government and contractor personnel to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract and to identify any remedial or other actions that should be taken. These contract management actions might include increases or decreases in cost or price, changes in terms and conditions, the execution of contract provisions that allow the ordering of additional supplies or services, and even termination of the contract. They might also include any steps needed to close out the contract once the contract requirements have been satisfied.

 

Chapter 2: Planning Issues and the Impact of Contract Type

ePub

Much of what is done in the planning phase of an acquisition has a great deal of influence on contract management issues. This chapter focuses on two of the most significant of these planning matters—contractor selection and contract type.

Awarding a contract on the basis of price alone can sometimes mean making an award to a contractor that is marginally qualified to perform the work. That could translate to a need for more intense surveillance during the course of the contract and to any of a number of contract performance problems.

On the other hand, using a best value procurement where trade-offs can be made between price and quality factors increases the potential of making an award to a contractor that has a track record of good performance and that would probably require less intense surveillance.

One way would be to make past performance a significant proposal evaluation factor that is of equal or greater importance when compared to other factors. Similarly, relevant experience could be a significant evaluation factor.

 

Chapter 3: The Acquisition and Use of Data for Contract Management

ePub

One part of contract planning that is of particular importance to government contract managers is determining what contract management information will be obtained from the contractor during the course of the contract. Careful selection of contractor reporting requirements can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management.

It should be noted that the word data is used in this chapter as it would be used in normal conversation. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 27.4 provides a much narrower definition. It defines data to mean recorded information that includes technical data and computer software but excludes data obtained incidental to contract management.

Generally, data acquired from contractors falls into one or more of the following categories:

Administrative and management data—These are data needed by government contract managers. They may include milestone reports, program evaluation review technique (PERT) charts, reports of contractor surveillance activities, and the like. Commercially available software now makes project management techniques such as PERT, Gantt charts, and other measurement devices much easier to generate and to use than in the past.

 

Exhibit 3-1: Department of Defense (DoD) Data Item Description

ePub

One part of contract planning that is of particular importance to government contract managers is determining what contract management information will be obtained from the contractor during the course of the contract. Careful selection of contractor reporting requirements can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management.

It should be noted that the word data is used in this chapter as it would be used in normal conversation. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 27.4 provides a much narrower definition. It defines data to mean recorded information that includes technical data and computer software but excludes data obtained incidental to contract management.

Generally, data acquired from contractors falls into one or more of the following categories:

Administrative and management data—These are data needed by government contract managers. They may include milestone reports, program evaluation review technique (PERT) charts, reports of contractor surveillance activities, and the like. Commercially available software now makes project management techniques such as PERT, Gantt charts, and other measurement devices much easier to generate and to use than in the past.

 

Exhibit 3-2: Federal Aviation Administration Data Item Description

ePub

One part of contract planning that is of particular importance to government contract managers is determining what contract management information will be obtained from the contractor during the course of the contract. Careful selection of contractor reporting requirements can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management.

It should be noted that the word data is used in this chapter as it would be used in normal conversation. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 27.4 provides a much narrower definition. It defines data to mean recorded information that includes technical data and computer software but excludes data obtained incidental to contract management.

Generally, data acquired from contractors falls into one or more of the following categories:

Administrative and management data—These are data needed by government contract managers. They may include milestone reports, program evaluation review technique (PERT) charts, reports of contractor surveillance activities, and the like. Commercially available software now makes project management techniques such as PERT, Gantt charts, and other measurement devices much easier to generate and to use than in the past.

 

Chapter 4: Postaward Orientation

ePub

This chapter addresses an orientation process that takes place after the contract is awarded. While it can yield many positive results for contract managers, it can be especially valuable in setting a constructive tone for cooperation and problem resolution throughout the performance of the contract. It requires some investment of time and energy, but these costs can be far outweighed by the benefits achieved.

As provided for in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 42.5, it is a government-initiated communication with the contractor, after a contract has been awarded, to jointly review the terms and conditions of the contract and to establish the lines of communication related to contract management.

It may involve both contractors and subcontractors, and it may be done by holding a postaward conference or through written communications. To achieve maximum benefits, the orientation should take place “promptly”—as soon as practicable after contract award.

A postaward orientation can

 

Exhibit 4-1: Partnering Charter Example: Indian Health Care Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (undated)

ePub

This chapter addresses an orientation process that takes place after the contract is awarded. While it can yield many positive results for contract managers, it can be especially valuable in setting a constructive tone for cooperation and problem resolution throughout the performance of the contract. It requires some investment of time and energy, but these costs can be far outweighed by the benefits achieved.

As provided for in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 42.5, it is a government-initiated communication with the contractor, after a contract has been awarded, to jointly review the terms and conditions of the contract and to establish the lines of communication related to contract management.

It may involve both contractors and subcontractors, and it may be done by holding a postaward conference or through written communications. To achieve maximum benefits, the orientation should take place “promptly”—as soon as practicable after contract award.

A postaward orientation can

 

Chapter 5: Interpretation of Contract Terms and Conditions

ePub

No matter how diligent the contractual parties are in attempting to create a contract document that is clear and unambiguous, it is almost a certainty that somewhere along the way differences in interpretation will occur. Many times it is because the drafter of the document used vague words or phrases such as “the second coat will not be applied until the first coat is substantially dry.” It would not be surprising, in that case, if the parties disagreed as to what “substantially” means.

In other cases, the drafter clearly knows what he or she meant to say but did not write for understanding by the reader. For example, “The contractor shall furnish four foot long pipes.” Are we talking about four pipes that are one foot long or an unspecified number of pipes that are four feet long? It is a matter of interpretation. These are very simple examples, but they should get the point across.

Sometimes, ambiguous contract requirements can even be amusing. For example, one contract is said to have had a requirement that “The contracting officer will sample each lot of rat poison before application.” But most of the time, interpretation problems are not funny or simple and can cause any number of contract problems. When these situations arise, it is wise to get them out of the way as soon as possible so, unlike the rats, the contract is not poisoned and the parties can continue working harmoniously toward accomplishing the contract objectives.

 

Chapter 6: Service Contracting

ePub

The laws and regulations that pertain specifically to service contracts pose unique challenges for contracting officers, for contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), and for those other government and contractor personnel who might be involved in the management of service contracts.

One particular challenge in recent years is the emphasis of federal government policy on creating fixed-price, performance-based service contracts that contain meaningful performance standards. This policy emphasis is aimed at communicating clearly to contractors what is required for acceptable performance in a service contract and then holding contractors accountable for that performance. This is a significant shift in practice for those agencies and contracting offices that traditionally used time-and-material (T&M) contracts containing vague and general statements of work that required a significant amount of “technical direction” from government employees.

Additionally, both Congress and the executive branch have indicated concern over the large increase in the number of service contracts and the corresponding growth in the reliance on contractors by government agencies. Some politicians and journalists have even expressed the suspicion that service contractors may be operating as a “shadow government” and performing functions (such as decision making) that are more appropriate for government employees.

 

Exhibit 6-1: Establishing Performance Standards

ePub

The laws and regulations that pertain specifically to service contracts pose unique challenges for contracting officers, for contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), and for those other government and contractor personnel who might be involved in the management of service contracts.

One particular challenge in recent years is the emphasis of federal government policy on creating fixed-price, performance-based service contracts that contain meaningful performance standards. This policy emphasis is aimed at communicating clearly to contractors what is required for acceptable performance in a service contract and then holding contractors accountable for that performance. This is a significant shift in practice for those agencies and contracting offices that traditionally used time-and-material (T&M) contracts containing vague and general statements of work that required a significant amount of “technical direction” from government employees.

Additionally, both Congress and the executive branch have indicated concern over the large increase in the number of service contracts and the corresponding growth in the reliance on contractors by government agencies. Some politicians and journalists have even expressed the suspicion that service contractors may be operating as a “shadow government” and performing functions (such as decision making) that are more appropriate for government employees.

 

Exhibit 6-2: Inherently Governmental Functions (FAR 7.503)

ePub

The laws and regulations that pertain specifically to service contracts pose unique challenges for contracting officers, for contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), and for those other government and contractor personnel who might be involved in the management of service contracts.

One particular challenge in recent years is the emphasis of federal government policy on creating fixed-price, performance-based service contracts that contain meaningful performance standards. This policy emphasis is aimed at communicating clearly to contractors what is required for acceptable performance in a service contract and then holding contractors accountable for that performance. This is a significant shift in practice for those agencies and contracting offices that traditionally used time-and-material (T&M) contracts containing vague and general statements of work that required a significant amount of “technical direction” from government employees.

Additionally, both Congress and the executive branch have indicated concern over the large increase in the number of service contracts and the corresponding growth in the reliance on contractors by government agencies. Some politicians and journalists have even expressed the suspicion that service contractors may be operating as a “shadow government” and performing functions (such as decision making) that are more appropriate for government employees.

 

Chapter 7: Inspection and Acceptance

ePub

No other aspect of federal government contract management surpasses inspection and acceptance in terms of the impact on the contractual parties. In contract management, inspection and acceptance is where the rubber meets the road. It is where the government determines whether the contractor has met the quality and quantity requirements of the contract. Both government and contractor employees need to know the basic rules and the obstacles that could await them in navigating these often turbulent waters.

They look at

•The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

•Agency regulations

•The contract itself

•Contractor quality assurance systems.

Governmentwide guidance for those agencies that follow the FAR is contained in FAR Part 46, Quality Assurance, and also in FAR Part 52, which contains a number of standard contract clauses that relate to inspection and acceptance.

Agency-unique guidance is normally contained in the agency supplements to these FAR parts.

 

Exhibit 7-1: Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Sampling Guidance (undated)

ePub

No other aspect of federal government contract management surpasses inspection and acceptance in terms of the impact on the contractual parties. In contract management, inspection and acceptance is where the rubber meets the road. It is where the government determines whether the contractor has met the quality and quantity requirements of the contract. Both government and contractor employees need to know the basic rules and the obstacles that could await them in navigating these often turbulent waters.

They look at

•The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

•Agency regulations

•The contract itself

•Contractor quality assurance systems.

Governmentwide guidance for those agencies that follow the FAR is contained in FAR Part 46, Quality Assurance, and also in FAR Part 52, which contains a number of standard contract clauses that relate to inspection and acceptance.

Agency-unique guidance is normally contained in the agency supplements to these FAR parts.

 

Exhibit 7-2: General Services Administration Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan Template

ePub

No other aspect of federal government contract management surpasses inspection and acceptance in terms of the impact on the contractual parties. In contract management, inspection and acceptance is where the rubber meets the road. It is where the government determines whether the contractor has met the quality and quantity requirements of the contract. Both government and contractor employees need to know the basic rules and the obstacles that could await them in navigating these often turbulent waters.

They look at

•The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

•Agency regulations

•The contract itself

•Contractor quality assurance systems.

Governmentwide guidance for those agencies that follow the FAR is contained in FAR Part 46, Quality Assurance, and also in FAR Part 52, which contains a number of standard contract clauses that relate to inspection and acceptance.

Agency-unique guidance is normally contained in the agency supplements to these FAR parts.

 

Chapter 8: Contract Changes

ePub

Many of us have heard the old adage that “the only constant is change.” This sometimes seems particularly apropos to government contracting. Contracts are changed to correct errors, to do things a better way, to order additional quantities, to reflect changes in the state of the art, to accommodate changes in government requirements, to accommodate changes in funding levels, to terminate contracts, and for other reasons. Sometimes contracts are even changed inadvertently. To effectively manage government contracts, both government and contractor personnel should be familiar with the terminology and rules associated with contract changes.

Contracts may be changed for any legal purpose when the parties agree to the change and the government contracting officer has acquired any necessary approvals and funds.

Usually they are treated as synonyms; however, in some cases the parties may “change” the contract without ever issuing a contract modification. See the discussion on constructive changes below.

 

Load more


Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
BPE0000250074
Isbn
9781567263978
File size
3.65 MB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata