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The COR will need to perform general duties and responsibilities that may be assigned to him or her as a COR. The following questions and answers describe the COR's duties and responsibilities and identify the major areas of contract administration that are usually assigned to CORs.

The competencies needed to best perform these duties are described at the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) web page at node/184.

General Duties

What are the general duties of a COR?

The COR must:

Know the contract. The COR must be thoroughly familiar with all facets of the contract. He or she will not only act as a liaison between the contractor and the CO on matters pertaining to the contract requirements, but will also be responsible for contract compliance to the extent such responsibilities are designated to the COR.

Build rapport. The COR may be introduced to the contractor at or before the postaward orientation conference, or he or she may already have an established professional relationship with the contractor. The COR should begin to build or strengthen rapport with the contractor immediately, displaying his or her knowledge of the contract and emphasizing his or her understanding of the team concept. Of course, the COR will always relate to the contractor within the framework of the COR's designated authority. (See the section in Chapter 2 entitled Ethics and Integrity for more on the importance of maintaining an "arm's-length" relationship with the contractor and the standards of conduct and ethics that govern the relationship between the COR and the contractor.)

Interpret technical requirements. Among the COR's most important duties are talking with the contractor and gathering information from the contractor regarding differences in interpretation of the contract technical requirements. The COR may also be called upon to advise the contractor on environmental concerns, quality assurance, or issues related to safety, security, and government property. The COR will report this information, including differences of opinion, to the CO for resolution.

Recommend changes. Remember, the COR may not make commitments to the contractor with regard to changes in price, quantity, quality, or delivery, but because he or she is intimately involved with the day-to-day workings of the contract, the COR may encounter situations that, in his or her opinion, warrant such changes. The COR's responsibility is then to recommend these changes to the CO in writing. The COR should support his or her suggestions with technical and cost justification and input from the contractor, if such input is appropriate. And, more importantly, the COR will be responsible for monitoring the contractor to be sure he or she does not act on such changes until the changes are formally issued by the CO.

Monitor and evaluate performance. As the CO's "eyes and ears," the COR will spend time at the contractor's establishment to ensure that the contract is being performed as required. Site visits are essential to monitor whether:

- The contractor is performing quality assurance requirements as specified by the contract

- Employees charged to the contract account are actually working on the contract

- Government property is being maintained properly.

The COR's presence at the contract performance site also helps him or her evaluate the contractor's performance. As an evaluator, the COR will record his or her observations of the contractor's technical performance and perhaps offer ideas for technical performance improvement. The contractor's required reporting, in addition to the COR's first-hand observations, will provide the data for the COR's evaluation reports to be furnished to the CO. The COR will also present a performance evaluation report as part of the contract closeout process.

Review invoices. The COR is usually responsible for the review of each invoice submitted by the contractor and for recommending payment based on performance and allow ability of cost (under certain types of contracts). The COR is required to report any discrepancies between the contractor's invoices and existing contract terms to the CO.

Recommend corrective action. The COR may find deficiencies in contractor performance and must report these to the CO. In addition, the COR may recommend courses of corrective action to the CO. An important point to remember is that the COR (or any government official) may not tell the contractor how to correct a deficiency. The contractor may interpret such direction as a "constructive change" (see Chapter 6, Resolving Constructive Changes), proceed with the change, and charge the government for what amounts to an unauthorized commitment. The COR may ask the contractor for a plan of action to correct deficiencies, and relay such plans to the CO, who then determines the next action. Possible actions could include the CO issuing a change order or issuing a show cause or cure notice, which are delinquency notices used when the contractor is failing to make progress or perform other provisions of the contract. (See the discussion of contract termination in Chapter 8 for further discussion of these notices.)

Inspect and accept deliverables. The COR may also be assigned the responsibility of inspecting deliverables (e.g., units of a product or the performance of services) and deciding whether or not they are acceptable according to contract requirements.

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