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What is the COR workplan, and when should it be developed? What are the COR's responsibilities with regard to the plan?

The COR workplan, or contract administration plan, documents a plan of action encompassing strategies and monitoring techniques to be used in the administration of the contract.

OFPP's Guide to Best Practices for Contract Administration states the purpose for a COR workplan as follows:

Contract administration starts with developing clear, concise performance-based statements of work to the extent possible, and preparing a contract administration plan that cost-effectively measures the contractor's performance and provides documentation to pay accordingly.

There is no set format to follow in preparing a COR workplan. It can be simple or complex, but it must specify the performance outputs of the SOW and describe the methodology by which the government will conduct inspection and acceptance of the contractor's performance, as required by the contract.

The workplan should be developed as soon as the COR is appointed and may be modified as needed throughout the acquisition process. A COR workplan serves as:

A baseline for project management and scheduling

A simple tool for tracking contract progress

An aid for the postaward orientation conference.

With regard to the workplan, CORs are responsible for:

Developing a cost-effective COR workplan

Following the plan to monitor contract performance and perform other delegated responsibilities.

How does the COR prepare the COR workplan?

Preparing a workplan involves six steps:

1. Include basic contract administration information in the plan The COR workplan should include the following information:

The contract title

The identity of the contractor and key contractor personnel

The physical location of files related to the contract and the contractor

A brief description of the work to be performed

The place of performance and delivery points

Assigned tasks, milestones for each task, and milestones for functions, including:

- Monitoring the contractor's quality assurance program

- Furnishing government property and monitoring its use

- Reviewing and responding to contractor reports and requests

- Receiving, inspecting, and accepting the contractor's work

- Certifying costs incurred and physical progress for payment purposes

- Monitoring compliance with the small business subcontracting plan.

2. Consider historical factors

The COR workplan should indicate the level of commitment or amount of time and effort that will be necessary to monitor the contract to ensure successful performance. The COR determines the level of effort by considering general historical factors and the contractor's performance history.

The COR can review general historical factors to determine the necessary level of effort (see Figure 5-6).

The COR should also review the contractor's past performance for the last three years, paying close attention to the most recent information. This review should be focused on determining the level of effort the government will have to expend and the amount of attention necessary to monitor the current contract.

Historical Factors to Consider in Determining Level of Effort

FIGURE 5-6. Historical Factors to Consider in Determining Level of Effort

Performance history data will usually be filed by the contractor's name and will include the following information:

Contracts awarded and dollar amounts of each contract

Items/services purchased

Key personnel involved with the contract

Delivery/performance results

Contractor-provided past performance information.

Any deficiencies in the contractor's past performance should be noted. Some of these deficiencies might include:

Missed delivery dates

Labor problems

Shortfalls in technical performance capabilities

Financial difficulties

Failure to meet reporting requirements (e.g., progress reports, submission of subcontracting reports).

At a minimum, the COR should look for the contractor's:

Record of conforming to contract requirements

Standards of good workmanship

Record of forecasting and controlling costs

History of reasonable and cooperative behavior

Commitment to customer satisfaction

Business-like concern for the interest of the customer

Reaction to remedies that were used by the government to correct problems.

3. Determine the techniques to be used for monitoring the contract

Contract monitoring is a typical function delegated to CORs. The level of effort that will be necessary for monitoring and the monitoring technique that will be used should be addressed in the COR workplan. The appropriate type of effort depends on the complexity and scope of the contract, as well as the contract's specific requirements for monitoring, inspection, and acceptance.

Numerous techniques and procedures can be used for monitoring. A combination of techniques may be appropriate. Selecting a technique for monitoring will depend on what is to be monitored: the contractor's technical and schedule performance, costs, the contractor's financial condition, and the contractor's statutory compliance. The COR can choose to:

- Do nothing (i.e., rely on the contractor's inspection system)

- Conduct progress or status meetings with the contractor and other government officials

- Make onsite visits and other personal observations of the contractor's performance

- Contact other government officials for input

- Make telephone calls to the contractor and to other government officials

- Review the contractor's requests and other correspondence

- Review the contractor's required progress or status reports

- Review the contractor's tracking and management systems.

4. Determine how to document performance under the contract

Based on the letter of designation, there may be a requirement that the COR document or provide the documentation necessary for two types of files: the official contract file, which can include the contracting office contract file as well as the contract administration office contract file, and a contractor general file, which contains information regarding the contractor's past performance as well as other documentation. (Refer back to the section entitled Record-Keeping and the Contract File and Question 217 in this chapter for details regarding these file types, if necessary.)

5. Identify areas of concern or conflict

Contract requirements and the contractor's ability (or lack thereof) to meet those requirements may at times cause concern or present a conflict for the COR. Examples of a conflict a COR might face include:

The delivery time indicated in the contract is after closing hours

There is a need for government-furnished property that does not exist

The technical review cannot be accomplished within the allotted timeframe

The address listed in the contract to which deliverables should ship is incorrect

The government property being used by the contractor is defective.

All areas of concern and possible solutions should be identified and addressed in the COR workplan.

6. Prepare the COR workplan

While no specific format is required for the COR workplan, it is suggested that the following elements be included or described:

Administrative items (e.g., contract number, dollar amount, type of contract)

Historical factors

Monitoring techniques

Documentation of the contractor's performance

Areas of concern or conflict

The workplan should be completed, signed, and dated as soon as possible after the contract is awarded and before work commences under the contract. The COR should forward copies of the workplan to the contracting office and should place one copy in the established contract administration file.

For additional information, see Exhibit 5-4, Example of a COR Work-plan, at the end of this chapter.

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