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Monitoring Statutory and Regulatory Compliance
Monitoring government contracts for legal (statutory) and regulatory compliance means ensuring that contractors take or refrain from taking specific actions as a matter of public policy. The CO may delegate any or all of the statutory monitoring functions to the COR.
What steps are involved in monitoring statutory and regulatory requirements?
The steps involved in monitoring statutory and regulatory requirements are:
Identifying contract clauses related to statutory or regulatory compliance
Monitoring compliance and responding to notices involving:
- Labor laws
- Privacy Act and Drug-Free Workplace issues
- Hazardous, non-domestic, or recovered materials and environmental issues
- Insurance and tax issues involving intellectual property.
Monitoring compliance with the subcontracting plan, if applicable, and:
- Providing the contractor with written notice of plan violations
- Invoking remedies in cases of noncompliance, when appropriate
- Determining any incentive for exceeding goals.
Continuing actions as needed to encourage and enforce statutory compliance, and keeping the CO informed.
Statutory and regulatory clauses are generally incorporated by reference in the contract. The full text of these clauses is found in the FAR. Proper administration of a contract requires familiarity with the full text of these clauses.
Selecting the Techniques Used for Monitoring
What techniques does the COR use to monitor the contract?
Monitoring techniques include:
Making onsite visits and other personal observations
Making phone calls
Reviewing contractor reports
Reviewing contractor requests
Contacting other government officials to discuss contractor performance
Reviewing tracking and management systems.
How does the COR select the monitoring techniques to be used?
There are no set rules for selecting the technique to be used; a combination of techniques might be necessary. The contract itself may indicate exactly how the government will monitor various aspects of the contract. If no such indication is given, the contract must be evaluated to determine what monitoring techniques will best suit it.
With whom should the COR have meetings and what are the basic benefits of such meetings?
The COR should have meetings with the requiring activity, i.e., the program or project office that initiated the requirement originally. Individuals in the program or project office may or may not be the end users, but sometimes the requiring activity does represent the end users. In the case of the Department of Defense (DoD), a technical requiring activity often contracts for a weapon that will be used by soldiers in combat; it may be advisable, during the contract performance phase, to bring in representatives of the soldiers for their specific and unique end-user perspective.
Holding periodic meetings with the requiring activity and end users allows the COR to obtain, as well as provide, pertinent information on the status of the contract. These meetings help foster the government's team approach to contract administration and can provide early warning of any potential performance problems.
The COR should also have meetings with the contractor as deemed necessary to ensure adequate monitoring and communication with the contractor. However, the COR should be carefulmore contact is not necessarily better. Unless the contract specifies that pre-planned meetings with the contractor be held at certain intervals, they should be held as infrequently as possible and should focus on problem resolution. The COR needs to be aware of the costs incurred by the contractor when unscheduled meetings are requested. In cost-type contracts, the government will have to pay the costs associated with the meetings. In fixed price contracts, the contractor may balk at attending meetings that were not accounted for (priced) in the contract.
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