What are the advantages of onsite visits?
Holding periodic onsite visits with the contractor allows the COR to obtain monitoring data through observation. Onsite visits allow both the government and contractor personnel an opportunity to identify, as well as resolve, problems at the operating level.
What rules of conduct does the COR need to follow when making an onsite visit?
The COR must follow six basic conduct requirements, as specified by the contract administration office (CAO). CAO notification requirements for contractor facility visits (see FAR 42.402) are as follows:
1. Provide names, official positions, and security clearance information for all visitors.
2. Identify the date and duration of your visit.
3. Identify the name and address of contractor facility and personnel you wish to contact.
4. Identify contract number, any overall program involvement, and the purpose of your visit.
5. Request CAO representation, if you desire it (note that the CAO may decide to accompany you, whether you desire it or not).
6. Identify data you may wish to obtain in conjunction with the visit.
In addition to these notification requirements, CORs are expected to inform the agency of any agreements reached with contractor personnel or of any other results that may affect CAO operations and decisions.
When may onsite visits not be necessary?
Prior notification is required when making onsite visits to a contractor's site where another agency has an ongoing onsite contract administration activity. If the other agency has already gathered data that fills the COR's current need, personnel within the agency will provide the existing data and inform the COR that the visit is not necessary. When available, CORs should rely on the other agency's documentation rather than gathering the same information.
When are phone calls best used in monitoring performance?
Telephone contact with the contractor may be used to:
Check on contract progress
Identify any performance problems
Determine if the government is creating any problems (e.g., creating a contract delay by not responding to a government required action in a timely manner).
What kind of documentation should be created when making phone calls?
Telephone communications must be documented, as must other discussions. Some agencies have a "telephone contact record" to use for this purpose. Generally, the documentation is handwritten and kept in the COR contract file. A contact record should include:
Date and time of the conversation
Synopsis of the conversation
Action items resulting from the conversation.
What is the advantage of reviewing contractor reports or daily logs?
Required daily logs or progress reports provide the COR with indicators of:
Issues with contract performance, such as failed tests or rejections.
The contractor will provide reports when they are required by the contract. CORs may initiate written reports identifying potential or actual delays in performance.
COR reports should:
Be prepared in sufficient time for necessary action by the contracting office
State a specific recommendation for action.
Progress and other monitoring reports supplement the scientific and technical reports required by the contract, and they all should become a part of the permanent record of the work accomplished under the contract. These reports include:
Production contract reports
Research and development contract reports.
What kind of information do progress reports include?
Different contracts require that different records be kept by the contractor, so there are no standard FAR clauses addressing content requirements for progress reports or other reports. However, progress reports do tend to have some common features. Information on the following is usually documented in progress reports:
Actual deliveries or performance milestones met
Scheduled deliveries or projected performance milestones
Factors causing delays
Status of the contract work in general and of specific elements of the work
Reasons for any difficulties or delay factors
Actions taken or proposed to overcome difficulties or delay factors
Assistance needed from the government.
Normally, the COR reviews and verifies the contractor's progress reports, but some contracts require direct submission of these reports to the contracting office. In such a situation, a copy of the report should be provided to the COR.
Progress reports do not relieve the contractor of its obligation to notify the proper government official of any anticipated or actual delay as soon as the delay is recognized. Once the contractor notifies the government of the delay or the possibility of a delay, the reports can be used to track the status of the delay.