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May the COR make a contract modification?

Nothe CO is the only individual authorized to commit to a contract modification. CORs may be asked to assist the CO in the processing of contractual modifications. FAR 43.102 (a) limits a COR's contract modification powers by stating that:

Other government personnel [personnel other than a COR

shall not:

1. Execute contract modifications

2. Act in such a manner as to cause the contractor to believe that they have authority to bind the government

or

3. Direct or encourage the contractor to perform work that should be the subject of a contract modification.

How does the COR assist the CO in making contract modifications?

The COR provides:

A technical evaluation addressing quality, quantity, price, and other factors or considerations ("something of value given in return for performance"[1]) that will impact contract performance and delivery of the end products on the contract

Any other necessary documentation supporting the actions taken by the CO to resolve the modification request.

What are the COR's primary tasks related to reviewing and recommending modifications?

The COR must:

1. Identify the need to change the contract

2. Prepare the technical evaluation report

3. Assist the CO in negotiating the modification.

Identifying the Need to Change the Contract

What are some circumstances that can prompt a change to the contract?

A contract change may be desirable due to:

A change in agency need

Inadequate specifications that result in inadequate deliverables

A need to increase or decrease funding

A need for an extension to provide additional time for performance

Suspension of work

Revisions to the original terms and conditions in the contract

A change in performance requirements

Development of contingencies that require resolution.

When should the COR not proceed with a contract modification?

The COR should abandon a proposed contract change if the change is:

Already covered by the terms and conditions of the contract

Outside the scope of the contract.

Preparing the Technical Evaluation Report

349. What is a technical evaluation?

A technical evaluation is the COR's technical analysis of contract situations that arise during performance that cause costs to increase or decrease or that will cause other changes to the contract to be required. The COR's analysis should focus on whether such changes will impact the government technical requirements, and if so, to what extent, in terms of cost, the technical acceptability of the changed requirement, and delivery schedule. Usually, these types of changes are initiated by the technical requiring activity[2] to make changes such as an upgrade in technology of the items being procured, but the contractor will often initiate a proposed change for the same or similar reasons. The COR must then include documentation supporting the contractor's modification request in his or her technical evaluation. Only changes that fall within the scope of the original contract may be made; the COR must work closely with the CO to determine whether proposed changes do so. (Refer to a discussion of the meaning of "within the scope of the contract" later in this chapter, under Questions 352, 353, and 354.) During the technical evaluation, the COR determines the:

Technical validity of proposed changes to the technical requirements (e.g., will the government's needs still be met; is the change really necessary; would a completely different approach on a new contract be a better course of action?).

Value of proposed considerations, such as the tradeoffs between cost, technical merit, and delivery. For example, a proposed change may be technically superior, but what if it increases costs or significantly extends delivery time? The COR must weigh all of these considerations and develop a recommended position for the government during negotiation of the change (see Question 356).

Technical acceptability of substitute materials or processes proposed by the contractor.

Acceptability of a value engineering proposal.

  • [1] Steven H. Gifis, Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, 3rd ed. (Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Services, Inc., 1998), p. 93.
  • [2] The term requiring activity generally refers to the technical activity or program (project) office that originally initiated the contract requirements to satisfy a need. Most of the time, the requiring activity is the end user of the contract deliverables. There are other instances in which a technical activity will generate a contractual requirements package on behalf of other end users (e.g., a DoD program office acquiring weapons in support of troops).
 
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