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5153.9005 -- Format for a Justification and Approval, section 13. (Fair and Reasonable Cost Determination) states:

"I hereby determine that the anticipated cost to the Government for this contract action will be fair and reasonable." Also, the Contracting Officer is required to purchase supplies, "... from responsible sources at fair and reasonable prices." FAR 15.402.

My problem with the AFARS J&A format is that how can we determine before soliciting and recieving proposals that the price will be fair and reasonable. Since the Contracting Officer is required to award at a Fair and Reasonable Price, isn't the justification a waste of paper and toner to print, since to do otherwise would be a violation of FAR 15.402. The Contracting Officer (at least here) always prepares a Memo determining the price fair and reasonable, so my big question, why have this statement in the J&A?

Also of interest is that the following item in the J&A format # 14 is the "Contracting Officers Certification". If we have a Contracting Officer's Certification at 14, who signs the certification at 13? (current practice is the Contracting Officer according to the excuse "that is just the way we always do it") That means the contracting officer signs twice on the same page. Since the statement at #13 is "ANTICIPATED cost to the Government" would it be more realistic to have this statement signed by pricing office or engineer who creates an independent estimate (parametric or otherwise)? Because it is "anticipated" not actual...

I know sometimes the regulation is a matter of "just do it", but can anyone explain why certification 13 is beneficial?

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Note the use of the future tense: "I hereby determine that the anticipated cost to the Government for this contract action will be fair and reasonable." You're making a promise that the future price will be fair and reasonable, and if it isn't, then obviously you will not make the award.

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