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A colleague told me, "The COTR can accept, but only the CO can reject" a contractor's performance on a service contract (or delivery of goods on a supply contract). She could not cite the FAR or any other authority for why she believed that. Does anyone know what she's talking about?

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govt2310 - See FAR 46.5 the CO is responsible for acceptance unless delegated by the CO. In some instances, but it is rare from my experience, a CO will delegate acceptance to a COR/COTR. Whithout a possible reference regarding the delegation matter I think your colleague is confused.

Also see FAR 1.602-2 and 1.604 which support that it would rare for a COR to be delegated acceptance authority.

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Guest Vern Edwards

In my experience, it has been common for the CO to delegate inspection and acceptance of contractor deliverables. According to the DOD COR Handbook, dated March 22, 2012, Chapter 5:

"Typical COR post-award responsibilities include:

Understanding the contract;

Keeping files current and complete;

Correspondence and responses;

Correspondence with the contractor;

Notifications to the Contracting Officer;

Monitoring contract performance;

Training;
Travel;
GFP
Personnel and labor;

Inspection and acceptance or rejection of deliverables;

Treatment of proprietary and classified information;

Managing problems;

Handling unsatisfactory performance;

Tracking modifications;

Conclude appointment/designation appropriately;

Technical expertise;

Understanding COR limitations;

Protecting sensitive or Government information; and

Related duties."

That's a goofy list, but you get the idea. What gets assigned to a COR or COTRis mainly a matter of agency practice. It varies from agency to agency and from office to office within an agency

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I would look at this just a little differently. I would say that the COR probably can reject a delivered product or service; this is assuming that the COR delegation letter explicitly states that inspection / acceptance / rejection have been delegated to the COR. However:

- In most cases, it is a very good idea for the COR to work with the Contracting Officer to make sure that the reason for the rejection is valid and adequately descriptive of how the delivered product / service does not meet the requirements of the contract. But normally I would expect that the rejection can come from the COR with the KO on copy of the notice to the Contractor.

- In many cases, an invalid rejection could be cause for some dispute later, or could lead to increased costs to the Government, so the COR certainly needs to involve the KO every step along the way.

- In extreme cases, some fact-finding may need to take place to determine if reperformance of the contract requirement is possible; it may be necessary to move toward some form of termination because timelineness of the deliverable is so absolutely critical.

- In other cases, there may also be times when minor non-conformances may be waived per FAR Part 46 by the Contracting Officer, and the COR may even be overriden by the KO. Things can get dicey and management may get involved.

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry for bringing this one back to life because it seems to be answered. However, my office just went through a similar question and what I had found, that isn't mentioned here, is the delegation letter should be sent to the payment office showing that the COR has approval to accept/reject. How the payment office would know otherwise is a seperate matter.

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