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williams.c

Who is the Contracting Officer?

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In the FAR the term Contracting Officer is defined as "a person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer. “Administrative contracting officer (ACO)’’ refers to a contracting officer who is administering contracts. “Termination contracting officer (TCO)” refers to a contracting officer who is settling terminated contracts."

The second sentence of the definition stumps me. Could the 'certain authorized representative' be a Government Purchase Card holder acting within their authority (assuming their appointment letter is on the SF1402)?

In instances of limiting competition, typically the FAR makes mention of the Contracting Officer documenting the reasons for the limited competition. In the case of a GPC purchase, if competition is going to be limited for legitimate reasons, who is the Contracting Officer that would give approval?

Thank you.

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Have you read FAR 13.203( a )( 2 )?

FAR 1.603-3( b )?

If so, then you already have your answer.

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In the FAR the term Contracting Officer is defined as "a person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer. “Administrative contracting officer (ACO)’’ refers to a contracting officer who is administering contracts. “Termination contracting officer (TCO)” refers to a contracting officer who is settling terminated contracts."

The second sentence of the definition stumps me. Could the 'certain authorized representative' be a Government Purchase Card holder acting within their authority (assuming their appointment letter is on the SF1402)?

In instances of limiting competition, typically the FAR makes mention of the Contracting Officer documenting the reasons for the limited competition. In the case of a GPC purchase, if competition is going to be limited for legitimate reasons, who is the Contracting Officer that would give approval?

Thank you.

In my experience in the Army Corps of Engineers, the second sentence generally refers to COR's, acting within their specifically delegated written authority. The ACO's are also delegated certain specific authorities, thus the term would apply to them, where applicable. The KO will provide the Contractor copies of the delegation letters..This is an agenda item at the post award conference or after award pre-construction conference. Of course, the KO may also act on their own behalf. However, our KO's normally don't have time to personally handle every contract admin action that refers to "the Contracting Officer". There might be upwards of a couple of hundred active contracts at any one time in some of our Contracting Offices.

An example would be certain actions under Clause 52.236-21 Specifications and Drawings for Construction. I added italics for emphasis:

Specifications and Drawings for Construction (Feb 1997)

( a ) The Contractor shall keep on the work site a copy of the drawings and specifications and shall at all times give the Contracting Officer access thereto. Anything mentioned in the specifications and not shown on the drawings, or shown on the drawings and not mentioned in the specifications, shall be of like effect as if shown or mentioned in both. In case of difference between drawings and specifications, the specifications shall govern. In case of discrepancy in the figures, in the drawings, or in the specifications, the matter shall be promptly submitted to the Contracting Officer, who shall promptly make a determination in writing. Any adjustment by the Contractor without such a determination shall be at its own risk and expense. The Contracting Officer shall furnish from time to time such detailed drawings and other information as considered necessary, unless otherwise provided.

( b ) Wherever in the specifications or upon the drawings the words “directed”, “required”, “ordered”, “designated”, “prescribed”, or words of like import are used, it shall be understood that the “direction”, “requirement”, “order”, “designation”, or “prescription”, of the Contracting Officer is intended and similarly the words “approved”, “acceptable”, “satisfactory”, or words of like import shall mean “approved by,” or “acceptable to”, or “satisfactory to” the Contracting Officer, unless otherwise expressly stated.

...( e ) If this contract requires shop drawings, the Contractor shall coordinate all such drawings, and review them for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with contract requirements and shall indicate its approval thereon as evidence of such coordination and review. Shop drawings submitted to the Contracting Officer without evidence of the Contractor’s approval may be returned for resubmission. The Contracting Officer will indicate an approval or disapproval of the shop drawings and if not approved as submitted shall indicate the Government’s reasons therefor. Any work done before such approval shall be at the Contractor’s risk. Approval by the Contracting Officer shall not relieve the Contractor from responsibility for any errors or omissions in such drawings, nor from responsibility for complying with the requirements of this contract, except with respect to variations described and approved in accordance with (f) below.

...( g ) The Contractor shall submit to the Contracting Officer for approval four copies (unless otherwise indicated) of all shop drawings as called for under the various headings of these specifications. Three sets (unless otherwise indicated) of all shop drawings, will be retained by the Contracting Officer and one set will be returned to the Contractor.

In our organization, normally only the KO or an ACO, acting within their authority, can approve variations (which CHANGE the contract requirements) under paragraph ( f ) of the above clause:

(f) If shop drawings show variations from the contract requirements, the Contractor shall describe such variations in writing, separate from the drawings, at the time of submission. If the Contracting Officer approves any such variation, the Contracting Officer shall issue an appropriate contract modification, except that, if the variation is minor or does not involve a change in price or in time of performance, a modification need not be issued.

It can be somewhat confusing, but the delegation letters should point out authorities and limitations for the ACO(s) and the COR's assignerd to each contract and,as I stated above, it is (always) an agenda item for the post award orientation meetings.

There used to be a clause in our contracts that defined the term "Contracting Officer", but I was unable to find it today.

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Have you read FAR 13.203( a )( 2 )?

FAR 1.603-3( b )?

If so, then you already have your answer.

First off, thank you for your input.

Yes I have read the two parts many times, I should have been more specific and provided a clearer picture of the situation. I am in an OCONUS environment so we utilize the DFARS 213.301 exception for overseas usage of the GPC up to $25K. It is these purchases above the micro up to the $25K that are confusing.

With reference to FAR 1.603-3( b ), as for purchases at or below the micro purchase threshold, in our organization, if a best value determination is needed, the individual with the card that actually makes the obligation and holds pecuniary liability currently must request and justify the determination to the Contracting Office and a KO there writes up the determination, signs and provides to the Cardholder to document their purchase record (if they agree...). In my opinion, this seems incorrect.

I'm fully aware of the requirement to appoint a KO using the SF1402, which appear as though they could also be used for a GPC Cardholder appointment. Currently our organization does NOT appoint using this form, which is why I mentioned this in my original question, so I understand that current appointments do not meet this requirement for KO appointment.

When a cardholder makes a purchase, this seems to meet the definition of a contract from 2.101 and also appears to meet the definition given in 13.004. Reading back through 1.601, a GPC purchase must also be made IAW many of the same considerations as a Contracting Officer makes. Similar wording is used in FAR 13 for purposes of outlining use of SAP.

So, when OCONUS and using a GPC to make a purchase over the micro but under $25k, assuming all requirements are met to properly make the purchase, who is the Contracting Officer? If a purchase over the micro is to be made and competition will be limited, who would document the file to explain/justify why limiting was beneficial for the GOV?

And again, thank you.

Edited by williams.c

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In my experience in the Army Corps of Engineers, the second sentence generally refers to COR's, acting within their specifically delegated written authority. The ACO's are also delegated certain specific authorities, thus the term would apply to them, where applicable. The KO will provide the Contractor copies of the delegation letters..This is an agenda item at the post award conference or after award pre-construction conference. Of course, the KO may also act on their own behalf. However, our KO's normally don't have time to personally handle every contract admin action that refers to "the Contracting Officer". There might be upwards of a couple of hundred active contracts at any one time in some of our Contracting Offices.

An example would be certain actions under Clause 52.236-21 Specifications and Drawings for Construction. I added italics for emphasis:

In our organization, normally only the KO or an ACO, acting within their authority, can approve variations (which CHANGE the contract requirements) under paragraph ( f ) of the above clause:

It can be somewhat confusing, but the delegation letters should point out authorities and limitations for the ACO(s) and the COR's assignerd to each contract and,as I stated above, it is (always) an agenda item for the post award orientation meetings.

There used to be a clause in our contracts that defined the term "Contracting Officer", but I was unable to find it today.

Thank you for your input.

I recognize that ACO and TCO are included in the definition of Contracting Officer, however COR is defined separately below in the definitions so I would not consider the COR 'role' to be included in the definition of Contracting Officer. While the ACO and TCO seem to be some of the roles they refer to when making the statement 'certain authorized representative', could there be other 'roles' within contracting generally that meet that definition? And could one of those roles be a GPC Cardholder?

Again, thanks.

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Why the confusion? Why would you not consider a COR to be a contracting officer? I know that you have read the definition of contracting officer, but have you really READ it?

A COR, whatever his or her job, who is acting within the scope of his or her authority as properly delegated by a contracting officer is acting with the authority of a contracting officer in that capacity, and the legal tribunals will recognize that authority as such. He or she has not been formally appointed as a contracting officer in accordance with FAR Subpart 1.6. He or she does not have a certificate of appointment as a contracting officer. But he or she ACTS in the capacity of a contracting officer when acting within the scope of his or her authority. Thus, he or she is a contracting officer to that extent.

As for a GPC holder, look to your agency's policies and procedures. People often ask questions here based on the presupposition that there is a universal answer to their question. In many if not most cases there is not. Clearly, a GPC holder is acting in the capacity of a contracting officer when he or she commits the Government and obligates funds, but in many if not most cases he or she will not have been formally appointed in accordance with FAR Subpart 1.6 and will not have a certificate of appointment. It is my impression that different agencies manage their GPC programs in their own ways, and I have been told that some formally appoint GPC holders as contracting officers.

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Thank you for your input.

I recognize that ACO and TCO are included in the definition of Contracting Officer, however COR is defined separately below in the definitions so I would not consider the COR 'role' to be included in the definition of Contracting Officer. While the ACO and TCO seem to be some of the roles they refer to when making the statement 'certain authorized representative', could there be other 'roles' within contracting generally that meet that definition? And could one of those roles be a GPC Cardholder?

Again, thanks.

Perhaps in your organization, the KO handles all contract admin. However, in our organization, COR's have been designated to perform contract admin functions under clauses that only refer to the "Contracting Officer", who can't possibly sign every contract admin action that doesn't affect time, price or contract terms. I'm not referring to GPC Cardholders here. I'm only addressing construction contract clauses here and didn't look specifically at the service contract clauses.

Ok, I said earlier that I couldn't find the Definitions clause defining the KO that used to be in our contracts. It was in a 1995 version of that clause, as discussed below.

The Definitions clause is prescribed at 2.201 for solicitations and contracts that exceed the simplied acquisition threshold. Therefore, our construction contracts now indirectly refer to the FAR definition of "Contracting Officer" and "Contracting Officer's Representative".

The 1995 version of the Definitions clause.specifically included the term "Contracting Officer", which included the language for "certain authorized representitives of the Contracting Officer."

52.202-1 -- Definitions (Nov 2013)

When a solicitation provision or contract clause uses a word or term that is defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the word or term has the same meaning as the definition in FAR 2.101 in effect at the time the solicitation was issued, unless--

(a) The solicitation, or amended solicitation, provides a different definition;

( b ) The contracting parties agree to a different definition;

( c ) The part, subpart, or section of the FAR where the provision or clause is prescribed provides a different meaning; or

( d ) The word or term is defined in FAR Part 31, for use in the cost principles and procedures.

The second sentence of the current definition of "Contracting Officer" refers to a COR or COTR when acting within their delegated authority. If you are questioning the difference between the term "authorized representative of the Contracting Officer" (ACOR) in the definition of a KO and the term "Contracting Officer's Representitive" (COR) in FAR 1.604 and in 2.101, they are the same. The ACOR language predates the current term and coverage of "COR" in 1.604 and 2.101:

“Contracting officer” means a person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer...."

“Contracting officer’s representative (COR)” means an individual, including a contracting officer’s technical representative (COTR), designated and authorized in writing by the contracting officer to perform specific technical or administrative functions.

Note that the above language regarding "certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer" in the definition of "Contracting Officer" predates the definition of "contracting officers representitive" above in FAR 2.101. It also pre-dates the current language in 1.604 "Contracting Officer's Representative", which appearas to have been added by FAC 2006-50, effective 3/16/2011.

My January 1, 1996 version of FAR defines the term "Contracting Officer" at parapgraph ( f ) in Clause 52.202-1 Definitions (OCT 1995). "The term includes certain authorized representatives of the Contracting Officer" but doesn't refer to ACO's. There is no definition of COR in Part 2 or !.604.

My July 2006 version of FAR does NOT contain Paragraph 1.604 or define Contracting Officer's Representative in 2.2. But it does add the term ACO in the definition of Contracting Officer. That Definitions clause at 52.202-1 was dated 2004. It looks very similar to the current 2013 version, although I didn't perform a detailed comparison. It had eliminated the specific definitions that were included in the 1995 clause.

In my July 1, 2011 FAR hard copy, the Definitions clause at 52.202-1 is dated "July 2004" . This FAR version contains Paragraph 1.604 "Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)" and the definition of a COR in 2.101.

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Vern posted #7 above, while I was composing my response #8 to show that the term "ACOR" (or use the abbreviation "ARCO" - whatever) predates the term "COR", as currently defined in 2.101 and in 1.604.

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Again I'd like to thank the responders for their input.

To Mr. Edwards--I did not say that a COR was not a Contracting Officer, what I said was that I did not consider the [current] definition of Contracting Officer to include that of COR specifically because COR is defined separately below with it's own definition. I recognize fully that a COR acting within their delegated authority are, well, acting within their authority. So yes, I did READ the definitions section, in fact, I read through the ENTIRE definitions section so I could ensure I didn't miss another reference to KO in a definition---thank you Bill R....I will re-read it tomorrow. My issue with including COR within the KO definition is, why would the FAR council define a term and then again define it directly below? If the phrase 'certain authorized representative' refers to COR, then why is COR separately defined below? And, putting aside everything about whether COR is included in the definition of KO or not, wouldn't a GPC Cardholder be a Contracting Officer simply by virtue of their appointment since they have the authority to obligate the Government in a way very similar to a KO, albeit limited of course? I RECOGNIZE to be correct we would need to appoint GPC Cardholders using the SF1402.

To both Mr. Edwards, Mr. Hoffman and anyone else that decides to provide input, let me make my question as clear as I can: For purposes of limiting competition or for making best value determinations (or for any other procedure that the FAR stipulates a KO must be involved), when making a GPC purchase that exceeds the micro but not $25K, who would document the file (no J&A is needed) to show that the limiting of competition was in the best interests of the GOV? And please don't say look to your Agency procedure.....our Agency just says to look to the FAR and DFARS and doesn't develop any real Agency procedures.....

My basic argument here with my organization is that we are not utilizing FAR 13 to our advantage, we are making things potentially more difficult then necessary by requiring the Contracting Office and a KO to get involved with GPC purchases when these instances of limited competition occur, and FYI our organization makes between 10,000 and 15,000 GPC purchases in the European theatre per year alone, so even a small percentage going to a KO is A LOT.

Again, thanks everyone, I'm still very new so every response is a learning opportunity.

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williams.c,

Your question seemed to be, "In the case of a GPC purchase, if competition is going to be limited for legitimate reasons, who is the Contracting Officer that would give approval?"

Then, your question seemed to change to, "So, when OCONUS and using a GPC to make a purchase over the micro but under $25k, assuming all requirements are met to properly make the purchase, who is the Contracting Officer?"

Even so, there is talk here about CORs and best-value determinations and other matters. The discussion seems distracted.

What is the real question?

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williams c:

You wrote:

To Mr. Edwards--I did not say that a COR was not a Contracting Officer, what I said was that I did not consider the [current] definition of Contracting Officer to include that of COR specifically because COR is defined separately below with it's own definition.

You did not pay attention to what I said, which was:

Why would you not consider a COR to be a contracting officer?

Good luck with your inquiry. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of people at Wifcon Forum who'll patiently devote all kinds of time to questions like yours.

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Again I'd like to thank the responders for their input.

To Mr. Edwards--I did not say that a COR was not a Contracting Officer, what I said was that I did not consider the [current] definition of Contracting Officer to include that of COR specifically because COR is defined separately below with it's own definition. I recognize fully that a COR acting within their delegated authority are, well, acting within their authority. So yes, I did READ the definitions section, in fact, I read through the ENTIRE definitions section so I could ensure I didn't miss another reference to KO in a definition---thank you Bill R....I will re-read it tomorrow. My issue with including COR within the KO definition is, why would the FAR council define a term and then again define it directly below? If the phrase 'certain authorized representative' refers to COR, then why is COR separately defined below?

Again, thanks everyone, I'm still very new so every response is a learning opportunity.

Look- a COR is authorized to perform certain technical and administrative functions in their own capacity. That coverage in the Part 2 definitions was added relatively recently, probably in response to initiatives to improve the qualifications, training of and control over people who administer contracts.

There are also a lot of contract clauses and other terminology that refer to "the Contracting Officer" for various administrative or technical duties. In my experience, our KO's have seldom gotten involved in the day to day contract admin functions - especially where there are tens and hundreds of active contracts underway at numerous locations for which they are the KO. At one point a few years ago, there were about 150 printed pages of contract clauses in our standardized construction contracts. In addition, spec writers like to refer to the "Contracting Officer" in their typical gobbly gook writing style. Ever since I was in the Air Force, back in the 70's and later as a civilian employee, starting in 1980, non KO's have been handling contract admin functions.

I told you that the language in the definition of Contracting Officer has long included an authorized representative of the KO for those contract admin or technical functions that these COR s have specifically been designated authority to act when a contract refers to "the contracting officer". Technical direction, shop drawing and other submittal approvals, progress payments, routine letters, inspections, including day to day, running formal meetings, negotiating changes - subject to the approval of the KO - are some examples of things that non KO's routinely do. In one office I worked at, we had 12 negotiators and it was not unusual to have up to 6-8 simultaneous negotiations going on any one day. It is impossible for the KO or even an ACO to be leading or even attending that many negotiations. The negotiators were never authorized to accept or finalize a settlement - all settlements were subject to the KO or ACO's final approval, which generally occurred after the mod package was finalized so that the KO could review and determine how the negotiations were prepped for and conducted or sometimes when the KO or ACO came in to finalize the negotiations. The point is that COR's often carry out routine contract admin duties that the contract writers indicate that a KO will do.

Sorry that you seem to have no frame of reference to comprehend what I just said. The COR is assigned routine duties in their own name and also some that the contract implies that a KO will routinely do but often won't or can't carry out every such action. Don't get hung up on "authorized representative of the contracting officer" ( old term) versus "contracting officer's representative" . They are the same. When they added the definition of a COR in the FAR they didn't bother to change the name in the pre-existing KO definition.

In one place the FAR now defines COR. The other place says when the contract refers to "the contracting officer" it may also mean a COR acting in that capacity only on specifically designated contract admin actions.

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People who have purchase cards and micro-purchase authority are not contracting officers, but they can be delegated authority to do things like documenting the reasons for limited competition, assuming that they are capable and properly trained. See FAR 1.108( b ):

( b ) Delegation of authority. Each authority is delegable unless specifically stated otherwise (see 1.102–4( b )).

And FAR 1.102-4( b ):

( b ) The authority to make decisions and the accountability for the decision made will be delegated to the lowest level within the System, consistent with law.

But if an office does not want to give them that authority, then so be it.

As for the CO/COR thing: the definition of contracting officer as including CORs goes back in DOD regulations and contract clauses to as far back as 1949. See 14 FR 5075, August 17, 1949, 32 C.F.R. § 406.103-1( b ):

The term "Contracting Officer" means the person executing this contract on behalf of the Government, and any other officer or civilian employee who is a properly designated Contracting Officer; and the term includes, except as otherwise provided in this contract, the authorized representative of a Contracting Officer acting within the limits of his authority.

The definition in FAR 2.101 is also in the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, see 41 U.S.C. § 7101(6).

There is extensive explanatory case law. See e.g., Winter v. Cath-dr/Balti Joint Venture, 497 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2007):

When authorized, the contracting officer may delegate some of its authority to certain designated representatives, who act on behalf of the government during contract administration. See John Cibinic, Jr., Ralph C. Nash, Jr., & James F. Nagle, Administration of Government Contracts 39 (4th ed. 2006). In this case, a limited delegation of authority occurred. The contract entered into by the Navy and Cath contains a clause that states that the contracting officer may designate a “contracting officer's representative (COR)” to perform “specific technical or administrative functions.” See 48 C.F.R. § 252.201–7000. It also contains a clause entitled “GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES (JUN 1994),” which states that “[t]he contract will be administered by an authorized representative of the Contracting Officer.” That clause goes on to state that “the project Engineer In Charge” is an “authorized representative of the Contracting Officer” and “is responsible for monitoring performance and the technical management of the effort required hereunder, and should be contacted regarding questions or problems of a technical nature.”

williams.c wrote:

[W]hat I said was that I did not consider the [current] definition of Contracting Officer to include that of COR specifically because COR is defined separately below with it's own definition.

So, he thinks the phrase "authorized representatives" of contracting officers, as used in the definition of contracting officer, does not refer to CORs, because COR is separately defined? Is that what he/she said? If so, the statement is ridiculous and should be on display in the PWAC Hall of Fame.

Some people short circuit when they try to read regulations. Too bad. There is nothing new, strange, confusing, or complicated about the concept of CORs as "authorized representatives" acting in the capacity of a contracting officer. The FAR councils did not change that when they added a definition of COR to FAR 2.101. It's absurd to try to find a distinction between "authorized representatives" and COR in the definitions, and it is not worth discussing. If you want to think like that, buy a house in PWACville and live happily ever after.

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Great answer.

I have understood that "COR's were appointed or designated upon award, not during the initial acquisition.

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Great answer.

I have understood that "COR's were appointed or designated upon award, not during the initial acquisition.

Don't look to FAR definitions of COR's for government purchase card procedures and controls. A COR administers contracts and is delegated specific authorites for that purpose.

The DOD has guidance for the GPC program, which seems to indicate that the card holder has certain responsibilities, the authorizing or approving official has certain responsibilities, and there are supposedly managment controls in place and reviewing officials who are supposed to review the purchases for conformance to policy.

The various policies require training for all who are involved in the GPC program.

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williams.c,

Your question seemed to be, "In the case of a GPC purchase, if competition is going to be limited for legitimate reasons, who is the Contracting Officer that would give approval?"

Then, your question seemed to change to, "So, when OCONUS and using a GPC to make a purchase over the micro but under $25k, assuming all requirements are met to properly make the purchase, who is the Contracting Officer?"

Even so, there is talk here about CORs and best-value determinations and other matters. The discussion seems distracted.

What is the real question?

I think the question generally stayed the same, I only attempted to provide further clarification because many people incorrectly assume that when it comes to GPC, all standard purchases are below the micro, which is where your original references apply. I further clarified because I think I understand how to handle purchases below the micro, it is the standard GPC purchase above $3k but below $25k that I find difficult.

The mention of CORs came up due to my discussion of the definition of Contracting Officer and the language the definition uses--there is a sentence that would seem to apply to many roles, and I made the comment that I did not believe the sentence applied to COR due to the term being defined separately below in the definitions section. I was not aware of the way the definitions have been modified over the years.

As for 'best-value determinations and other matters', those are discussed because those are specifically the type of matters that are mentioned in the FAR as needing a KO. This is exactly my difficulty--the FAR and DFARS have language about what to do when the purchase exceeds the micro but not the SAT, and that language typically (though not always) only references the KO doing something. Take 13.003 ( b )--it gives you instruction on purchases over $3k but below $150K, however it only makes mention of the KO making a decision and does not use the language 'other individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3'. OR take 13.104, again only mention of the KO having to promote competition, so what about the 'other individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3', are they not required to promote competition to the maximum extent practicable?

Again, this is one of my first posts, so my apologies if my question/issue is not clear or I'm having difficulty articulating my specific question. And thank you for the input.

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To Mr. Edwards,

Thank you for the unnecessarily negative remarks, I wasn't expecting anything like that in a professional forum like this, so your condescending remarks were disappointing. I thought this was a forum for less experienced folks to ask questions and to learn from others, apparently for some it is an opportunity to belittle others. I can only read the various forms of guidance and attempt to interpret as best I can, and when I'm having difficulty, ask questions. My apologies if you find my attempt to ask a question and discuss (and my current level of understanding) to be beneath you or your level of patience. But thank you for the rest of your response before the insulting remarks, they were actually useful--I was unaware of the etymology of the terminology I was asking about. Since parts of my question are apparently not even worth discussing, I guess I'll end the discussion here. Thank you to those that provided useful, courteous, and professional responses, I did learn something from them.

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I think the question generally stayed the same, I only attempted to provide further clarification because many people incorrectly assume that when it comes to GPC, all standard purchases are below the micro, which is where your original references apply. I further clarified because I think I understand how to handle purchases below the micro, it is the standard GPC purchase above $3k but below $25k that I find difficult.

The mention of CORs came up due to my discussion of the definition of Contracting Officer and the language the definition uses--there is a sentence that would seem to apply to many roles, and I made the comment that I did not believe the sentence applied to COR due to the term being defined separately below in the definitions section. I was not aware of the way the definitions have been modified over the years.

As for 'best-value determinations and other matters', those are discussed because those are specifically the type of matters that are mentioned in the FAR as needing a KO. This is exactly my difficulty--the FAR and DFARS have language about what to do when the purchase exceeds the micro but not the SAT, and that language typically (though not always) only references the KO doing something. Take 13.003 ( b )--it gives you instruction on purchases over $3k but below $150K, however it only makes mention of the KO making a decision and does not use the language 'other individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3'. OR take 13.104, again only mention of the KO having to promote competition, so what about the 'other individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3', are they not required to promote competition to the maximum extent practicable?

Again, this is one of my first posts, so my apologies if my question/issue is not clear or I'm having difficulty articulating my specific question. And thank you for the input.

Williams.c, please see DFARS 13.301 (2), which refers to others making card purchases over the micro- threshold but not exceeding $25k.

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To Mr. Edwards,

Thank you for the unnecessarily negative remarks, I wasn't expecting anything like that in a professional forum like this, so your condescending remarks were disappointing. I thought this was a forum for less experienced folks to ask questions and to learn from others, apparently for some it is an opportunity to belittle others. I can only read the various forms of guidance and attempt to interpret as best I can, and when I'm having difficulty, ask questions. My apologies if you find my attempt to ask a question and discuss (and my current level of understanding) to be beneath you or your level of patience. But thank you for the rest of your response before the insulting remarks, they were actually useful--I was unaware of the etymology of the terminology I was asking about. Since parts of my question are apparently not even worth discussing, I guess I'll end the discussion here. Thank you to those that provided useful, courteous, and professional responses, I did learn something from them.

You're very welcome.

If I had thought that your attempt to ask a question was beneath me, I wouldn't have answered it. See... you learned from others, just as you had hoped to. It wasn't your question that I minded. It was your baseless yet insistent opinion about CORs.

Welcome to the big leagues. Don't crowd the plate if you're scared of getting hit by a pitch.

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williams.c

You're welcome. And welcome to the big leagues, where there's no crying.

Mr. Edwards,

Please understand that I honestly have the utmost respect for you, I have read many posts in the forums, and have taken one of your classes which I found to be one of the most beneficial I have had. Just disappointed that the disparaging remarks (from my POV) came from you in particular considering your reputation and level of expertise. As I said above, I thought this was a forum whereby those trying to gain knowledge could ask questions to those with more experience and not be made fun of or belittled for lack of experience, apparently I was mistaken.

Was there never a time when you needed to ask a question about something? I'm just trying to learn.

Regardless, the other responses were useful, so thank you.

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williams.c

Yes, there was a time when I needed to ask a question. That time continues until this very day. You might be surprised at the number of times I call people to ask questions during the course of a day.

When I was young, one of the things I learned from people to whom I directed questions was not to mix questions with my opinions. People who are willing to entertain questions from "less experienced" people tend to take the questions for what they are, but when you mix a question with an opinion -- contracting officers' "authorized representatives" and CORs are different things, because COR is defined separately -- the opinion diverts attention from the question and becomes subject to evaluation and criticism. Sometimes the right tactic is to convert a tentative opinion to a question: Is an "authorized representative of the contracting officer" different from a "Contracting Officer's Representative" as defined by FAR? Sometimes I ask questions about my opinions: Does that make sense? Am I right?

I took a lot of time to craft the answer I gave you. I don't do that for everybody. I hope it enabled you to resolve your issue.

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Williams.c, having re read your initial question and your indication that your Agency has no implementation policy, DoD definitely has implementation policy for GPC purchases overseas between the micro purchase limit and $25k. DFARS and the PGI seem to cover what are the purchase card holder's responsibilities with respect to competition with checks, balances and oversight reviews of completed actions. I didn't read into that policy and guidance that the KO must personally assure that the "other" officials are promoting or limiting competition on those actions as they occur. Look at 213.301 in both the PGI and DFARS for guidance.

EDIT: If you work for the Army, there is further policy and Guidance for the GPC at AFARS Appendix EE and see 5113.

EDIT: and "COR's" are appointed to administer awarded contracts. Overseas DoD purchase card holders have duties, with various oversight requirements.

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williams.c

Yes, there was a time when I needed to ask a question. That time continues until this very day. You might be surprised at the number of times I call people to ask questions during the course of a day.

When I was young, one of the things I learned from people to whom I directed questions was not to mix questions with my opinions. People who are willing to entertain questions from "less experienced" people tend to take the questions for what they are, but when you mix a question with an opinion -- contracting officers' "authorized representatives" and CORs are different things, because COR is defined separately -- the opinion diverts attention from the question and becomes subject to evaluation and criticism. Sometimes the right tactic is to convert a tentative opinion to a question: Is an "authorized representative of the contracting officer" different from a "Contracting Officer's Representative" as defined by FAR? Sometimes I ask questions about my opinions: Does that make sense? Am I right?

I took a lot of time to craft the answer I gave you. I don't do that for everybody. I hope it enabled you to resolve your issue.

Understood. I will take note of this and attempt to better craft my questions in the future. Sometimes, when one doesn't fully understand the issue, it can be difficult to phrase questions effectively.

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Mr./Ms. Williams- You don't owe anyone an apology. Anyone posting on this forum should always be treated with courtesy-- unfortunately, that's not always the case.

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