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Hi all, we've gotten some "interesting" guidance from our leadership lately. With an 889 Part B implementation date of 8/13 looming we've been instructed to make all of our pending awards before 8/13. This includes ones that have been announced as prospective awardees, pending a review of any lingering responsibility matters, in our case possession of an acceptable accounting system. Our solicitation very plainly says "Each prospective awardee must possess an acceptable accounting system in order to be eligible for award." To me, this is entirely improper and no Contracting Officer should be signing off on them prior to the determination that their accounting system is acceptable. 

1) Am I way off base here? 2) Is anyone else dealing with 889 Part B implementation the same way? 3) How are you dealing with solicitations that are closed but won't have any awards made until after 8/13? (I'm assuming amend the solicitation?)

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No, you're not off base. Generally, a contracting officer doesn't have the authority to award a contract without first determining the prospective contractor responsible. I get what your leadership is trying to avoid, but they shouldn't be asking COs to skip (or rubber stamp) the responsibility determination.

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Your office is playing with some dangerous stuff.  The issue is a lot more than an acceptable accounting system.  If you rushed an award and the contractor is later found in violation, heads will roll.  Why the hurry?  In the big scheme of things starting with initiation of a need to this point, I bet many months passed.  So what’s a couple more weeks?

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Update on this: Leadership has seen the light and decided not to continue trying to rush the awards (which include cost reimbursable work). Their whole rush was the worry that all the many months spent evaluating proposals would have gone out the window if an offeror couldn't properly certify to the new 889 requirement (they also didn't want to deal with doing an amendment). Strange that my agency seems to be pulling their hair out over this new requirement, though I haven't seen much worry from other agencies about it (it doesn't seem like it's that hard to deal with to me). 

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1 hour ago, Freyr said:

Update on this: Leadership has seen the light and decided not to continue trying to rush the awards (which include cost reimbursable work). Their whole rush was the worry that all the many months spent evaluating proposals would have gone out the window if an offeror couldn't properly certify to the new 889 requirement (they also didn't want to deal with doing an amendment). Strange that my agency seems to be pulling their hair out over this new requirement, though I haven't seen much worry from other agencies about it (it doesn't seem like it's that hard to deal with to me). 

Thank you for posting a follow-up.   While now not applicable for this specific case when I read this thread early on I was going to post a comment and then other stuff took over and I forgot.   Providing it now just as an FYI for all that my reference the thread at some point.

My thoughts went to this FAR reference -

"9.105-2 Determinations and documentation.   (a) Determinations.  (1) The contracting officer’s signing of a contract constitutes a determination that the prospective contractor is responsible with respect to that contract. ..."

The dangerous ground stated by others gets even more interesting when "guidance" by an agency essentially takes the determination out of the hands of the CO.  For me, if I were a CO like I was back when, it would make me wonder who should really sign "the" contract to which the guidance is applicable to?  After all some in leadership, do by position, have CO authority so to speak.   

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