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What is an IAA?

 

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I’ve never heard of a COR on IAAs.  It’s not a contract so how could you have a CO representative?  Often there’s a project manager or something similar designated in an IAA and that person may be an official authorized to obligate funds.  It all depends on both agencies and what is agreed upon.

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Right former fed... that was my thought also. I raised the question with my agency, and am still waiting on an answer from them.. just wanted to make sure I wasn't totally off course with my question. It would make more sense to have another title like you said vs. a COR. Doesn't make sense and I feel like it could have potential legal implications if something as simple as the wording isn't rectified. At any rate, a letter of appointment designating an official (COR, project manager, or similar) should exist, according to the FAR, correct? Thanks for your feedback.

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1 hour ago, formerfed said:

I’ve never heard of a COR on IAAs.

A little research might help.  By example.....

"The USAID Agreement Officer (whether a warranted contracting officer or an Assistant Administrator), as the signatory for an interagency agreement, bears the legal responsibility for the agreement. Therefore, only an Agreement Officer may sign, modify, or terminate an interagency agreement on behalf of USAID. The Agreement Officer is also responsible for overall liaison and coordination with the Participating or Servicing Agency on interagency agreements that the Agreement Officer signs. After the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) initiates the closeout of an interagency agreement under 306.3.12, the Agreement Officer is responsible for carrying out or notifying or assigning others to carry out the actions necessary under that section to close out the agreement."

https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/306.pdf

So the real question @New to Contracting is what agency do you work for?

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I suddenly remembered COs sign many IAAs at DHS.  I started to post this and see Carl also said COs can also sign at USAID.  So I spoke too quickly.  That said, CO signings are very rare across the government and a large share don’t even come close to contractual issues.  They mostly are reimbursement transactions and sharing expenses.

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@C Culham DHS. I wasn't able to find anything similar to what you found for USAID. But it seems the gist of what you posted is there must be someone in place that oversees all of the agreement over the COR, is that correct? And it seems it can be typical for a COR to be on an agreement with a CO present, as long as there is some type of agreement officer in place? 

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Each agency can make its own rules -- some agencies make contracting officers sign IAAs -- other agencies want contracting officers to coordinate -- other agencies leave contracting officers alone unless FAR subpart 17.5 is implicated -- all of these are okay.

If an agency assigns a COR to an IAA, it might simply be an imprecise use of the term COR.

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I've seen and heard the term "AOR" used for Agreements Officer Representative on OTA's and TIA's, but I don't believe the regs and instructions for appointments have caught up to agreements yet (at least in DoD).  JMO, but the terms mean the same, but folks will say otherwise in order to bypass the PIEE JAM/SPM requirements.

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New,

The FAR covers acquisitions as that term is defined in FAR 2.101.

It does not cover interagency agreements (IAAs), except to the degree that the interagency agreement might be covered by FAR subpart 17.5 or 17.7.

Most interagency agreements (IAAs) are not interagency acquisitions (IAAs) -- oh my, the same abbreviation for two different terms!

Some agencies separate contracts and agreements, with GS-1102s doing contracts and GS-1109s (or other series) doing agreements.  Other agencies task contracting officers to do it all, by granting them both contracts authority and agreements authority.

CORs belong to contracts, but some agencies can't tell the difference between contracts and agreements -- and some agencies don't have a separate term for COR-equivalents on IAAs, so they imprecisely call them CORs.

A COR-equivalent for an agreement may perform whatever duties are properly assigned to him or her.  This may differ from agency to agency (and office to office within an agency).

On 8/24/2020 at 8:35 PM, New to Contracting said:

At any rate, a letter of appointment designating an official (COR, project manager, or similar) should exist, according to the FAR, correct? 

Wrong, if we key in on "according to the FAR."  The FAR requires letters of designation for CORs on contracts -- it does not require letters of delegations for COR-equivalents on IAAs.

21 hours ago, New to Contracting said:

How important is the appointment letter for the person being assigned to the IAA? Is it necessary?

That depends entirely on the agency's own regulations.

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7 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

The FAR covers acquisitions as that term is defined in FAR 2.101.

I do not want to extend this discussion in eternity but on a basic level I could see where an agency determines that there should be a COR for an interagency agreement that is formed to do an "interagency acquisition".   After all it is by FAR an acquisition document is it not otherwise the interagency acquisition by FAR could not take place.  Additionally specific to FAR 2.101 and definition of acquisition it does include "and those technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling agency needs by contract."  The clincher of course being other agency policy or regulation of where they put an IAA for interagency acquisition but if there is none then is not the FAR the definitive regulation?

Reaches back and not sure it is the most current authority but sticking to DHS.  If the FAR discusses IAA and Economy Act with regard to interagency acquisitions and pursuant to the FAR and further agency policy a CO can sign an IAA or Economy Act Agreement and wants to assign some or all of the administrative responsibility to another person and couldn't tthat person in fact be called a "COR"?

"D. The Contracting Officer is a Federal employee with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and orders and is responsible for the execution of all Interagency Agreements and Economy Act-required Determinations and Findings which include Assisted Acquisitions."   

Reference - https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/foia/mgmt_dir_125_02_interagency_agreements.8.15.08.pdf

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If an interagency acquisition (not interagency agreement, but interagency acquisition) is an assisted acquisition that results in a contract, and the assignment of a COR is appropriate, then the two agencies can decide which agency will assign the COR.  FAR 17.502-1(b)(1)(i). 

The original poster spoke of interagency agreements, not interagency acquisitions.  But now, we're talking about interagency acquisitions.  Admittedly, there is imprecision in how these terms are used, as there is imprecision in how the term COR is used.  A little more precision is necessary for meaningful learning and appropriate nuance.

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DHS is in a unique position on IAAs largely from their history.  When DHS was formed and for many years afterwards, the individual components had widely differing operating procedures.  In addition from this law enforcement mission, several functioned in a decentralized manner.  Consequently some processes like IAAs didn’t have standard procedures.  Some IAAs were improperly done.  In an effort to bring some order, DHS developed some procedures for everyone to follow and ensure sound acquisition decisions resulted.  That included CO signatures in some instances.

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