Lesson 2.4: Contract Management: Planning for Solicitation
Definition of a Contract
Establishes a legal relationship between two parties;
Defines the rights and responsibilities of each party;
Allows for changes within the terms and conditions of the legal relationship; and
Requires five essential elements to be binding.
Elements of a Contract
1. Express intent;
2. Be communicated;
3. Have complete terms (price, quantity, quality, and delivery requirements); and
4. Be clear and unambiguous.
2. Clear and unequivocal; and
3. A mirror image of the offer.
1. Promise to perform;
2. Promise in return for performance; and
3. Sufficiency and adequacy of consideration.
Legal and Binding
Objective or purpose needs to be legal to be enforced in court.
Both parties must be legally competent for a contract to be binding.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation System
The Federal Acquisition Regulation System establishes the policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. It consists of the following:
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR);
The DOD FAR Supplement; and
Agency supplements and acquisition regulations.
The Contracting Officer uses the FAR to carry out the contracting process.
The Contracting Officer
The Contracting Officer (CO) has the authority to:
Enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and
Make related determinations and findings.
A CO's authority is given in writing on a Certificate of Appointment (SF 1402), commonly known as a warrant. The three types of Contracting Officers are:
Procuring Contracting Officer
The Procuring Contracting Officer:
1. Handles the procurement from the pre-solicitation phase through to contract award (including contract signing on the Government's behalf) and
2. Has overall responsibility for the contract until it is completed and closed out.
Administrative Contracting Officer
The Administrative Contracting Officer performs contract administration functions as assigned by the
PCO. FAR 42.302(a) lists the functions normally performed by the ACO.
Termination Contracting Officer
The Termination Contracting Officer is responsible for negotiating an equitable settlement with the contractor after the Procuring Contracting Officer issues a notice of termination.
Roles of the Program Manager and the Contracting Officer
The Program Manager (PM) has the overall responsibility for bringing the program in on time and within budget. The CO is the business advisor to the PM and is responsible for ensuring that all acquisition laws and regulations are followed.
Following is a comparison of the roles assigned to the PM and CO.
Charter (Army & Navy) Program
Management Directive (AF)
DOD 5000 Policy Documents
Program office (IPT)
The competition requirements ensured by the Competition in Contracting Act include:
Requirement for full and open competition Full and open competition means all responsible sources are permitted to compete for the effort (FAR
6.003). The CO decides how full and open competition will be achieved.
Allowance for full and open competition after exclusion of sources Excluding sources may be done to facilitate:
Allowance for seven exceptions to full and open competition
Seven exceptions to full and open competition include:
1. Establishing or maintaining alternate sources.
Key is that the Government has more than one source for providing supplies or services whenever possible;
2. Setting aside works for small business concerns,…