PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK
This book is intended to serve as a practical guide for both government and private sector personnel involved in the acquisition process:
CORs/COTRs, task monitors, quality assurance representatives, inspectors, legal counsel, project officers, program managers, and finance personnel can use it as a handbook to get answers and practical advice pertaining to their day-to-day contract technical administration duties and responsibilities.
COs, administrative contracting officers (ACOs), contract specialists, and contract administrators can use it to better understand typical COR/COTR functions and the process of delegating authority and contract technical oversight responsibilities to CORs/COTRs.
Contractors can use this book to gain insight into government procedures, policies, and functions pertaining to overall contract monitoring, particularly those related to COR/COTR roles, authority, duties, and responsibilities.
This book is designed to be used as a handbook to check for answers to specific questions, rather than read from cover to coverhence the question and answer format. The information provided in the book has been thoroughly researched and edited to be as current and accurate as possible, but it should not be used as a legal reference. Given that government contracting is a dynamic environment that is in a constant state of change, it is imperative that the most current edition of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), agency supplements to the FAR as applicable, and individuals with contracting and legal authority be consulted on all matters related to particular contract or contracting situations.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK
The content and structure of this book were defined by a detailed analysis of, and correlation to, the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) skills and competencies set forth in both the FAI Contract Specialist Training Blueprints, "Training Blueprints For Performing 71 Essential Contracting and Purchasing Duties," and the FAI COR Workbook, which contains 18 "units of instruction" specifically related to the career development and training of CORs. These publications prescribe the curriculum design "training blueprints" to be used, and tasks to be completed, by contracting professionals and other members of the contracting team, such as CORs, and were developed in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The 18 units of instruction from the FAI COR Workbook that were used in the development of this book are directly related to the 20 duties in Appendix A, COR Duties and Tasks, printed in bold. The remaining 12 duties in Appendix A were derived from the FAI Contract Specialist Training Blueprints and other references.
This book is designed to provide the COR with a source of specific information that will help him or her develop the necessary skills to perform the duties and tasks inherent in the COR's critical role in the contracting process. Appendix A contains a detailed listing of these duties and tasks and can be used as an index to locate specific information related to the COR's assigned responsibilities. For example, suppose a COR were assigned the responsibility of preparing a technical work package, including a purchase request, to yield the best market response in terms of competition, quality, timeliness, price, and mission needs. If the COR needed more information about developing a work package, he or she could scan the list of duties and tasks in Appendix A and would find among the listed duties for Chapter 3: "Duty: Develop the Work Package for Transmittal to the Contracting Office." Turning to Chapter 3 of this book, the COR would find a section titled Developing the Work Package, which includes information related to the seven items included in the work package. This section identifies the seven tasks the COR will need to perform to develop the work package and provides specific guidance and information related to the COR's assigned duties.
Because CORs are usually not contracting or legal people, I have tried to minimize direct reference to and quotation from the FAR. Two reasons for doing this are specifically worth noting:
1. The language of the FAR can be difficult to interpret. The FAR allows a considerable degree of discretion (by necessity) and should be interpreted with the assistance of case law from the courts, boards, and Government Accountability Office.
2. The fact that the FAR changes frequently (again by necessity) compelled me to use a more generic approach, i.e., practical guidance based on experience and common sense. This approach is intended to ensure that this book will be useful for a longer period of time.
"May the FAR be with you!"