What are typical agenda items for the preliminary meeting?

The agenda of the preliminary meeting should be based on the requirements and constraints of the specific contract, with the goal of averting future problems. Agenda items may include the following:

Discussion of the type and complexity of the effort

Clarification of specifications and requirements

Discussion of any special technical directions

Discussion of the urgency of delivery or performance schedules

Discussion of any incentive features of the contract

Explanation of allowable and non-allowable costs

Discussion of formal procedures for contract changes and modifications

Discussion of the extent and nature of subcontracting

Discussion of prime contractor versus subcontractor responsibilities

Clarification of subcontractor reporting requirements

Discussion of the transfer of government-furnished property (GFP)

Discussion of special security or Privacy Act requirements.

What does the COR need to do to prepare for the preliminary meeting?

The COR will need to do the following to be prepared for the preliminary meeting:

Review the contract.

Prepare a significant milestone memorandum for the CO. (For more information about the significant milestone memorandum, see the section entitled The Significant Milestone Memorandum later in this chapter.)

Develop a discussion paper for the CO.

Reviewing the Contract

Why does the COR need to read and understand the contract?

Now that the contract has been awarded by the CO, the contracting office will send the COR a copy of the contract. One of the COR's first duties is to become intimately familiar with all contract elements related to technical requirements and delivery. The COR must pay particular attention to elements such as special clauses (e.g., those regarding government property or government financing), the statement of work (SOW) schedule, and performance standards in order to effectively carry out his or her monitoring responsibilities. In other words, the COR must know exactly what the contract obligates the contractor to do in order to be able to compare those standards to what the contractor actually does during performance of the contract requirements. This awareness will enable the COR, during contract performance monitoring, to detect any differences (i.e., non-conformances) and to take action to correct or resolve them.

Figure 5-1 lists items in the contract that the COR should review carefully because they commonly come up for discussion at postaward orientation sessions.

What are the most important items in the contract for the COR to review?

Items the OCR Must Look for When Reviewing the Contract

FIGURE 5-1. Items the OCR Must Look for When Reviewing the Contract

What is the uniform contract format?

The use of a uniform contract format (UCF) facilitates preparation of the solicitation and contract as well as reference to and use of the contract by all parties involved. The UCF outlines the distinct sections of a contract for all federal contracts no matter the agency and keeps the sections in the same sequence so that contractors who may supply or perform for various agencies do not have to learn anew where to find information in the contract.

FAR 15.204 identifies the contents of each of the sections in the UCF. The content of some sections will vary depending on the method of procurement, i.e., sealed bidding versus negotiation; the type of solicitation and the relevant contract clauses would have to be tailored to each method.

Note that according to the FAR, Part IV of the UCF is included in the solicitation, but upon award, the CO must not actually include Part IV in the resulting contract. The CO must, however, retain Part IV in the contract file. Section K (of Part IV) must be incorporated by reference in the contract.

The FAR also identifies instances when the UCF need not be used (e.g., construction or architect-engineer contracts).

Figure 5-2 highlights sections of the UCF that are generally of interest to the COR.

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