Why use trip reports? What should be included in them?

Trip reports are useful for documenting visits made to a contractor's facility. These reports are generally required by agencies when money was expended for the trip (e.g., airfare, per diem). A copy of the trip report can be used to notify the CO of contract status, problems, or any issue that needs attention. There is no set format for a trip report. At a minimum, it should cover:

The date of the trip

The location visited during the trip

The contract number

A description of the trip

Discussions with the contractor

Issues needing attention

Recommendations for action

Follow-up actions.

Trip reports should be signed, as required by agency procedures, and a copy included in the appropriate files (i.e., the COR's file and other files) as required by the agency.

Why use telephone records? What should be included in them?

Similar to meeting minutes, contact records of telephone communications can be an excellent source of information. Contact records document discussions held with the contractor and other government officials for the purpose of preserving the conversation for the file. Contact records:

Must be dated

Must show the applicable contract number

Need not be written according to any set format, but usually summarize "he or she said/I said" conversations.

There may be an opportunity, when documenting a telephone conversation, to identify action items and recommendations based on the conversation, but this may not be necessary because action items usually must be documented separately on specified forms. Copies of the contact records should be provided to the CO for inclusion in the contract administration file.

Why use required reports? Who prepares them?

Reports can be a good tool for documenting the contractual situation, and they should be required by the original requirements document to ensure effective and adequate communication of contract performance status during the contract administration phase. Unlike memorandums to the file, reports are generally prepared by the contractor in accordance with contract requirements in a format suitable for review by others, such as:

The contracting officer


The contractor

The financial officer

Small business administrators


The content of a report is based entirely on the purpose for the report. Reports can:

Describe contract status

Identify problems

Provide background information

Justify actions taken by the contractor

Request assistance or resources.

At a minimum, reports must identify the contract number and the date the report was written.

What is included when inputting information in tracking systems?

There are two types of tracking systems.

Paper-based tracking. This method is used when the contract is not routinely procured and when an agency does not have an electronic tracking system.

Electronic tracking. This is the preferred method of tracking and requires input from appropriate officials.

The COR may be required to input various data as might be required by the particular contract, including progress of work under the contract, cost expenditures, results of tests on contract products, or other technical information. The format for inputting data in the tracking systems will vary. The COR should follow the direction provided by the CO or other official in charge of the tracking system.

What should be included in minutes of meetings?

Minutes generally document:

Discussions that took place at a meeting

Situations (e.g., status of product testing or delivery schedule)

Problems discussed at a meeting

Attendees of a meeting

Decisions made at the meeting

Action items

Recommendations for action.

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