DoD Issues Final Rule on Designation of a Contracting Officer's Representative

September 20, 2011

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to clarify that a contracting officer's representative must be an employee, military or civilian, of the U.S. Government, a foreign government, or a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)/coalition partner, and that contractor personnel shall not serve as contracting officer's representatives. Effective date: September 20, 2011. Reference Federal Register Volume 76, Number 182 (Tuesday, September 20, 2011).

This rule is based on a request from Headquarters NATO Training Mission--Afghanistan (NTM-A) to permit the designation of non-U.S. Government employees as contracting officer's representatives (CORs) in support of the NTM-A's efforts to train the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF). The NTM-A supports the growth of the ANSF through numerous activities including the contracting of civilian mentoring services. These contracts for mentoring services to the ANSF require the contractor to deploy teams throughout the joint area of operations and interact with non-U.S. coalition partners exclusively. To provide assurance that contractual requirements are being met, it is crucial that contract performance information be submitted to the contracting officer by those coalition units with insight of contractor activities.

Contracting officers supporting contingency operations abroad require the flexibility to ensure the proper oversight of contract performance, such as at locations where there is no U.S. presence or the designation of a U.S. Government COR is not viable. This rule provides that flexibility by clarifying at DFARS 201.602-2 that a COR must be an employee, military or civilian, of the U.S. Government, a foreign government, or a NATO/coalition partner. CORs must meet all training and experience qualifications commensurate with the delegated responsibilities per DFARS 201.602-2(2)(ii). In addition, the rule makes clear that contractor personnel may not serve as CORs. Contractor personnel may, however, continue to perform technical oversight functions on behalf of the contracting officer, excluding those that are inherently governmental (see FAR 7.5).

DoD has issued this rule as a final rule because this rule does not have a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of DoD and does not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. Therefore, public comment is not required in accordance with 41 US.C. 1707.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Manuel Quinones, telephone 703-602-8383. 

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