The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provides guidelines for government procurements. It stipulates various consequences and penalties that are imposed to defaulters of federal contracts. The FAR also outlines performance requirements, procedures for notification, and delay provisions.
Furthermore, it contains guidelines that are followed while changing terms and conditions of government procurement. This essay explores the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and contract provisions for protection by providing an insight into the standard default clause in relation to delay provisions, contract changes, and inspection criteria that are followed to acquire government procurements.
Combining Standard Default Clause and Delay Provision
The Standard default clause outlines the consequences of failing to perform an entire or part of the contract. The government bears mandate to terminate the contract in case the servicer fails to deliver work in time. According to Feldman (2013), the contractor is liable for any damages that are incurred by the government owing to defaulting of the agreement.
In addition, the servicer is required to pay any other costs that are incurred in the course of the contract. Furthermore, the standard default clause stipulates the procedures that govern contractors in case they default contracts due to unforeseeable events and circumstances that are beyond their control (Feldman, 2013).
The standard Johnson default clause stipulates various consequences that contractors face due to delayed delivery of service or incompletion of pact. Failure of contract completion because of uncontrollable events such as natural events, public enemy acts, and government restrictions are beyond the control of the contractor.
In this case, the contractor is required to notify the government within a period of 10 days after the beginning of the delays. The FAR clause for delay provisions stipulates that excusable adjournments should be allowed to contractors who default contracts due to uncontrollable events that interrupt delivery of service.
The two clauses can be combined in various ways. At the outset, the standard default clause concurs with the FAR provisions for delayed contracts. Therefore, it is appropriate to combine the two stipulations since they contain similar regulations. For instance, the causes of defaulting contracts provided in the standard default clause while the FAR provisions for delay provides stipulations for excusable adjournments are brought about by the same circumstances.
Secondly, the standard default clause specifies procedures that govern defaulting of whole or part of the contract due to uncertainties that are beyond the control of suppliers and sub-contractors. The FAR delay provision outlines the circumstances under which a contract defaulter should be excused.
However, the contractor is only excused after notifying the contracting officer. They also have to prove that the cause of the adjournment was beyond their control. As an IRS officer, I recommend combination of the standard default clause and the FAR provisions for delay in the event of the above circumstances (Feldman, 2013).
Impacts of Contractual Change
When the government negotiates a contract, both parties should observe the terms of the contract. However, contracting officers bear the authority to make changes to an existing agreement (Johnson, Feng, Sitzabee, & Jernigan, 2013). Some of the contract agreements such as price are affected by these changes.
However, the changes made should be fair and not for the benefit of either party. Contract changes can increase or decrease the price of the contract. Therefore, the contracting officers have to ensure that the changes do not affect the servicer adversely. Changes in price should be proportional to the projected expenses of the contractor (Johnson et al., 2013).
Contract changes can lead to interruption of performance, especially when the contractor is likely to incur additional expenses. In such cases, a need for reimbursements or additional funding arises. Therefore, servicers halt their activities to avoid incurring expenses that are beyond the limit cost of the contract. A contracting officer or a delegate who is authorized by a relevant administrator implements changes.
However, competent individuals who have undergone thorough training accomplish contractual changes that are implemented on behalf of the government. Before individuals are eligible for certification as contracting officers, strict professional requirements are examined to rate their appropriateness. The professional should have served as a representative of COR and in possession of a FOC-COR certificate (Johnson et al., 2013).
Feldman (2013) reveals that the individual must attain three certification levels (level 1, level 2, and level 3) to qualify as a contract officer. The first level is the entry stage while the second level is the middle stage. At level three, the individuals become experts; hence, they can be employed as contract officers.
The individuals are trained thoroughly during the course of the three-level certification. This training enables them to attain the required expertise. A change order is an ideal method of making contract modifications. Qualified personnel are charged with the responsibility of issuing change orders. In addition, accountability and documentation of change orders is implemented according to the stipulated provisions in the FAR. Therefore, this situation makes it an ideal way of making contract changes (Johnson et al., 2013).
The FAR provides inspection criteria and quality requirements that dictate federal acquisitions. Assessment of any purchases is done prior to delivery. However, the government conducts specialized inspection types of acquisition. Contracts for commercial items require inspection by the contractor based on the market’s commercial standards. The government relies on the contractor’s quality standards to accomplish the acquisition process. Federal inspections are governed by the market standards (Graham, Barron, Avery, & Ward 2014).
According to Graham et al. (2014), the contractor must meet certain dependable standards of inspection and testing. There is always a need to maintain clear information about the quality of purchases. They should also allow the government to conduct continuous evaluations of the work in progress. These requirements are critical in ensuring that contractors supply quality items that are in line with the government requirements (Graham et al., 2014).
High-level contract quality requirements demand complex inspection criteria and documentation methods. Multidimensional and technical contracts require a higher level of solicitations that encompass inspection of operations, continuous assessment of work in progress, and documentation processes that are more detailed. Such contracts require high level of testing and inspection to make sure that all the requirements for the acquisitions are met (Graham et al., 2014).
There is a need to combine the concurring stipulations in the standard default clause and the FAR provisions for delay. Any decisions that pertain to delayed contracts can be drawn using the procedures that are stipulated in the two documents. There is also a need to ensure equitable adjustments for the benefit of the contracting parties. The FAR provides relevant procedures for soliciting all supplies. Therefore, the contractors should meet all the requirements of acquisitions before delivering full service to the government.
Feldman, S. W. (2013). Government contract guidebook. Eagan, MN: Thomson Reuters, Westlaw.
Graham, D., Barron, W., Avery, W., & Ward, G. (2014). Inspection, Acceptance, and Warranty: Fundamental Government Contracting Principles Take on Heightened Importance in Wake of Federal Budget Uncertainty. Procurement Lawyer, 49(2), 8-12.
Johnson, T., Feng, P., Sitzabee, W., & Jernigan, M. (2013). Federal Acquisition Regulation Applied to Alliancing Contract Practices. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management. 139(5), 480-7.