Strengthening the acquisition workforce is critical to ensuring that the government gets the best value for the more than $500 billion of goods and services it procures annually. Each member of the acquisition workforce plays a critical role, including Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs), who ensure that contractors meet the commitments of their contracts. CORs are often the first to recognize when a program or contract is under-performing, and are increasingly being asked to manage high-value, complex contracts that involve varying degrees of risk.
To be sure they are trained and developed appropriately, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s (OFPP) requirements for the Federal Acquisition Certification for CORs (FAC-COR), originally issued in November 2007, to establish a risk-based, three-tiered certification program for civilian agencies that better reflects the important role of the COR, have been substantially revised.
The term “COR” has been changed to “COR” to align with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which now incorporates a definition for “Contracting Officer’s Representative” and includes designation of a COR as part of a Contracting Officer’s responsibilities. The new FAC-COR requirements are effective from January 1, 2012, and agencies should begin developing guidance to ensure their CORs are appropriately trained and certified.
This timely handbook details the new requirements and examines the essential competencies and duties now required by CORs to perform satisfactorily.
The comprehensive handbook uses a simple to follow five step process to describe the COR process with special emphasis on some of the new in-depth requirements such as risk, earned value management and managing integrated process teams.
The entire contracting process is described in detail with case studies, best practices and checklists. The handbook explains the legal framework that the COR must work within, the roles and responsibilities, the ethical issues involved and the technical skills needed to manage today’s ever-complex contracts.
There are sections on working with the acquisition team, the various types of contracts and how to manage them, how to develop statement of works and evaluating and selecting the right contractor. There is also detailed information about postaward contract management, identifying areas of concern, inspection and quality assurance. The final sections cover performance evaluation, problem resolving, payment and closeout.
Whether you are an experienced contracting officer, a newly-appointed contracting officer’s representative or the person who has managerial responsibility for either, this is a book that you cannot afford to ignore. It is both timely and packed with the latest information on this highly complex and fast evolving discipline. I recommend it to you.
The COR Level II Guidebook 5 Step Process
Step 1. What is a COR? - Key COR responsibilities
Step 2. COR Role in Acquisition Planning
Step 3. COR Role in Contract Award
Step 4. COR Role in Contract Administration
Step 5. Close Out and Lessons Learned
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