Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Contract Administration Office Functions

After a contract is awarded, it its usually, but not always, assigned for administration to a contract administration office (CAO). For DoD, the CAO is the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA).
DCMA maintains the Federal Directory of Contract Administration Services on its website.   If you are unsure as to the organization that administers your contract, you can search this site for that information.

FAR 42.302 contains a listing of 71 functions that the contracting officer (CO) normally delegates to the CAO. (The current versions of FAR list only 70 functions. The 71st fuction is the oversight of contract ethics programs that was added yesterday, May 31st.) The contracting officer may from time to time, retain some of the 71 functions based on different factors. However, three of the 71 functions must be delegated including,
  1. negotiating forward pricing indirect expense rates
  2. establish final indirect expense rates, and
  3. administering Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

It is beyond the scope of this posting to list the 71 delegable functions however it should be worth your while to peruse it. It would be hard to imagine any contract related matter that is not covered by these duties and responsibilities. It is becasue of the extensiveness of this listing that we usually advise clients to initiate discussions with the CAO (a.k.a. the ACO or Administrative Contracting Officer) for any contract matter.

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