Thursday, July 11, 2019

Production Surveillance

Production surveillance is a function of contract administration (e.g. DCMA or Defense Contract Management Agency) used to determine contractor progress and to identify any factors that may delay performance. It involves Government review and analysis of

  • Contractor performance plans, schedules, controls, and industrial processes; and
  • The contractor's actual performance under the plans.

Contractors are responsible for timely contract performance. However, the Government will sometimes feel it necessary to oversee that performance to protect its interests. It's up to the contracting officer to decide the extent of such surveillance.

Factors that contracting officers are to consider when developing a surveillance plan are laid out in FAR 42.1104 and include

  • The criticality (degree of importance to the Government) assigned by the contracting officer to the supplies or services
  • Contract requirements for reporting production progress and performance
  • The contract performance schedule
  • The contractor's production plan
  • The contractor's history of contract performance
  • The contractor's experience with the contract supplies or services
  • The contractor's financial capability

Contractors sometimes view these surveillance requirements as impediment to efficient production. That is why FAR also cautions contracting officers to avoid any action that may result in claims of waivers, of changes, or of other contract modifications. FAR also cautions contracting officers to avoid actions that may be inconsistent with contract requirements.

Contractors are not going to have much success in dissuading the Government from its surveillance activities. Its the Government's call. However, contractors can minimize a lot of extra work on their part by making available internal production control or data management information. Contracting officers are required to make maximum use of 'reliable' contractor developed information.

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