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404.11 - Contracting Officer's Representative Certification Program


OPR: Admin/Procurement

1. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to implement a Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) Certification Program within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and to provide written instructions to COR's.

2. Authority.

A. Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act, 41 U.S.C. 405(a) and (d)(2).

B. OFPP Policy Letter No. 92-3 dated June 24, 1992, subject: Procurement Professionalism Program Policy.

C. Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget memorandum dated December 15, 1993, subject: Certification Program for Contracting Officer's Representatives.

3. Definitions.

A. Contracting Officer. An employee who has been issued a warrant to enter into contracts and purchase orders leading to the expenditure of public funds as an agent of the U.S. Government, under delegation procedures of Survey Manual Chapter 205.4.

B. Contracting Officer's Representative (COR). An employee delegated limited authority by a Contracting Officer to perform specific, enumerated contract management duties related to technical oversight during the performance period of a contract. A COR is nominated by the requisitioning office and appointed in writing by the Contracting Officer at the time of contract award. This term does not include end-users performing similar functions in connection with simplified acquisitions (small purchases), project officers for grants and cooperative agreements, individuals performing specific functions directed by the COR, or COR's for real property leases or contracts awarded by other Federal agencies.

4. Applicability. The COR Certification Program applies to USGS employees serving currently or prospectively as Contracting Officer's Representatives. Completion of COR training prescribed in this chapter is also recommended for requisitioners, particularly those functioning as chairperson of a technical evaluation committee.

5. Policy. Technical monitoring of contractor performance and delivery is essential to insure contractual commitments supporting the mission of the U.S. Geological Survey are met. Employees serving as COR's must be adequately trained and aware of their authority and responsibilities in order to perform effectively. USGS will maintain a COR Certification Program to prepare appointees for their role as COR. The program will establish formal COR training requirements and provide for certification of applicants who have completed prescribed training as well as procurement integrity requirements (see SM 401.11). After August 1, 1995, only those employees who have been certified under this program will be eligible for COR appointment or permitted to retain appointment under an active contract awarded prior to August 1, 1995.

6. Responsibilities.

A. The Chief, Office of Procurement and Contracts, will establish and maintain the USGS COR Certification Program and Instructions to COR's (Appendix A), evaluate course curricula, prepare lists of qualifying courses and maintain the centralized listing of certified employees.

B. Supervisors are responsible for nominating only those employees with sufficient technical expertise to function as COR's and identifying COR candidates and alternates as early as possible in the procurement cycle.

C. Contracting Officer's Representatives are responsible for obtaining training prescribed in this chapter in advance of COR appointment, maintaining their certified status as required, and fulfilling the COR duties enumerated in (Appendix A) during the performance period of all contracts to which they have been appointed COR.

D. Contracting Officers shall prepare COR appointment letters that (1) establish the scope and limits of the COR's authority, (2) appoint only employees included in the list of certified COR's, and (3) are tailored to list specific tasks or areas requiring attention/action by the COR according to the nature and complexity of the subject contract.

7. Training Requirements for Certification. COR's are responsible for obtaining and completing the following training. Only those courses included in the list of qualifying courses (see paragraph 6A above) or approved by the Office of Procurement and Contracts will be accepted.

A. Initial. Employees not previously certified must complete 24 hours of COR training to become eligible for certification. Qualifying training must have been completed no earlier than 6 years before the certification request. For the initial year of the program, training completed since January 1989 will be accepted towards this requirement.

B. Refresher. Once initial certification is obtained, COR's must complete 8 hours of refresher training every 3 years to remain certified.

8. Applying for Certification.

A. When to Apply. COR's and COR candidates performing COR duties on August 1, 1995, must apply for certification as soon as possible to meet the August 1 certification deadline. After August 1, 1995, COR's not previously certified should apply sufficiently ahead of the anticipated contract award date so as to be certified by that date. COR's whose certification is due to expire during the performance period of a contract to which they have been appointed should apply for renewal sufficiently ahead of time to avoid any lapse in certification.

B. Application Format and Submission Instructions. To apply for certification, the candidate COR should provide a copy of the training form (SF 182) or course certificate verifying dates attended, type, and duration of each course completed. For non-USGS courses not on the list of qualifying courses, a course syllabus, outline, or catalog description should also be provided. Requests may be submitted directly by candidate COR's without any formal covering memo or application form. Applications should include the COR's complete organizational mailing address and may be mailed or faxed to:

U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Procurement and Contracts
Procurement Policy Branch, MS 205P
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 22092
(FAX) (703) 648-7901

Applicants will be notified by the Procurement Policy Branch when their application has been accepted, and if not, the reason(s) therefor.

9. Lapse in Certification. Certification is valid for 3 years and must be renewed every 3 years thereafter to remain current. COR's must not allow their certification to expire during the performance period of any contract to which they have been appointed COR. During extended periods of time when not assigned to a contract, COR's may allow their certification to expire, with the consent of their supervisor. In such cases, the COR will not be eligible for appointment until certification is reinstated. The training requirement to reinstate an expired certification may vary. Prospective COR's whose certification has lapsed should contact the Procurement Policy Branch to determine training requirements for reinstatement.

10. Failure to Maintain Certification or Perform COR Duties. The appointment of a COR will be canceled if, during the performance period of a contract, the COR's certification expires or the COR's performance does not adequately protect the Government's interests. In such cases, the requisitioning office is responsible for nominating another certified employee to serve as COR.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 13-Feb-2013@15:14 (kk)
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