December 8, 2014
Increasingly, federal acquisition has turned to COR training and certifications to ensure that Contracting Officer’s Representatives (COR) have the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively monitor the performance of their support contractor. What should every COR know? Here are 6 tips from Mark Drager.
It is a statement of the obvious to say that we rely on contractors to provide critical support and services to us. Think about that for a second…think of the ways in our personal lives that companies we hire support us. Think of your cell phone service, trash collection, heating contractors, car repair and maintenance, and a host of others we hire and depend on for support. Do you monitor that performance? I would argue that it is in your best interest that you should and that you probably do, vigorously. Well, so too, because of the critical reliance on contractor support and the large expenditures involved, contract surveillance is vital so that our business organizations’ support contractors are providing quality services and supplies in a timely manner, to mitigate performance issues, to raise the alarm if issues do come up, and to ensure that our organizations receive best value for our customers.
Who should be the focus of contract oversight and monitoring? The COR. Why not the contracting officer? Didn’t he sign the contract? Isn’t she responsible for making it work? Well…the reality is that for most contracting officers, their responsibility reaches over many contracts and their focus is mostly on the deal yet to be done, the contract that is in the works. The COR, however, if well chosen, has skin in the game. It’s his job to make sure the contract works and that the organization gets the services or products it needs. So what can we do to help a COR perform their critical duties well? Federal acquisition has begun to utilize COR training and certifications to ensure that their representatives have the requisite skills to adequately support their contractor and ensure the proper execution of the contract.
What should every COR know? Here are my Big 6 tips:
So, COR Jedi, if you have a handle on these 6, you should be able to have the tools necessary to keep your support contractors on track, keep your organization informed, and ultimately help get the performance you need from your chosen contractor.