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(b) Procedures. (1) Generally, the Government is not bound by commitments made by persons who do not have contracting authority. Such unauthorized acts may violate laws or regulations. Therefore, unauthorized commitments should be considered as serious employee misconduct and consideration given to initiating disciplinary action. If suspected irregularities may involve fraud against the Government, or any type of misconduct that might be punishable as a criminal offense, either the employee's supervisor or the contracting officer must immediately report the matter to the Office of the Inspector General with a request for a complete investigation.

(2) The individual who made the unauthorized commitment shall furnish the appropriate contracting director all records and documents concerning the commitment and a complete written statement of facts, including, but not limited to, a statement as to why normal acquisition procedures were not followed, why the contractor was selected and a list of other sources considered, description of work or products, estimated or agreed-upon contract price, citation of appropriation available, and a statement regarding the status of the performance. Under exceptional circumstances, such as when the person who made the unauthorized commitment is no longer available to attest

the circumstances of the unauthorized commitment, the contracting director may waive the requirement that the responsible employee initiate and document the request for ratification, provided that a written determination is made stating that a commitment was in fact made by an employee, who must be identified in the determination.

(3) The contracting director will assign the request to a contracting officer for processing. The contracting officer shall prepare a summary statement of facts addressing the limitations in FAR 1.602–3(c) recommending whether or not the transaction should be ratified. Advice against express ratification should include a recommendation for other appropriate disposition. When ratification is not permissible due to legal improprieties in the procurement, the contracting officer may

recommend that payment be made for services rendered on a quantum meruit basis (the reasonable value of work or labor) or for goods furnished on a quantum valebant basis (the reasonable value of goods sold and delivered) provided there is a showing that the Government has received a benefit. (See FAR 1.602–3(d).)

(4) The request for ratification, the information required by paragraph (b)(3) of this section and a recommendation for corrective action to preclude recurrence, must be

forwarded, through appropriate channels to the HCA for consideration.

(5) The HCA shall approve the ratification in writing, or direct other disposition as appropriate. Acquisitions approved for ratification are returned to the contracting officer for issuance of the necessary contractual documents. If the request for ratification is not justified, the HCA will return the request without approval and provide a written explanation for the decision not to approve ratification.

(6) HCAs shall maintain a separate file containing a copy of each request for approval to ratify an unauthorized contractual commitment and a copy of the response. This file must be made available for review by the Office of Acquisition Policy and the Inspector General.

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501.603 Selection, appointment, and

termination of appointment. 501.603-1 General.

The contracting officer warrant program (COWP) is the system established for the selection, appointment, and termination of appointment of contracting officers. 501.603_3 Appointment.

(a) The Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy appoints all contracting officers except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. Nominations for appointment by the Associate Administrator are submitted by the HCA or Chairperson of the COWP Board, if authorized by the HCA, on a GSA Form 3410, Request for Appointment. The Request for Appointment must be accompanied by a GSA Form 3409, Personal Qualifications State

tions do not apply to realty leasing or sales warrants. In order to maintain an interim warrant, the warrant holder must complete at least two required but untaken, courses each year following appointment until all the requirements are met. Exceptions may be granted for good cause.

(d) The Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy appoints contracting officers at the basic, intermediate or unlimited level using the Standard Form 1402, Certificate of Appointment. The original Certificate of Appointment (SF-1402) will be provided to the appointed contracting officer and should be displayed at the contracting officer's duty station. A copy of the Certificate of Appointment will be forwarded to the appropriate HCA or Chairperson of the COWP Board and to the Office of Finance.

(56 FR 15288, Apr. 16, 1991)

ment for Appointment as a Contracting Officer, prepared and signed by the candidate.

(b) Heads of contracting activities (HCAs) or designee(s) (division director or higher level official) may delegate authority by memorandum to the employee to make purchases not to exceed $500, and issue Standard Form 145, Telephone Service Request (TSR), for tariff services on, or in conjunction with, existing telephone systems, to regulated local exchange telephone companies. Designees may not redelegate the authority to appoint contracting officers and may not serve as contracting officers by virtue of the designation by the HCA. Memoranda delegating authority to issue TSRS must state that the authority does not apply to Rate Stabilization Plans or orders for new Centrex service on a site level basis, except for new locations that require interim, temporary, small or emergency service. Requests for delegation of contracting authority may be made by branch chiefs or equivalent or by the Zonal IRMS Program Support Branch Chiefs with respect to TSRs. Requests may be made by memorandum and must include the candidate's name, title, and organizational location; a brief explanation of the need for authority; a brief description of the individual's qualifications; and a certification that the candidate has received the training required by 501.603–70(h)(1) (i) or (x) as applicable.

(c) In order to be appointed candidates must either have achieved certification under GSA Order, GSA Occupational Certification Program (OAD 9410.1) or meet experience and training requirements as provided in 501.603–70. Candidates who do not meet this requirement may nonetheless be eligible for an interim appointment. Candidates for interim appointment at the intermediate warrant level must complete all the basic level courses and three intermediate level courses before the appointing official will consider a request for appointment. Candidates for interim appointment at the unlimited warrant level must complete all the basic level courses and complete five intermediate level courses before the appointing official will consider a request for appointment. These restric

501.603-4 Termination.

(a) The appointing official may terminate the appointment of a contracting officer at any time.

(b) If the Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy appointed the contracting officer, the HCA shall notify the Associate Administrator by letter when a contracting officer

(1) Resigns;

(2) Transfers to another agency or is reassigned to another office within GSA;

(3) Is terminated, or otherwise disciplined for malfeasance or incompetence; or

(4) No longer has a need for the ap pointment.

(c) HCA may suspend the appointment of a contracting officer including those appointed by the Acquisition Administrator, where there is reason to believe that the contracting officer has failed to exercise sound business judgment or for other improprieties in carrying out the responsibilities incident to serving as a contracting officer. The suspension shall be for a temporary period, pending the Associate Administrator's determination whether the appointment should be terminated. The HCA shall promptly notify the Associate Administrator of the action and provide a recommendation for termination or continuation of the appointment. (56 FR 15288, Apr. 16, 1991)

501.603–70 Contracting officer warrant

program (COWP). (a) General. The purpose of the COWP is to provide for the appointment of qualified individuals as contracting officers in accordance with organizational requirements for contracting authority. Factors to be considered in determining the number of contracting officers appropriate for a given organization include volume of actions, complexity of work, and organizational structures.

(b) Applicability. The program applies to all contracting officers except those appointed under the Inspector General Act (Pub. L. 95 452).

(c) Definitions.

Appointing official means the Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy, or for purchases of $500 or less and of telephone service from regulated local exchange telephone companies for tariff service on or in conjunction with existing telephone systems, the head of the contracting activity (HCAs) or designee(s) (division level or higher).

Contracting Officer Representative (COR) means a Government employee designated in writing by the contracting officer (CO), by name and position title, who is authorized to take action for the contracting officer with specified limitations. A contracting officer may not authorize a COR to issue change orders or otherwise modify a contract unless the COR is a warranted contracting officer.

Delivery order means an order for supplies and/or services placed against an already established contract under the terms and conditions of the contract.

Established source contract means a contract established by GSA or another Federal agency that authorizes or requires GSA to place orders against the contract. (See Part 8 of the FAR.)

Warrant Limitations means limitations which, in addition to the FAR, GSAR, laws, Executive Orders, GSA Orders, and other applicable regulations, are imposed on the authority of contracting officers, and set forth in the Certificate of Appointment (Standard Form 1402). Warrant limitations

may include but are not limited to requirements for prior reviews, approvals, and other controls.

(d) Responsibilities—(1) Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy. As the Procurement Executive for GSA, the Associate Administrator for Acquisition Policy is responsible for providing management direction of the procurement system, maintaining a procurement career management program to ensure a professional workforce, and appointing contracting officers in accordance with FAR 1.603 and 501.603.

(2) Heads of contracting activities. The heads of contracting activities (HCA) (see 502.1) or designee(s) (division director or higher level official) are responsible for delegating authority to make purchases that do not exceed $500 and to issue Standard Form 145, Telephone Service Request (TSR), for tariff services on or in conjunction with existing telephone systems to regulated local exchange telephone companies. HCAS are also responsible for conducting effective and efficient acquisition programs. HCAs must establish training plans for contracting personnel and budget for funds to implement such plans; monitor the performance of contracting officers; and establish controls to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, procedures and the dictates of management practice.

(3) Contracting Officer Warrants Boards. The HCA appoints the Chairperson of the COWP Board. The Chairperson appoints the board members and receives, evaluates, and processes requests for appointment of contracting officers at the basic, intermediate and senior levels under the COWP. The warrant board consists of supervisory personnel at the SES or GM/GS-14/15 levels representing contracting offices within the contracting activity and, in an advisory capacity, representatives of the Office of Personnel and the Office of General Counsel.

(4) Regional Acquisition Management Staff (RAMS). The RAMS shall assist the HCA in the administration of the COWP, issue procedures for the operation of the program at the regional level, recommend program changes when necessary, analyze proposed regional courses and training material and recommend them for fulfilling the requirements of the COWP, maintain detailed training records for each contracting officer (except contracting officers with $500 or telephone service level warrants), and ensure that appropriate forms required by the Office of Finance are provided to the Office of Finance.

(e) Types of appointments (1) Interim. An interim appointment is made to a candidate who does not meet the minimum requirements for a permanent appointment. Such appointments are for a specified time and provide for the scheduling and completion of required training within a reasonable period of time. At least two of the required courses or equivalency tests must be successfully completed each year after the date of appointment to avoid termination of the appointment. The Office of Acquisition Policy and the RAMS periodically review training records of individuals with interim ap pointments to determine whether they are making adequate progress towards completion of required training.

(2) Permanent. A permanent appointment is made to a candidate who meets all requirements for experience and training at the time the appointment is made. For those contract specialists mandated to be in the GSA Occupational Certification Program (OAD 9410.1), the candidate must be certified as a full-performance level contract specialist. Permanent appointments may be made for a specified period if the need for contracting authority is limited to a specific period of time.

(1) Warrant levels. The following warrant levels are equated with dollar value of individual transactions (e.g., contract, modification, supplemental agreement, etc.) and not the aggregate contract value: $500_Up to and including $500 per open mar

ket purchase or per order placed against

established source contract. Basic-Up to and including $25,000 per open

market purchase or the maximum order limitation for orders placed against estab

lished source contracts. Intermediate-Up to and including $100,000

per contract or the maximum order limitation for orders placed against established

source contracts. Senior-Unlimited. Telephone Services (IRMS employees

only)Unlimited authority to issue Stand

ard Form 145, Telephone Service Request (TSR), for tariff services on, or in conjunction with, existing telephone systems to regulated local exchange telephone companies.

(8) Experience requirements. The following experience requirements apply to contracting officer candidates for the various warrant levels.

(1) Basic. Candidates must have at least 1 year of current (within last 5 years) contracting experience with progressive assignments leading to broader technical ability.

(2) Intermediate. Candidates must have at least 2 years of current (within last 5 years) contracting experience with progressive assignments leading to broader technical ability.

(3) Senior. Candidates must have at least 3 years of current (within last 5 years) contracting experience with progressive assignments and broader technical ability.

(h) Training requirements—(1) Mandatory training to qualify for appointment. A contracting officer candidate must complete the minimum core training requirements described below. The training may be provided in-house by GSA employees under formal training programs established for such purpose, by any generally recognized training organization of the Federal Government or by the private sector. The Office of GSA Acquisition Policy (VP) may be contacted for information on sources of appropriate training. To qualify for an intermediate level warrant, a candidate must complete the basic and intermediate level training. A candidate must complete the basic, intermediate, and senior level training in order to qualify for a senior level warrant. Supervisors are responsible for providing their employees with advice and assistance necessary to complete this required training. Mandatory training for a permanent warrant designation includes the following general topics as a minimum:

(i) $500 Level. Candidates for appointment must receive a minimum of 4 hours on-the-job orientation or formal training on small purchase procedures. Individuals that have taken formal training courses on small purchases or basic procurement meet the requirement for 4 hours of training. The train

ing may be provided by contracting officers, senior procurement personnel, or a member of the RAMS staff on the basic principles of small purchasing, the requirements for use of established sources, and the responsibilities and obligations of contracting officers.

(ii) Basic level (Does not apply to realty leasing and sales personnel)

(A) Small Purchases/Schedule Contracts-40 hours;

(B) Basic Procurement or Introduction to Contracting—40 hours;

(C) Contract Administration for Program Personnel–40 hours; (Applicable to Buildings Managers Only);

(D) Basic Fleet Management Procurement-40 hours (Only course required for Fleet Managers).

(iii) Non-1102 COS. COs not classified as 1102 employees and who do not make open market purchases greater than small purchases will not be required to take the Basic Procurement course.

(iv) Intermediate level (Does not apply to realty leasing & sales personnel).

(A) Government Contract Law-80 hours.

(B) Contracting by Sealed Bidding40 hours.

(C) Contracting by Negotiation–40 hours.

(D) Government Contract Negotiation Techniques 40 hours.

(E) Cost and Price Analysis_40 hours.

(F) GSA Price Analysis 40 hours.

(G) Government Contract Administration-40 hours.

(H) Government Contract Termination-40 hours.

(I) ADP Contracting—40 hours (applicable to ADP acquisition personnel only).

(J) Contracting for Services 40 hours.

(K) Public Utility Contracts—24-40 hours (Applicable to personnel handling public utility procurements)

(L) Contracting for Architect/Engineer services 40 hours (applicable to personnel handling Architect/Engineer service procurements).

(M) Construction Contracting-40 hours (applicable to personnel handling procurement of construction).

(v) Senior level (over $100,000). (Does not apply to realty leasing and sales personnel)

(A) Executive Seminar in Acquisition-24 40 hours;

(B) Advanced Contract Administration-40 hours.

(vi) Realty leasing personnel. (A) Federal Real Property Leasing or Basic Lease Contracting-40 hours.

(B) Real Estate Law or Federal Real Property Lease Law-40 hours.

(C) Government Contract Negotiation Techniques 40 hours.

(D) Cost and Price Analysis or Pricing of Lease Proposals 40 hours.

(E) Real Estate Appraisal Principles—40 hours.

(vii) Real property sales contracting personnel.

(A) Basic Procurement–40 hours.

(B) Government Contract Law-80 hours.

(C) Contracting by Negotiation-40 hours.

(D) Utilization and Disposal of Real Property—40 hours.

(viii) Personal property sales contracting personnel.

(A) Personal Property Utilization and Disposal-40 hours.

(B) Personal Property Sales-80 hours.

(C) Disposal Contract Law-40 hours or Government Contract Law-40 hours (Senior level only).

(D) Disposal by Negotiation or Government Contract Negotiation Techniques40 hours (Senior level only).

(ix) Construction contracting officer representatives (CORS). Individuals nominated for warrants limited to the issuance of change orders up to $25,000 are required to complete the Basic Procurement course and the Construction Contracting course. Special COR warrants above the basic level will require the completion of all courses required for construction contracting at the higher level.

(x) IRMS telecommunications personnel. Individuals nominated to issue TSRS for tariff services on, or in conjunction with, existing telephone systems to regulated local exchange telephone companies must receive on-the-job orientation or formal training on the proper procedures for issuing TSRS and on the responsibilities and obligations of contracting officers.

(2) Substitution of experience for training. Individuals currently serving and

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