FAR -- Part 43 Contract Modifications

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FAR -- Part 43
Contract Modifications

(FAC 2005-92)
(19 December 2016)

43.000 - Scope of Part.

This part prescribes policies and procedures for preparing and processing contract modifications for all types of contracts including construction and architect-engineer contracts. It does not apply to --

(a) Orders for supplies or services not otherwise changing the terms of contracts or agreements (e.g., delivery orders under indefinite-delivery contracts); or

(b) Modifications for extraordinary contractual relief (see Subpart 50.1).

Subpart 43.1 -- General

43.101 -- Definitions.

As used in this part--

“Administrative change” means a unilateral (see 43.103(b)) contract change, in writing, that does not affect the substantive rights of the parties (e.g., a change in the paying office or the appropriation data).

“Effective date”--

43.102 -- Policy.

(a) Only contracting officers acting within the scope of their authority are empowered to execute contract modifications on behalf of the Government. Other Government personnel shall not—

(b) Contract modifications, including changes that could be issued unilaterally, shall be priced before their execution if this can be done without adversely affecting the interest of the Government. If a significant cost increase could result from a contract modification and time does not permit negotiation of a price, at least a ceiling price shall be negotiated unless impractical.

43.103 -- Types of Contract Modifications.

Contract modifications are of the following types:

(a) Bilateral. A bilateral modification (supplemental agreement) is a contract modification that is signed by the contractor and the contracting officer. Bilateral modifications are used to --

(b) Unilateral. A unilateral modification is a contract modification that is signed only by the contracting officer. Unilateral modifications are used, for example, to --

43.104 -- Notification of Contract Changes.

(a) When a contractor considers that the Government has effected or may effect a change in the contract that has not been identified as such in writing and signed by the contracting officer, it is necessary that the contractor notify the Government in writing as soon as possible. This will permit the Government to evaluate the alleged change and --

(b) The clause at 52.243-7, Notification of Changes, which is prescribed in 43.107, --

43.105 -- Availability of Funds.

(a) The contracting officer shall not execute a contract modification that causes or will cause an increase in funds without having first obtained a certification of fund availability, except for modifications to contracts that --

(1) Are conditioned on availability of funds (see 32.703-2); or

(2) Contain a limitation of cost or funds clause (see 32.704).

(b) The certification required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be based on the negotiated price, except that modifications executed before agreement on price may be based on the best available estimate of cost.

43.106 -- [Reserved]

43.107 -- Contract Clause.

The contracting officer may insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.243-7, Notification of Changes, in solicitations and contracts. The clause is available for use primarily in negotiated research and development or supply contracts for the acquisition of major weapon systems or principal subsystems. If the contract amount is expected to be less than $1,000,000, the clause shall not be used, unless the contracting officer anticipates that situations will arise that may result in a contractor alleging that the Government has effected changes other than those identified as such in writing and signed by the contracting officer.

Subpart 43.2 -- Change Orders

43.201 -- General.

(a) Generally, Government contracts contain a changes clause that permits the contracting officer to make unilateral changes, in designated areas, within the general scope of the contract. These are accomplished by issuing written change orders on Standard Form 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract (SF 30), unless otherwise provided (see 43.301).

(b) The contractor must continue performance of the contract as changed, except that in cost-reimbursement or incrementally funded contracts the contractor is not obligated to continue performance or incur costs beyond the limits established in the Limitation of Cost or Limitation of Funds clause (see 32.706-2).

(c) The contracting officer may issue a change order by electronic means without a SF 30 under unusual or urgent circumstances, provided that the message contains substantially the information required by the SF 30 and immediate action is taken to issue the SF 30.

43.202 -- Authority to Issue Change Orders.

Change orders shall be issued by the contracting officer except when authority is delegated to an administrative contracting officer (see 42.202(c)).

43.203 -- Change Order Accounting Procedures.

(a) Contractors’ accounting systems are seldom designed to segregate the costs of performing changed work. Therefore, before prospective contractors submit offers, the contracting officer should advise them of the possible need to revise their accounting procedures to comply with the cost segregation requirements of the Change Order Accounting clause at 52.243-6.

(b) The following categories of direct costs normally are segregable and accountable under the terms of the Change Order Accounting clause:

43.204 -- Administration.

(a) Change order documentation. When change orders are not forward priced, they require two documents: the change order and a supplemental agreement reflecting the resulting equitable adjustment in contract terms. If an equitable adjustment in the contract price or delivery terms or both can be agreed upon in advance, only a supplemental agreement need be issued, but administrative changes and changes issued pursuant to a clause giving the Government a unilateral right to make a change (e.g., an option clause) initially require only one document.

(b) Definitization.

(c) Complete and final equitable adjustments. To avoid subsequent controversies that may result from a supplemental agreement containing an equitable adjustment as the result of a change order, the contracting officer should --

Contractor’s Statement of Release

In consideration of the modification(s) agreed to herein as complete equitable adjustments for the Contractor’s _______ (describe) __________ “proposal(s) for adjustment,” the Contractor hereby releases the Government from any and all liability under this contract for further equitable adjustments attributable to such facts or circumstances giving rise to the “proposal(s) for adjustment” (except for__________ ).

43.205 -- Contract Clauses.



(c) Insert the clause at 52.243-3, Changes -- Time-and-Materials or Labor-Hours, in solicitations and contracts when a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract is contemplated. The contracting officer may vary the 30-day period in paragraph (c) of this clause according to agency procedures.

(d) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.243-4, Changes, in solicitations and contracts for

(e) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.243-5, Changes and Changed Conditions, in solicitations and contracts for construction, when the contract amount is not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(f) The contracting officer may insert a clause, substantially the same as the clause at 52.243-6, Change Order Accounting, in solicitations and contracts for supply and research and development contracts of significant technical complexity, if numerous changes are anticipated. The clause may be included in solicitations and contracts for construction if deemed appropriate by the contracting officer.

Subpart 43.3 -- Forms

43.301 -- Use of Forms.


(b) The Optional Form 336 (OF 336), Continuation Sheet, or a blank sheet of paper, may be used as a continuation sheet for a contract modification.

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