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GSAM (GSAR) 501



Part 501— General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation System

Subpart 501.1— Purpose, Authority, Issuance

501.101 Purpose.

(a) The General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) contains agency acquisition policies and practices, contract clauses, solicitation provisions, and forms that control the relationship between GSA and contractors and prospective contractors.

(b) The GSAR addresses rules directly to you, the contracting officer, unless otherwise indicated.

501.103 Authority.

GSA’s Senior Procurement Executive issues the GSAR under the authority of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended.

501.104 Applicability.

(a) General. The GSAR applies to contracts for supplies or services, including construction.

(b) Acquisition of leasehold interests in real property. Part 570 establishes rules for the acquisition of leasehold interests in real property. Other provisions of 48 CFR Chapter 5 (GSAR) do not apply to leases of real property unless specifically cross-referenced in Part 570.

(c) Relationship to statute. Some GSAR rules implement and interpret laws and other authorities affecting procurement. A GSAR rule specifically directed by statute has the force and effect of law.

(d) GSAR/FAR Relationship. The GSAR may deviate from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) if authorized. If the GSAR does not implement the FAR, the FAR alone governs.

501.105 Issuance.

501.105-1 Publication and code arrangement.

The GSAR is published in the following sources:

(a) Daily issue of the Federal Register.

(b) Annual Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), as Chapter 5 of Title 48.

(c) GSA Acquisition Manual distributed within GSA.

(d) GSA Home Page at http://www.gsa.gov. Click on either “Government Agencies” or on “Business and Industry,” then click on “Acquisition.”

501.105-2 Arrangement of regulations.

(a) The GSAR numbers and captions policies and procedures to correspond to how they appear in the FAR, e.g., 1.104 in the FAR is 501.104 in the GSAR.

(b) GSAR rules not implementing the FAR have numbers beginning with 70, e.g., part 570, subsection 515.209-70.

(c) The GSAR may have gaps in its numbering scheme because a FAR rule may not require GSAR implementation.

501.105-3 Copies.

The GSAR in CFR form may be purchased from: Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

501.106 OMB Approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

GSAR Reference

OMB Control No.

GSAR Reference

OMB Control No.

509.105-1(a)

3090-0007

552.219-75

3090-0286

511.204(b)

3090-0246

552.219-76

3090-0286

514.201-1

3090-0163

552.223-70

3090-0205

515.408

3090-0235

552.232-72

3090-0080

516.203-4(a)(1)

3090-0243

552.237-71

3090-0006

516.506

3090-0248

552.238-70

3090-0250

519.708(b)

3090-0252

552.238-72

3090-0262

519.70

3090-0286

552.238-74

3090-0121

3090-0306

522.406-6

1215-0149

552.238-81

3090-0302

523.370

3090-0205

552.239-71

3090-0294

532.111(c)

3090-0080

552.242-70

3090-0027

532.905-70

9000-0102

552.246-70

3090-0027

532.905-71

3090-0080

552.246-71

3090-0027

537.110(a)

3090-0197

GSA-72-A

3090-0121

537.110(b)

3090-0006

GSA-527

3090-0007

538.273(a)(1)

3090-0250

GSA-618D

1215-0149

538.273(a)(3)

3090-0262

GSA-1142

3090-0080

538.273(b)(1)

3090-0121

GSA-1364

3090-0086

542.1107

3090-0027

GSA-1678

3090-0027

546.302-70

3090-0027

GSA-2419

9000-0102

546.302-71

3090-0027

570.802(c)

3090-0086

552.211-77

3090-0246

570.802(d)

3090-0086

552.215-73

3090-0163

   

552.216-70

3090-0243

   

552.216-72

3090-0248

   

552.216-73

3090-0248

   

552.216-75

3090-0306

   

552.219-72

3090-0252

   

501.170 General Services Administration Acquisition Management System.

(a) Description. The General Services Administration Acquisition Management System consists of the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) and agency and Service non-regulatory acquisition guidance documents.

(b) Format. For users’ convenience, the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM) contains the GSAR and nonregulatory agency acquisition guidance. The GSAM adheres to GSAR numbering and drafting conventions. GSAR material is shaded. Non-shaded material is non-regulatory. The shading distinguishes regulatory material from material that applies internally to GSA.

(c) Agency policy. Although GSAM requirements are not all regulatory, occasionally the requirements are mandatory for GSA personnel. The mandatory requirements reflect agency policy which must be followed to ensure uniformity or for other reasons.

(d) Applicability. The GSAM applies to contracts for supplies or services, including construction.

(e) Acquisition of leasehold interests in real property. Part 570 establishes requirements for the acquisition of leasehold interests in real property. Other provisions of the GSAM do not apply to leases of real property unless specifically cross-referenced in Part 570.

(f) Availability. The GSAM is available on the GSA Home Page at http://www.gsa.gov. Click on either “Government Agencies” or on “Business and Industry,” then click on “Acquisition.” You may also link to the GSAM on Insite at http://insite.gsa.private. Click on “Business Hot Links,” then on “Acquisition.”

501.171 Other GSA publications.

501.171-1 GSA orders and handbooks.

(a) Heads of contracting activities (HCA’s) may issue internal agency guidance, as described in FAR 1.301(a)(2), in the form of a GSA order or handbook.

(b) GSA orders and handbooks must not unnecessarily repeat, paraphrase, or otherwise restate the FAR, GSAR, or GSAM.

(c) The handbook, Writing GSA Internal Directives (OAD P 1832.3B), prescribes policies and procedures for issuing GSA orders and handbooks.

501.171-2 Acquisition letters.

(a) Acquisition letters provide interim policies and procedures pending incorporation in GSA orders or handbooks.

(b) Acquisition letters expire on the date specified in the acquisition letter or when the acquisition letter’s contents are incorporated into the GSAM or FAR.

(c) The Office of Acquisition Policy (OAP) conducts a review of existing acquisition letters twice each year as part of GSA’s Regulatory Agenda to prioritize resources for incorporating active acquisition letters into the GSAM or FAR.

(d) OAP is responsible for maintaining a current list of active acquisition letters in the OAP Acquisition Policy Library.

(1) When policies and procedures contained in acquisition letters are effective until incorporated into the GSAM or FAR and the content is incorporated into the GSAM or FAR the acquisition letter will be moved from “active” status in the OAP Policy Library to “inactive” status.

(2) In cases where the policies and procedures are temporary, the AL will state the specific termination date in accordance with GSAM 501.171-2(h)(4). Once the termination date is reached, the AL will be moved from “active” status in the OAP Policy Library to “inactive” status.

(e) The Senior Procurement Executive and HCAs, or designees, may issue acquisition letters.

(f) The issuing official must coordinate each acquisition letter with appropriate offices including Acquisition Policy, Counsel, and the Inspector General. Any proposed policy or procedure that affects the operation of the small business program, must be coordinated with the Office of Small Business Utilization (E).

(g) The issuing activity must identify each acquisition letter with an assigned number. The number should begin with the issuing office correspondence symbol, followed by the last two digits of the calendar year when issued, then numbered consecutively beginning with 1. For example, FC-97-5 would be the fifth acquisition letter issued by FSS in fiscal year 1997).

(h) The body of an acquisition letter should contain the following paragraphs, as appropriate:

(1) Purpose.

(2) Background.

(3) Effective date.

(4) Termination date.

(5) Cancellation.

(6) Applicability (offices to which the acquisition letter applies).

(7) Reference to regulations (FAR or GSAR), handbooks, or orders.

(8) Instructions/procedures.

(i) The issuing office is responsible for distributing its acquisition letters to affected contracting activities and the Office of Acquisition Policy. In addition, copies should be distributed to–

(1) For acquisition letters issued by the Office of Acquisition Policy or a Central Office Service:

(i) Associate General Counsel.

(ii) The Administrative Policy and Information Management Division (CAI).

(2) For acquisition letters issued by a Region:

(i) Regional Counsel.

(ii) The regional clearance office as defined in the handbook, Writing GSA Internal Directives (OAD P 1832.3B).

(iii) Central office contracting activities, if appropriate.

(j) If an acquisition letter is distributed only electronically, then the issuing office may issue a notice to affected contracting activities, the Office of Acquisition Policy, and Associate General Counsel or Region Counsel in lieu of distributing paper copies. The notice must identify the subject, number, and location of the letter.

(k) Each issuing office must report on acquisition letters issued and canceled on a quarterly basis to the Office of Acquisition Policy. The Office of Acquisition Policy will issue a consolidated index of all acquisition letters issued or cancelled.

Subpart 501.4— Deviations from the FAR and GSAR

501.402 Policy.

Uniformity is a goal of GSA’s Acquisition Regulation System. Despite this desire for uniformity, a contracting activity may take any of the following actions:

(a) Develop and test new procedures and techniques.

(b) Adopt alternate procedures in the public interest for unique programmatic or managerial requirements.

(c) Deviate from a regulatory provision implementing a statutory requirement provided the deviation does not violate the underlying statute. Deviations must not be used to defeat the FAR and GSAR approval requirements.

501.403 Individual deviations.

(a) An individual deviation affects only one contract action.

(1) The Head of the Contracting Activity (HCA) must approve an individual deviation to the FAR. The authority to grant an individual deviation may not be re-delegated. A copy of the deviation must be provided to GSA’s Senior Procurement Executive (SPE).

(2) An individual deviation to the GSAR must be approved by the HCA. The authority to grant an individual deviation may be re-delegated to the Contracting Director.

(b) If GSA delegates authority to another agency and requires compliance with the GSAR as a condition of the delegation, the Contracting Director in the agency receiving the delegation may approve individual deviations from the GSAR unless the agency head receiving the delegation designates another official.

(c) Send a copy of each deviation to GSA’s SPE (MV).

501.404 Class deviations.

(a) A class deviation affects more than one contract action. A deviation for any solicitation that will result in multiple awards or any solicitation under the multiple award Federal Supply Schedule program is considered to be a class deviation. Each award under such a solicitation is considered an individual contract action.

(1) A class deviation to the FAR must be forwarded by the cognizant HCA to GSA's SPE for approval. Prior to approving a class deviation to the FAR, the SPE will consult with the Chairman of the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC) in accordance with FAR 1.404(a)(1).

(2) A class deviation to the GSAR must be forwarded by the cognizant HCA to GSA’s SPE for approval.

(3) When an HCA knows that a proposed class deviation will be required on a permanent basis, the HCA should propose or recommend an appropriate FAR and/or GSAR revision.

(b) If GSA delegates authority to another agency and requires compliance with the GSAR as a condition of the delegation, the HCA in the agency receiving the delegation may approve class deviations from the GSAR unless the agency head receiving the delegation designates another official.

(c) Send a copy of each deviation to GSA’s SPE (MV).

(d) A request for class deviations must be supported by statements that fully describe the need for and the nature of the deviation.

(e) Class deviations from the GSAR:

(1) Expire in 12 months if not extended.

(2) May be rescinded earlier by GSA’s SPE or by officials designated under paragraph (a) of this section without prejudice to any action taken previously.

501.404-70 Contract action.

Contract action. A contract action, for the purpose of determining whether an individual or class deviation is appropriate, has the same meaning as that used for reporting contract actions to Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation (FPDS-NG). A contract action includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

(a) Initial letter contract.

(b) Definitive contract superseding letter contract.

(c) New definitive contract.

(d) Purchase order/BPA calls using simplified acquisition procedures.

(e) Orders under single award indefinite delivery contracts.

(f) Orders under BOA.

(g) Order/modification under Federal schedule contract.

(h) Modification.

(i) Termination for Default.

(j) Termination for Convenience.

(k) Order under multiple award contract.

(l) Initial load of Federal schedule contract.

501.404-71 Deviations to the nonregulatory GSAM.

Handle individual and class deviations to the nonregulatory (unshaded) part of the GSAM as stated in 501.403 and 501.404.

Subpart 501.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities

501.601 General.

(a) Definitions.

“Acquisition Career Manager (ACM)” means the GSA Agency official located in the Office of Acquisition Policy, responsible for issuing and establishing GSA acquisition workforce certification policy, implementation procedures, internal controls and conducting periodic reviews. The ACM represents GSA on the Interagency Acquisition Career Management Committee to ensure that workforce development policies and opportunities meet the needs of the acquisition workforce.

“Bureau Certification Manager (BCM)”, means the GSA agency official, appointed by the respective HCA, who serves as a liaison between the contracting activity and the ACM, and ensures consistency in the federal certification and GSA warrant programs. The BCM provides guidance to the acquisition workforce on application preparation for the federal certification programs and contracting officer warrants. The BCM reviews and makes a recommendation on any Federal Acquisition Certification package submitted electronically in the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System (FAITAS) or warrant packages prior to submission to the Contracting Officer Warrant Board. This includes those applicants seeking to be certified under fulfillment or equivalencies.

“Category Manager” means the individual(s) and/or agency(ies) responsible for areas of Governmentwide spend as described in OMB Memorandum Transforming the Marketplace: Simplifying Federal Procurement to Improve Performance, Drive Innovation, and Increase Savings dated December 4, 2014 which can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/simplifying-federal-procurement-to-improve-performance-drive-innovation-increase-savings.pdf.

“Contracting Officer Warrant Board (COWB)” means a group of senior-level acquisition employees within a contracting activity who receive, evaluate, and process requests for selection and nomination of contracting officers at the basic, simplified acquisition, intermediate, and senior levels.

“Contracting Officer Warrant Program (COWP)” establishes the criteria for the appointment and termination of GSA contracting officers. This ensures that GSA follows a standardized process for qualifying and appointing individuals as contracting officers based on the organization's needs for contracting authority.

(b) Heads of Contracting Activities (HCAs) as defined in GSAM 502.101 are contracting officers by virtue of their position. Other contracting officers are appointed under FAR 1.603 and GSA’s contracting officer warrant program (See 501.603). The Administrator of GSA delegated Head of Contracting Activity (HCA) authority to the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE). The SPE is authorized to re-delegate the HCA authority and contracting authority to the Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) and the Public Buildings Service (PBS), and to the Chief Administrative Services Officer (CASO). These officials serve within the limits of their delegated authority.

(i) The SPE must be consulted prior to any re-delegation of HCA authority.

(ii) Any delegation of HCA authority must be in writing with a copy forwarded to the SPE.

(c) FAITAS. The Clinger-Cohen Act (Public Law 104-106 §4307) mandated federal agencies to have a database containing education, experience, training and other data about their acquisition workforce. FAITAS is the official system of record for the federal civilian agency acquisition workforce (www.fai.gov) and is maintained by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI).

(1) The following members of GSA’s acquisition workforce and their supervisors must be registered in FAITAS:

(i) All positions in the GS-1102 contracting series.

(ii) All contracting officers, regardless of series, with the authority to obligate funds.

(iii) Program and project managers.

(iv) Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs).

(v) Any acquisition-related position identified by the Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO), the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE), the HCA, or equivalent.

(2) Individuals are responsible for maintaining records supporting certification or satisfaction of warrant requirements for quality assurance purposes

(3) Supervisors must ensure acquisition workforce members are registered in FAITAS and verify the accuracy of data entered.

(d) Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC) program. The FAC program is a government-wide, competency-based certification program for the acquisition workforce. The FAC program applies to contract specialists, program and project managers, and contracting officers’ representatives. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy established the training, education and experience requirements for the FAC program across all civilian agencies to align with the Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA). The competencies, training, education and experience requirements may be found at www.fai.gov.

(e) Maintaining FAC and contracting officer warrants. All FAC-certified members of the GSA acquisition workforce and those appointed as contracting officers are required to earn Continuous Learning Points (CLPs) every two years from the date of issuance of the certification and/or warrant. The requirements for CLP achievement can be found under the Career Management tab of GSA’s Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186). All CLPs must be in support of the competencies associated with the certification.

(1) Failure to complete the required CLPs and obtain an approved Continuous Learning Achievement Request prior to the ending date of the continuous learning period will result in the expiration of the FAC certification.

(i) Expired certifications may be reinstated when evidence of accumulation of sufficient CLPs demonstrated.

(ii) Expired certifications may result in the suspension or termination of COR delegations and Program/Project Manager assignments.

(2) Failure to complete the required CLPS and obtain an approved Continuous Learning Achievement Request prior to the ending date of the continuous learning period for a contracting officer warrant will result in the suspension or termination of the warrant.

501.602 Contracting officers.

501.602-2 Responsibilities.

(a) Fund sufficiency. A requisition or purchase request signed by an authorized individual is evidence that sufficient money for the purchase is available in the fund cited.

(b) GSA revolving funds. A requisition for indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts requiring a guaranteed minimum quantity must specify enough funds to pay for the guaranteed minimum.

(c) GSA funds, other than revolving funds.

(1) The requisitioning activity must certify that additional funds are available before contract or purchase order award if the purchase exceeds the dollar amount on the requisition by 10 percent or $50, whichever is greater.

(2) If a requisition is not used, e.g., lease of real property, the contracting officer must ensure funds are available before awarding the contract.

(d) Other Federal agencies’ funds. A GSA buying activity must not exceed a fund limitation on a customer agency’s purchase request unless authorized by supply support agreements. If a purchase request indicates insufficient funds to cover all costs, the customer agency must provide additional funds. Regardless of which Central Office or Regional buying activity will make the acquisition, the office initially receiving the requirement requests the additional funds.

501.602-3 Ratification of unauthorized commitments.

(a) Authority to ratify. Under FAR 1.602-3, the contracting officer may ratify unauthorized contractual commitments if the HCA approves the ratification action. An HCA may not redelegate approval authority.

(b) Criminal investigation. Generally, the Government is not bound by commitments made by persons with no contracting authority. Unauthorized commitments may violate laws or regulations. They constitute serious employee misconduct and may warrant disciplinary action. If unauthorized commitments involve any type of misconduct that might be punishable as a criminal offense, either the contracting officer or the employee’s supervisor must report the matter immediately to the Office of the Inspector General with a request for a complete investigation.

(c) Documentation required for ratification. The individual who made the unauthorized commitment gives the contracting director all records and documents about the commitment and a complete written statement of facts, including all the following:

(1) Why normal acquisition procedures were not followed.

(2) Why the contractor was selected.

(3) Other sources considered.

(4) Description of work or products.

(5) Estimated or agreed-upon contract price.

(6) Appropriation citation.

(7) Status of contract performance.

(d) Documentation waivers. Under exceptional circumstances, a contracting director may waive the requirement that the individual who made the unauthorized commitment must initiate and document the request for ratification. In such a case, the individual who does initiate the request for ratification must provide a written determination stating that an unauthorized commitment was made and identifying the individual who made it. For example, an exceptional circumstance may occur when the person who made the unauthorized commitment is no longer available to attest to the circumstances.

(e) Processing a ratification.

(1) The contracting officer must process the request for ratification. Prepare a summary statement of facts addressing the limitations in FAR 1.602-3(c) and recommend whether or not the procurement should be ratified. Include a recommendation for other disposition if you advise against ratification.

(2) Submit to the HCA all the following:

(i) Request for ratification,.

(ii) The contracting officer’s statement of facts and recommendation(s).

(iii) Concurrence of assigned legal counsel (except when the contracting officer recommends payment based on quantum merit or quantum valebant).

(iv) If applicable, recommendation for payment on a quantum merit or quantum valebant basis (see 501.602-3(f)).

(v) Recommendation for corrective action to prevent recurrence.

(f) Payment based on quantum merit or quantum valebant.

(1) If ratification is not permissible due to legal improprieties, the contracting officer may recommend that payment be made under either:

(i) Services rendered on a quantum merit basis (the reasonable value of work or labor).

(ii) Goods furnished on a quantum valebant basis (the reasonable value of goods sold and delivered).

(2) To base payment on either of these conditions, there must be a showing that the Government has received a benefit (See FAR 1.602-3(d)).

(3) The contracting officer must obtain the approval of assigned counsel before making any payment on a quantum merit or quantum valebant basis.

(g) HCA action. The HCA either:

(1) Approves the ratification request in writing and sends the approval to the contracting officer for issuance of the necessary contractual documents.

(2) Forwards a recommendation for payment on a quantum merit or quantum valebant basis to assigned counsel for approval.

(3) Returns an unjustified request or recommendation with a written explanation why the request or recommendation is denied.

(h) Files. The HCA maintains a separate file containing a copy of each request to ratify an unauthorized contractual commitment and the response. The HCA must make this file available for review by the Senior Procurement Executive and the Inspector General.

501.603 Selection, appointment, and termination of appointment for contracting officers.

501.603-1 General.

(a) Definitions.

“Contracting experience” means personal and substantial involvement in purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining goods or services from federal and nonfederal sources and includes any of the following functions: preparing and issuing purchase orders, including issuing requests for quotations or solicitations, evaluating bids or proposals, selecting sources, price/cost analysis, participating in price negotiations, and contract award and administration.

(b) Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C). All employees in the GS-1102 series must be certified (FAC-C) at the appropriate level (Level I, II or III) in order to be considered for a contracting officer warrant. Effective October 1, 2014, contracting officers, regardless of their series, and other contracting professionals in the GS-1102 series must be certified at an appropriate level as of October 1, 2014. Any contracting professional issued a senior level warrant after October 1, 2014, must be Level III certified. (Refer to the Acquisition Workforce Community of Practice accessible through GSA’s Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186).)

(1) FAC-C Application Process:

(i) Applicants are responsible for preparing and submitting their FAC-C certification request in FAITAS for supervisor approval. The electronic application must include all supporting documentation such as transcripts, training certificates, resume, and any other supporting documents (Refer to the Acquisition Workforce Community of Practice accessible through GSA's Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186).)

(ii) The supervisor is responsible for verifying the accuracy and completeness of the application in FAITAS. After supervisory review, the certification request is routed electronically to the BCM in FAITAS. If the BCM recommends approval, the application is forwarded to the ACM, unless delegated, for final approval.

(iii) After the ACM or designee approves, the FAC-C certificate is generated through FAITAS.

(2) FAC-C Certifications from other agencies.

(i) Department of Defense (DoD). GSA will recognize Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification issued by DOD activities as long as there is demonstrated proof that the CLP requirement was completed and maintained. Personnel with current DAWIA certifications must submit a request for FAC-C in FAITAS.

(ii) Other civilian agencies. GSA will recognize FAC-C certification issued by another civilian agency, as long as the FAC-C is current in the FAITAS certification history and there is demonstrated proof that the CLP requirement was maintained.

(3) FAC-C Waivers. The SPE may waive the requirement for obtaining FAC-C certifications prior to appointment as a contracting officer. Waivers will only be considered in compelling and well documented circumstances. This authority is non-delegable. FAC-C waivers are not transferable to other agencies.

(c) Contracting Officer Warrant Program (COWP). GSA’s COWP is administered by the Office of Acquisition Policy.

(1) Factors in determination of need for warranted contracting officers. The COWP ensures that a GSA organization has qualified individuals as contracting officers who meet the organization's needs for contracting authority. Factors considered in determining the number of contracting officers appropriate for a given organization include volume of actions, work complexity, and organizational structure.

(2) Training, education and experience. The COWP ensures warrant applicants meet all federal and agency requirements for training, education and experience.

(3) Responsibilities.

(i) GSA’s SPE:

(A) Establishes the policies, procedures, and requirements that govern COWP.

(B) Approves/disapproves in writing, any deviations, waivers or exemptions from any of the COWP requirements.

(ii) HCAs:

(A) Establish and budget for training plans for contracting officers.

(B) Monitor contracting officers’ performance.

(C) Establish controls to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, procedures, and good management practice with respect to warrant use by Contracting Officers.

(D) Determine the number of contracting officer warrants necessary for a particular work unit and the grade levels at which the warrant authority will be granted.

(E) Appoint a BCM to oversee the FAC and warrant programs.

(F) Appoint the contracting activity’s Contracting Officer Warrant Board (COWB) to process requests for contracting officer warrants.

(G) Establish written procedures for the COWB to ensure the requirements of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)1.603 and this section 501.603 are met when appointing contracting officers.

(H) Select and nominate through the COWB qualified candidates for appointment as contracting officers.

(I) Appoint contracting officers. The HCA may further limit warrant authorities at each warrant level.

(iii) ACM:

(A) Ensures consistent implementation of the COWP across GSA.

(B) Establishes minimum criteria for the contracting activity's COWB to use in the selection, appointment, and termination of appointment of GSA contracting officers.

(4) Applicability. COWP applies to all contracting officers except those appointed under the Inspector General Act (Pub. L. 95-452). Contracting authority is not required to:

(i) Sign training authorizations for public course offerings.

(ii) Sign travel documents.

(iii) Order printing and duplicating services from Government sources.

(iv) Order supplies from GSA stock through GSA Advantage! or other electronic means.

(v) Sign Government Bills of Lading.

(vi) Sign system-generated orders for motor vehicles or for requisitions under the Federal Acquisition Service Special Order Program.

(vii) Authorize interagency transfers of funds.

(viii) Use the Government telephone systems for commercial long distance and local service and/or approving payments for such services.

(ix) Use the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) nationwide contract for express small package transportation services and/or approving payments for such services.

(x) Certify receipt and acceptance of goods or services. (This does not apply to certified invoices under 513.370.)

(xi) Submit a Standard Form 145, Telephone Service Request (TSR), to the FAS.

(5) Warrant levels.

(i) COWP warrant levels are based on the dollar value of individual transactions.

(ii) Individual transactions include the following:

(A) The dollar value of a contract award, including the dollar value of option periods.

(B) The dollar value of a modification award, and not the aggregate contract dollar value.

(C) The dollar value of a blanket purchase agreement award including the dollar value of option periods.

(D) The dollar value of a blanket purchase agreement modification award, and not the aggregate blanket purchase agreement dollar value.

(E) The dollar value of an order award against an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (e.g. Federal Supply Schedules, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts, Multi-agency Contacts, agency- specific indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts) including the dollar value of option periods, and not the aggregate contact dollar value.

(F) The dollar value of a modification award to an order against an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, and not the aggregate order dollar value.

(G) The dollar value of a purchase order.

(H) The dollar value of a modification to a purchase order and not the aggregate purchase order dollar value.

(iii) If an individual transaction includes both additions and deductions, the aggregate, absolute value of the changes determines the warrant level required for award (e.g., the value of an individual action that adds $35,000 of work and deducts $80,000 is $115,000).

(iv) HCAs may further limit warrant authorities and dollar values..

Warrant Level

Threshold

Net Average Annual Rent for Leases

Basic

Up to $25,000

Up to $25,000

Simplified Acquisition

Up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold

Up to the Simplified Lease Acquisition Threshold

Intermediate

Up to and including $10,000,000

Up to and including $10,000,000

Senior

Above $10,000,000

Above $10,000,000

Note: GSA use of the Government purchase card for micro-purchases shall follow the instructions under GSA Order 4200.1A CFO.

(d) Change order authority. Contracting officers may authorize COR change order authority in accordance with the limitations in GSAM 543.202, Authority to issue change orders.

(e) If the HCA determines that the considerations listed under GSAM 542.302 (c) warrant the establishment of a contract administration office, a contracting officer with an unlimited warrant may authorize contract administrative functions in accordance with GSAM 542.302 (d).

501.603-2 Selection.

(a) Contracting Officer Warrant Board (COWB).

(1) The COWB ensures that all of the applicable criteria have been met prior to granting any GSA contracting officer warrant.

(2) Composition of the COWB. The HCA appoints the Board members and the Chair.

(i) COWB Chair. The COWB Chair evaluates the contracting officer candidate's credentials prior to submission to the COWB.

(ii) Senior leadership representing each type of warrant issued by the contracting activity.

(iii) Other specialized representation, such as legal counsel assistance (as requested).

(iv) Any other designee with knowledge and experience in the warrant procedures.

(b) Nominations for appointment are submitted by the candidate's supervisor of record, in package form which must include the following:

(1) Completed and signed GSA Form 3410, Request for Appointment. The GSA Form 3410 must discuss the contracting activity’s specific need for the warrant. Justify the need in block 1 of the GSA Form 3410.

(2) Completed and signed GSA Form 3409, Personal Qualifications Statement for Appointment as a Contracting Officer, or a resume detailing the candidate's experience, education, and training relevant to the position.

(3) Verification of candidate's training.

(4) Copies of candidate's training certificates, unofficial college transcripts and previous warrants (if previously warranted).

(5) A current warrant certificate from another HCA in GSA may be submitted instead of the items listed in paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(4) of this section.

(c) Evaluation of candidates for contracting officer warrants. The COWB is responsible for evaluating a candidate's experience, training and education requirements prior to issuance of a Basic, Simplified Acquisition, Intermediate and Senior level warrant. Note: designated approving officials shall follow the instructions under GSA Order 4200.1A CFO in granting micro-purchase authority.

(1) Experience requirements. The COWB must consider the candidate's relevant experience in determining the candidate's capability to assume contracting officer responsibilities at the desired level.

Warrant Level

Experience Required

Basic

At least 1 year of current (within last 3 years) contracting experience with progressively broader assignments

Simplified Acquisition

At least 2 years of current (within the last 5 years) contracting experience with progressively broader assignments

Intermediate

At least 3 years of current (within the last 7 years) contracting experience with progressively broader assignments*

Senior

At least 4 years of current (within the last 10 years) contracting experience with progressively broader assignments*

*The COWB will consider the quality of past contracts and leases and the results of any independent review conducted by the contracting activity to verify the nominee's contracting experience as defined in 501.603-1(a) at the intermediate and senior level.

(2) Training requirements.

(i) Any contracting professional issued an unlimited warrant after October 1, 2014 must be Level III certified.

(ii) Contracting officer candidates must complete the minimum training requirements. GSA has adopted the FAC-C curriculum established by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI).

(iii) Refer to the Acquisition Workforce Community of Practice accessible through GSA's Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186) for the minimum training requirements for warrants.

(iv) In addition to the warrant requirements, individuals may be required to complete additional training to strengthen the acquisition workforce.

(v) Contracting officers with multiple warrant authorities (e.g., with authority to dispose of and to acquire goods and services) must complete the mandatory training required for all warrant authorities at the applicable warrant level(s).

(3) Educational requirements.

(i) Applicants at pay grades 5 through 12. Applicants for permanent warrants above the simplified acquisition level, who are at grades 5 through 12, must have completed a four year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree or 24 semester hours in one of the designated fields as shown in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section.

(ii) Applicants at grades 13 and above. Applicants for permanent warrants above the simplified acquisition level, who are at grade 13 or above, must have completed a four year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the designated fields as shown in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section. The SPE may waive these requirements. The applicant must demonstrate significant analytical and decision-making capabilities, an acceptable job performance record, and qualifying experience.

(iii) The designated educational fields are:

(A) Accounting.

(B) Business.

(C) Finance.

(D) Law.

(E) Contracts

(F) Purchasing

(G) Economics.

(H) Industrial management.

(I) Marketing.

(J) Quantitative methods.

(K) Organization and management.

(iv) Employees who were warranted prior to January 1, 2000, are considered to have met the educational standard for their existing warrant; however, warrant increases or new warrant applications are subject to applicable warrant requirements.

(v) To retain warrants, Contracting Officers must meet the 80 hour CLP requirement, every two years, as outlined in the FAC-C curriculum.

501.603-3 Appointment.

(a) Certificate of Appointment.

(1) The HCA appoints contracting officers at the Basic, Simplified Acquisition, Intermediate, or Senior level using Standard Form 1402, Certificate of Appointment.

(2) The HCA signs the original Certificate of Appointment before it is issued to the appointed contracting officer.

(3) Suggested language for the Certificate of Appointment may be found on the Acquisition Workforce Community of Practice accessible through GSA's Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186).

(b) Types of appointments. Candidates are nominated for either an interim or permanent appointment.

(1) Interim appointments. Interim appointments are for a specified period of time. Personnel who hold interim simplified acquisition warrants must complete all training required for a permanent warrant within 1 year of the interim appointment. Personnel who hold interim warrants above the simplified acquisition level must complete all training and formal education required for a permanent warrant within 3 years of the interim appointment.

(2) Permanent appointments. A permanent appointment may be made when a candidate who meets all requirements for experience, education, and training at the time the appointment is made.

(c) Transferability of Warrants. Warrants may not transfer across contracting activities. Contracting officers that transfer to a new contracting activity must re-apply for a warrant in FAITAS.

(d) Authority to make purchases for domestic and national security emergencies.

(1) A contracting officer, you may enter into contracts on behalf of a GSA organization different from the organization specified in their Certificate of Appointment in response to a contingency operation, defense or recovery from certain attacks, major disaster declarations as defined in FAR part 18 and other domestic or national security emergencies.

(2) The Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer (OCAO) or HCA may grant higher contracting authority during emergencies for Basic, Simplified and Intermediate warrants (See Office of Federal Procurement Policy Memorandum, Emergency Acquisition Guide, dated January 14, 2011 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/procurement_guides/emergency_acquisitions_guide.pdf.

(3) The OCAO or HCA may appoint contracting officers with authority limited to entering into contracts required to respond to domestic or national security emergencies. This will provide GSA a cadre of emergency contracting officers who can instantly respond to emergencies if necessary. For warrants issued as a direct result of an emergency, the OCAO or HCA must have reasonable assurance that the employee is eligible to be warranted if the nature of the emergency precludes submission of otherwise necessary required documentation for the warrant (see 501.603-3(b)).

(e) Record Maintenance and Disposal.

(1) HCAs are required to keep and maintain comprehensive files containing relevant information on all appointed contracting officers until such time as all warrant data is fully maintained in FAITAS as determined by the ACM.

(2) HCAs are required to submit reports to the ACM with consistent and up to date information on the contracting officer warrants issued and terminated until such time as all warrant data is fully maintained in FAITAS as determined by the ACM.

(3) Acquisition professionals are responsible for maintaining a copy of their acquisition training history and source documents used for certification requests.

(4) In accordance with GSA Order OAS P 1820.1, GSA Records Management Program, dispose of expired contracting officer files and warrants by placing the contracting officer records in an inactive file following reassignment, termination of employment or revocation of designation. The inactive file cutoff date is the end of the fiscal year. The files are to be destroyed two years after the cutoff.

501.603-4 Termination.

(a) The SPE has the authority to suspend or terminate any GSA contracting officer appointment in any organizational component of the agency. SPE suspensions or terminations of warrants may not be overridden by any other GSA appointing official.

(b) At any time, an HCA may terminate an appointment, change a permanent warrant to an interim warrant, reduce the warrant level, or refuse to accept a warrant from another contracting activity.

(c) The supervisor of record must notify the BCM within the organization when a contracting officer does any of the following:

(1) Resigns.

(2) Transfers to another agency.

(3) Is reassigned to another office within GSA.

(4) Is terminated, or otherwise disciplined, for malfeasance or incompetence.

(5) Does not need the appointment.

(6) Fails to comply with experience, education or training requirements.

(d) Managers within the supervisory chain-of-command may at any time, suspend a contracting officer's appointment for any of the following:

(1) There is reason to believe that the contracting officer failed to exercise sound business judgment.

(2) There is reason to believe that the contracting officer engaged in other improprieties in carrying out contracting officer responsibilities.

(3) Failure of the contracting officer to comply with continuous learning requirements.

501.603-70 Fulfillment of required FAC-C training.

Information on fulfillment and equivalencies for required FAC-C training can be found at https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186.

501.604 Contracting Officer's Representative (COR).

The FAC-COR's role is to develop proper requirements and ensure during contract administration the contractors meet the commitments of their contracts, including the timeliness and delivery of quality goods and services as required by the contract. Information on the FAC-COR certification requirements can be found at http://fai.gov/drupal/certification/fac-cor.

(a) Applicability. Any GSA employee assigned to perform COR duties, regardless of series, must obtain FAC-COR certification, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. CORs must be certified at the appropriate level no later than six months from the date of their appointment.

(b) FAC-COR waivers. The SPE may waive the requirement for obtaining the FAC-COR certifications prior to appointment as a COR. Waivers will only be considered in compelling and well documented circumstances. This authority is non-delegable. FAC-COR waivers are not transferable to other agencies.

(c) Reciprocity of certifications. As described in OMB memorandum, “Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officers' Representatives,” of September 6, 2011, (http://www.fai.gov), individuals certified as Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) Levels I or II or Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) Mid-Level/Journeyman are considered to have met the FAC-COR requirements for Level II. Individuals certified as FAC-C Level III or FAC-P/PM Senior/Expert are considered to have met the FAC-COR requirements for Level III. These individuals must submit their FAC certificates and continuous learning documents to their BCMs for FAC-COR certification in accordance with the procedures shown in the Acquisition Workforce Community of Practice accessible through GSA's Acquisition Portal (https://insite.gsa.gov/portal/category/534186).

(d) HCAs or their designees, typically BCMs, must do all of the following:

(1) Manage and monitor their FAC-COR programs.

(2) Coordinate with the agency ACM to grant certifications.

(3) Evaluate candidate proficiencies and determine course equivalencies for certification, in accordance with FAI's required COR competencies.

(4) Resolve any certification-related disputes.

(e) FAC-COR application process. Applicants are responsible for preparing an application package for submission electronically through FAITAS (www.fai.gov) to his or her supervisor. The application package must include the application form and copies of relevant training certificates. The supervisor is responsible for verifying the accuracy and completeness of the application package in FAITAS. After supervisory review, the certification request is routed electronically to the BCM. If the BCM recommends approval, the application is routed to the ACM for final approval. After the ACM approves, the FAC-COR certificate is generated through FAITAS.

(f) Contracting officer’s responsibilities.

(1) In appointing CORs under GSAM 542.2, the contracting officer must take into consideration the appropriate FAC-COR Level needed to protect the government's interest. The contracting officer must consider the risk associated with the acquisition, including contract type, in order to determine the appropriate level of FAC-COR coverage.

(2) Contracting officers must provide appointment letters in writing to the contractor, outlining the COR's responsibilities under the contract and the limits of the COR's authority to the contractor. The contracting officer must also provide a copy to the COR and the COR supervisor, and maintain a copy in the official contract file, or a central file referenced in the contract file.

(3) The contracting officer is authorized to revoke a COR appointment. Any revoked COR appointment must be documented in writing, notifying the COR, the COR's supervisor, the contractor and the BCM.

(g) Other executive agency FAC-COR. GSA will recognize COR certifications issued by other executive agencies as long as they appear in the FAITAS certification record and are compliant with current FAC-COR requirements, including continuous learning.

(h) FAITAS. CORs must be registered in FAITAS, the official system of records for all civilian agency FAC programs (www.fai.gov). CORs are responsible for submitting all training and continuous learning activities into FAITAS.

501.670 Category Managers.

(a) Category managers are responsible for identifying inefficient purchasing behavior and crafting smarter buying strategies within specific areas of spend as described in Government-wide Category Management, Guidance Document issued by the Office of Management Budget, available at https://hallways.cap.gsa.gov/information/Gov-wide_CM_Guidance_V1.pdf.

(b) Transactional data. Category managers should use transactional data collected via clauses 552.216-75 and 552.238-74 Alternate I in conjunction with commercial market benchmarks to identify potential areas for improvement in contracting methods, pricing, and terms or conditions.

Subpart 501.7—Determinations and Findings

501.707 Signatory authority.

(a) The FAR frequently refers to determinations made by the agency head. Under section 309 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, the Administrator authorized HCA’s to act as agency head to facilitate procurement of property and services under Title III of the Act. (See GSA Delegation of Authority Manual, ADM P 5450.39C.)

(b) An HCA normally signs a class D&F.

(c) If a statute precludes an agency head redelegating authority, the Administrator must sign the D&F (See, for example, FAR 6.302-7).

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