I recently had a chance to ask a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) in my class how Contract Specialists and Contracting Officers can better work with their CORs. (For those that don’t know, CORs monitor contracts and serve as the Contracting Officer’s eyes and ears, especially in the field. Oh, and CORs are often experts in the field of the contracts they monitor. They are vital even if we don’t always say it. We simply don’t have the time and technical knowledge to monitor contract performance the way a COR does).
Anyways, this COR told me two specific things we can do —
- Email all contract modifications to the COR, especially if the COR is in the field. This prevents the COR from being surprised on site visits to plants.
- Call your COR before you make a change. If you take money off the contract, the system may no longer function. However, the COR will probably know if the system will fail. You simply don’t have the technical knowledge; you have the contracting knowledge — it’s a team effort.
These seem like common sense steps, but they’re often skipped. Make sure you do them.
Thank you for stating the obvious but necessary points. Too many times, over the course of my career, I have been a COR or Quality Assurance Rep (QAR) for a contract and had to beg for information. Just getting a copy of the contract can be difficult sometimes, much less modifications!!
If EVERYONE would view the contract process as a “team effort” (as you so aptly stated), then it would flow alot smoother, easier and probably more cost effectively.