Contracting Courses

Introduction to Federal Contracting

The purpose of this course is to give the student a general understanding of the Federal acquisition process and specific information about Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP).

In order to meet its day-to-day needs and accomplish the goals set by Congress, each Federal agency must buy a variety of goods and services. Examples are construction, surveys, data processing, or office supplies.

Since the purchase of these various goods and services is done with monies from the public treasury, Congress has passed several pieces of legislation to ensure that the public tax dollar is being spent reasonably and efficiently. The basic legislation that governs all Federal procurement is the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949. That act has been implemented through the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR). Additionally, each agency has also developed procurement regulations that are designed to meet the unique needs of their own agency.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation as updated by the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA), also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act, contains four distinct methods or procedures to be followed when buying the goods and services required. Each procedure is designed to meet a particular circumstance. Those procedures are as follows:

  1. Micro-purchases (FAR Part 13), which are acquisitions $3500 and below
  2. SAP (FAR Part 13), which are acquisitions above $3500 up to $150,000
  3. Acquisition of Commercial Items (FAR Part 12)
  4. Acquisitions greater than $150,000.

Micro-purchasing, Simplified Acquisition, and Commercial Item procurement procedures are the major subjects of this course. They are designed to meet the day-to-day needs of an agency. All of these methods of procurement employ the consideration of Mandatory Source procedures. Acquisitions using SAP are usually initiated with the buyer sending a one page document to the seller or placing an oral order with a vendor. These documents are called purchase orders. Acquisitions using SAP are reserved for small businesses unless no small business can supply the required services or supplies at a reasonable price as determined by the procuring official.

The Federal Government has placed a preference on the purchases of commercial items by establishing acquisition policies more closely resembling those of the commercial marketplace and encouraging the acquisition of commercial items and components.

Acquisitions greater than $150,000 use formal acquisition procedures, with the exception of some commercial purchases that may use SAP up to $7,000,000. These acquisitions, whether using Seal Bid or Negotiated procedures, require more formal contracting procedures.

Prerequisite: None

Length: 3 class days

Contracts Acquisition Management

This course is designed to provide executive- and manager-level personnel an understanding of their responsibilities in the acquisition process. It will provide an overview of how this process works, the limitations of their authority, and their responsibility in selecting individuals to monitor contractor performance.

It is imperative that the following objectives and the division of responsibilities among the Project Manager/End User, Contracting Officer, and the Contracting Officer’s Representatives (COR) are understood and are adhered to.

The objectives of this course are:

  1. Ensure that personnel involved in all phases of the acquisition process understand their role and responsibilities.
  2. Emphasize the importance of teamwork between the Project Manager/End User, the Contracting Office, and those individuals responsible for contractor oversight.
  3. Provide non-contracting personnel with a basic understanding of statutory and procedural regulations that are fundamental to the federal government contracting process.
  4. Raise the level of awareness and sensitivity of non-contracting employees to their importance and value to the contracting process.
  5. Ensure all personnel involved in the acquisition process appreciate the complex and challenging responsibilities placed upon them in carrying out the contractual ‘Law of the Land” as embodied in all governing acquisition rules and regulations.

Prerequisite: None

Length: 2 class days

Federal Appropriation Law

This course is designed for all Federal Government personnel. It is imperative for Government personnel to understand the limits placed upon the use of Government funds. Monies appropriated by Congress are limited by purpose, time, and amount. This course is based on the GAO Principles of Appropriation Law, Volumes I and II.

Prerequisite: None

Length: 2 class days

Writing Performance-Based Statement of Work

This course is designed for the technician involved in developing: Requirements, Statement of Need (SON), Statement of Work (SOW), Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and Critical Elements of Evaluation of a contractor’s proposal and evaluation of contractor performance after award. The major thrust of the course is the establishment of specific, definable requirements that will be embodied in the solicitation and used throughout the procurement to evaluate contractor performance.

Prerequisites: None

Length: 3 Class Days

Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)

This course is designed for the newly assigned COR. Specific areas covered in this course include:

  • Contract/Agency Law
  • COR Authority
  • COR Files
  • Fundamentals of Contracting
  • Commercial Activities Program
  • Specifications and Work Statements
  • Uniform Contract Format and Work
  • Statement Format
  • Writing Techniques
  • Surveillance Plan
  • Ethics and Standards of Conduct
  • Contract Administration
  • Methods of Surveillance
  • Government Property
  • Disputes and Appeals
  • Contract Administration Problems
  • Modifications and Constructive Changes
  • Contract Data Management
  • Contract Termination
  • COR do’s and don’ts

Prerequisites: None

Length: 5 Class Days

COR Refresher

This course is designed as a refresher for COR’s. Experienced COR’s will be introduced to changes in procurement policies and methodologies. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that they are fully aware of the responsibilities of a COR. The importance of teamwork between the technical/engineering community and the contracting community is explored. The course is intended to raise the level of awareness and sensitivity of COR’s in their importance and value to the contracting process.

Prerequisites: None

Length: 1 Class Day