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501.603-1 General.

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.

                     (J)  Regional HCAs retain acquisition career management responsibilities for both regional and national warrants, based on the contracting officer's FAITAS bureau.

                (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).