Change Number: Change 155 GSAM Case 2021-G525
Effective Date: 08/30/2022

Subpart 504.8 - Government Contract Files

504.800 Scope of subpart.

      (a) This subpart prescribes a contract file format standard for all contracts that exceed the micro-purchase threshold. This subpart may be applied to purchases at or below the micro-purchase threshold.

      (b) The purpose of this standard is to ensure that the documentation in the file complies with FAR 4.801(b)(1) and FAR 4.802(c) requirements.

504.802 Contract files.

      (a)   Contract files shall be maintained electronically, unless otherwise determined, in writing, by the HCA to be prohibitively burdensome.

      (b) The contracting officer must place all information and documentation required by FAR 4.802 and 4.803 in the contract file and organize the file in the format as set out in each individual contracting activity's contract file standard.

      (c)  Contracting officer responsibilities.

           (1)  The contracting officer is responsible for the official contract file. Individuals creating documents relating to the contract must provide those documents to the contracting officer for inclusion in the file. Other members of the acquisition team may be responsible for the maintenance and archival of any delegated responsibilities (e.g., contract administration and delegated contract administration function) according to prescribed contracting activity policies and procedures.

           (2)  The contracting officer shall-

                (i) Place all information and documentation required by the FAR (see FAR subpart 4.8), the GSAM, and any other policy and procedure in the contract file.

                (ii)  Include an index or checklist identifying the location of any documentation contained in the contract file when such identification is not already prescribed by policy. The index or checklist can be electronic.

                (iii)  Identify in a clear and logical manner, within the contract file, any documentation maintained in another location.

                (iv)  Comply with applicable file and document naming convention/nomenclature requirements.

           (3)  When responsibility for a contract transfer from one contracting officer to another contracting officer (e.g., employee departure, transfer of assignments, or redelegation of contract administration authority (intraoffice or interoffice))-

                (i)  The successor contracting officer shall review the files being transferred. The purpose of the review is to identify any issues with the contract file (e.g., missing or incomplete documentation or information).

                (ii)  The successor contracting officer shall attempt to resolve any issues identified during their review of the transferred files. The successor contracting officer should write a memo-to-file that documents any issues with the contract file that were not able to be resolved as part of the transfer.

      (d)  Head of contracting activity responsibilities. Head of contracting activities consistent with their delegated authorities are responsible for-

           (1)  Developing policies and procedures that discuss, at a minimum, the following:

                (i) The different types of files identified in FAR 4.801(c) along with any other files that are to be established (e.g., unsolicited proposals);

                (ii)  The location where file documentation is to be stored (e.g., an electronic contract filing system, another official system of record, or some type of combination thereof). If file documentation must be stored in different locations, the policy and procedure shall discuss the rationale for the need (e.g., separation of classified and unclassified documentation) and medium (e.g., paper) to be used;

                (iii) The approach used to identify the documents to be retained within a contract file (see FAR 4.803) and any other files established per paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section (e.g., use of a checklist or index that includes the citation of the authority for retaining a document);

                (iv) The organization(s) or individual(s) responsible for maintaining file documentation when such responsibility does not reside with the contracting officer (see 504.802(b));

                (v)  The filing and document convention/nomenclature to be used;

                (vi) The content, access, and other applicable requirements for contracting officer representative (COR) contract files (see FAR 1.604) and any other files (see paragraph (a) of this section); and

                (vii)  The internal controls (e.g. quarterly review by the contracting activity) to be used for ensuring compliance with FAR, GSAM, and other requirements.

           (2)  Designating a point of contact within its organization for purposes of supporting file audits and reviews by internal and external organizations (e.g., the Procurement Management Review (PMR) office). Support may include, but not be limited to:

                (i)  Providing copies of applicable policies and procedures;

                (ii)  Assisting in resolving issues (e.g., locating a contract file) and questions;

                (iii)  Providing access to files and systems; and

                (iv)  Notifying the contracting officer of the status of the review or audit.

504.803 Contents of contract files.

In addition to the examples of contract file documents described in FAR 4.802 and listed in FAR 4.803, the contract file shall include, if applicable, the following:

      (a)  GSA Form 2689 (see 519.502-70 for applicability), and

      (b)  Checklist documenting review of the small business subcontracting plan (see 519.705-4 for applicability).

      (c)  Documents required by individual contracting activity in accordance with such activity's internal policies and procedures.

504.804 Closeout of contract files.

504.804-5 Procedures for closing out contract files.

      (a)  Contracting Officer Responsibilities Upon Evidence of Physical Completion. Upon receipt of evidence of physical completion of a contract, the contracting officer must, within 14 calendar days, ensure input of the status of “physically complete” (or similar) into any contract administration and/or financial systems applicable to the contract.

      (b)  Contracting Officer Responsibilities To Reconcile Financial Balances of Physically Completed Contracts.

           (1) Upon receipt of evidence of physical completion of a contract (including those contracts using simplified acquisition procedures), the contracting officer must, within 14 calendar days, determine if any outstanding financial balance exists. The contracting officer may request, as needed, information from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO).

           (2) The contracting officer must reconcile any outstanding balances (e.g., through discussing final billings with contractors, descoping, deobligating funds, cancelling the contract in whole or in part, or terminating the contract in whole or in part, as applicable). The contracting officer must then take the necessary corrective actions to resolve such financial balances, in coordination with OCFO as needed.

           (3) Contracting officers must notify OCFO within 30 days of receipt of evidence of physical completion, of all known or anticipated excess financial balances remaining that meet or exceed $100,000, that have not previously been communicated to OCFO through other means such as regular OCFO data calls. Excess financial balances are any known or anticipated financial balances after receipt and payment of the final invoice or billing from the contractor (e.g., the amount expected remaining to be deobligated or descoped by the contracting officer).

504.805 Storage, handling, and disposal of contract files.

The contracting officer’s accountability for contract files ends when the following three conditions exist:

      (a)  The files’ retention period expires.

      (b)  The contracting officer receives the notice of disposal from the National Archives and Records Administration.

      (c)  The records liaison officer whose organization has functional responsibility for the files approves disposal.