4.802 Contract files.

      (a) A contract file should generally consist of-

           (1) The contracting office contract file that documents the basis for the acquisition and the award, the assignment of contract administration (including payment responsibilities), and any subsequent actions taken by the contracting office;

           (2) The contract administration office contract file that documents actions reflecting the basis for and the performance of contract administration responsibilities; and

           (3) The paying office contract file that documents actions prerequisite to, substantiating, and reflecting contract payments.

      (b) Normally, each file should be kept separately; however, if appropriate, any or all of the files may be combined; e.g.,if all functions or any combination of the functions are performed by the same office.

      (c) Files must be maintained at organizational levels that ensure-

           (1) Effective documentation of contract actions;

           (2) Ready accessibility to principal users;

           (3) Minimal establishment of duplicate and working files;

           (4) The safeguarding of classified documents; and

           (5) Conformance with agency regulations for file location and maintenance.

      (d) If the contract files or file segments are decentralized (e.g.,by type or function) to various organizational elements or to other outside offices, responsibility for their maintenance must be assigned. A central control and, if needed, a locator system should be established to ensure the ability to locate promptly any contract files.

      (e) Contents of contract files that are contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information as defined in 2.101 must be protected from disclosure to unauthorized persons (see 3.104-4).

      (f) Agencies may retain contract files in any medium (paper, electronic, microfilm, etc.) or any combination of media, as long as the requirements of this subpart are satisfied.