POST AWARD PROCESS
The contract award is considered the “official authorization” to implement the contract and to obligate federal funds. This authorization becomes effective on the date that the Contracting Officer signs the contract on behalf of the Government. Federal contract “Post Award Administration” begins when the contract is awarded and ends after all close-out functions, procedures and deliverables have been performed and delivered, and any open issues between UAB and the Government have been resolved.
The Role of the Government’s Contracting Officer
This individual is the Government’s authorized agent in dealing with the Contractor (UAB). He / she has the ultimate authority to interpret the provisions of the contract, approve any actions requiring Government approval, negotiate, authorize payments, award and amend contracts, and formally evaluate the Contractor’s performance on behalf of the government and will deal almost exclusively with the OSP Officer assigned to be the contact for that particular contract. The Contracting Officer obtains advice from other Government staff, particularly the Project Officer, who serves as the Government’s technical (science) expert.
Financial and Administrative Reports
The contract will provide a listing of all technical deliverables, the delivery schedule, and identification of administrative and financial reports. Most cost reimbursement contracts will require the submission of quarterly and annual technical progress reports, financial reports, patient testing reports, patient refusal reports, etc. on either a monthly or quarterly basis as well as final close-out reports. These details will be specified in the solicitation.
Modification / Amendment
By definition, a Contract modification means any written alteration in the specification, delivery point, rate of delivery, contract period, price, quantity, or any other contract provision of an existing contract, whether accomplished by unilateral action or by mutual action of the parties to the contract.
Contracting Officer Approval (COA’s)
These authorizations come in the form of a COA (Contracting Officer’s Approval) which is a signed formal letter from the sponsor’s Contracting Officer. The letter requesting COA is written by the PI, forwarded to OSP for review and countersigned. The letter is then forwarded to the Contracts Officer at the sponsor for approval. If approved, the COA is issued by the Sponsor.
Examples: Request permission to change budget, to subcontract, to change the PI.
Contract Close Out
The contract closeout process includes, but is not limited to, such things as final invoice, reports and other closeout documents. After all reports have been submitted, all administrative actions completed, all disputes settled and final payment has been made…then the contract closeout process is essentially complete. Closeout can however include audits, on-site visits, and other activities to ensure the Government’s satisfaction. For all federal contracts exceeding $100,000 a final evaluation is prepared by the Contracting Officer and the Project Officer and the Contractor is given 30 days to review it and submit additional information or a rebutting statement. This evaluation may be considered by NIH and other federal agencies in future contract competitions.