Evaluate the importance of the standard default clause. As a contracts officer for the DOE, suggest
two (2) ways in which you could combine the standard default clause with the FAR�s delay provision
for the protection of both parties to the contract. Provide a rationale for your response.
Speculate on the impact that a contracting officer�s changes to the payment terms within the
contract would exert upon both the government and the contractor. Next, suggest the most secure
method for making a contractual change. Justify your response.
As a contracts officer for the DOE, suggest two (2) improvements that you would make to the
inspection procedure in order to make the procedure more efficient. Provide a rationale for your
The FAR and Contract Provisions for Protection
In this paper, the significance of the standard default clause is evaluated exhaustively.
The paper also suggests the ways in which I as a government contracting officer for the
Department of Energy can merge the FAR’s delay provision with the standard default clause
FAR AND CONTRACTS PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION 3
to protect both parties. A secure way of making a contractual change is also suggested in this
paper. Lastly, to make the inspection procedure more efficient, a few improvements that I
would make to the procedure are suggested.
Importance of the standard default clause
The standard default clause is significant as it enables the federal government to end a
contract for default in which the supplier violates the contract; that is, (i) the contractor does
not carry out the services or deliver the supplies in the period that is stipulated within the
contract. (ii) Contractor fails to make progress and therefore endangers the execution of the
contract; or (iii) the contractor does not carry out other material provisions as specified in the
contract (FindLaw, 2016). Nonetheless, the standard default clause forgives the failure of the
contractor to perform the contract where that failure was due to causes that are beyond the
contractor’s control and without the contractor’s negligence or fault such as unusually severe
weather, floods, acts of God, strikes and fires (FindLaw, 2016).
Even so, if the federal government has to end the contract with the supplier, it must
notify that supplier in writing in order to allow that supplier to resolve the deficiencies that
have arisen in the contract within a period of ten days. On the whole, the default clause is
essential since in case a dispute crops up between the two parties, that is if the contractor and
the federal government are in a dispute, they can utilize this clause to know the rules to play
by or the applicable rules to resolve their dispute satisfactorily. The moment the contractor
accepts the conditions and terms of the contract, that contractor would be informing the
federal government that it would comply with the standards that are specified in the contract
and all its clauses.
Combining FAR’s delay provision with standard default clause
There are two main ways in which the FAR’s delay provision could be combined with
the standard default clause in order to protect both parties to the contract. The first way is by
FAR AND CONTRACTS PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION 4
making changes in the dates of presentation or delivery and any conditions which are affected
in an adverse way by the extension or protraction. The second way of combining FAR’s
delay provision and standard default clause to protect both parties to the contract is by
informing the contractor officer on the agreed payment date in writing (Feldman, 2014).
These two ways are important considering that a delay could be excusable or compensable.
Executing the standard clause to a contract could protect the government and the contractor
since delays may occur, unexpected, or expected. The contractor may delay in delivering
materials perhaps because of a major weather incidence such as hurricane (Feldman, 2014).
Impact of the contracting officer’s changes to the payment terms and most secure way
of making contractual change
Assuming that the contracting officer included each of the necessary and relevant
passages when he or she was soliciting tenders from suppliers, after the awarding of the
contract, the contractor and the government are both bound by the sections within their
contract for the duration of contract performance. In case a clause that warrants any revision
is absent, any move by the contracting officer that modifies or revises the contract
automatically breaches the contract (Yukins, 2014). Even so, according to FAR 1.108 (d) (3),
a contracting officer is allowed to include FAR alterations in an open contract with special
considerations. For this reason, any change made to the contract statute need to be guided by
supplemental accords rather than unilateral decisions. In other words, change order is the
most secure way of altering the contract or making a contractual change if it is affected on the
basis of mutual agreement and when it has no effect on the initial cost (Feldman, 2014). It is
worth mentioning that if the contract expenditures would not be impacted by the
recommended alteration, then the contracting officer can submit a memorandum or message
which specifies that the change may not affect the cost of the contract.
Improvements to make in the inspection procedure
FAR AND CONTRACTS PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION 5
The FAR 52.246.1 inspection requirements specify that the contractors are
responsible for performing every necessary inspections and tests in order to confirm that all
suppliers under this agreement stick to the contract requirements, over and above all technical
needs that apply. This prerequisite is the most important priority of any government
inspection and testing required in contract prerequisites, with the exception of specialized
tests to be conducted mainly by the federal government (Yukins, 2014). According to the
contractor inspection requirements, contracting officers should put inspection requirements
clause after soliciting contract services after the approximate amount is at or below the agreed
threshold. It is notable that the integration of inspection requirements is of major importance
given that it helps in ensuring a clear understanding of the contractor’s inspection roles as
well as its procedural specification as spelt out by the agency. Yukins (2014) noted that the
inspection of supplies prerequisites is vital whenever the anticipated amount is at or below
the specific threshold and its utilization is in fact advantageous for the federal government.
Therefore, as the Department of Energy’s contracts officer, the following two
improvements are suggested which I would make to the inspection procedure with the aim of
making the inspection procedure to be more efficient: the first improvement is to reduce the
number of evaluation variables. The rationale is that this improvement is necessary
considering that the number of assessment variables is an essential determinant of the amount
of data from competitors and processed by the government for the purpose of making the
decision. As such, making use of unnecessary variables is pointless and needless.
The second improvement that would improve the inspection process’s effectiveness entails
limiting the number of proposals information required (Yukins, 2014). For instance,
requesting the offerors to give an explanation of the way in which they plan to carry out the
work when assigned to them is not necessary at all. This is primarily because developing such
procedures is generally an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, although they do not
FAR AND CONTRACTS PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION 6
show the capacity of the company to carry out the work and are usually not binding
In conclusion, the standard default clause is of great importance as it enables the
federal government to end the contract for default that is a result of contract violation. For
instance, the supplier/contractor might do something that endangers the progress of the
contract or may fail to deliver services/products within a specified period of time. As a
contracts officer with the Department of Energy, the inspection procedures that I would make
include limiting the number of proposals information required and to reduce the number of
evaluation variables. This paper has also described two ways in which the FAR’s delay
provision could be combined with the standard default clause in order to protect both parties
to the contract.
Feldman, S. W. (2014). Government Contract Guidebook. Eagan, MN: Thomson Reuters
FindLaw. (2016). Federal government contract overview.
FAR AND CONTRACTS PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION 7
Yukins, C. R. (2014). A versatile prism: Assessing procurement law through the principal-