48 CFR § 46.703 - Criteria for use of warranties.
The use of warranties is not mandatory. In determining whether a warranty is appropriate for a specific acquisition, the contracting officer shall consider the following factors:
(a) Nature and use of the supplies or services. This includes such factors as -
(1) Complexity and function;
(2) Degree of development;
(3) State of the art;
(4) End use;
(5) Difficulty in detecting defects before acceptance; and
(6) Potential harm to the Government if the item is defective.
(b) Cost. Warranty costs arise from -
(1) The contractor's charge for accepting the deferred liability created by the warranty; and
(2) Government administration and enforcement of the warranty (see paragraph (c) below).
(c) Administration and enforcement. The Government's ability to enforce the warranty is essential to the effectiveness of any warranty. There must be some assurance that an adequate administrative system for reporting defects exists or can be established. The adequacy of a reporting system may depend upon such factors as the -
(1) Nature and complexity of the item;
(2) Location and proposed use of the item;
(3) Storage time for the item;
(4) Distance of the using activity from the source of the item;
(5) Difficulty in establishing existence of defects; and
(6) Difficulty in tracing responsibility for defects.
(d) Trade practice. In many instances an item is customarily warranted in the trade, and, as a result of that practice, the cost of an item to the Government will be the same whether or not a warranty is included. In those instances, it would be in the Government's interest to include such a warranty.
(e) Reduced requirements. The contractor's charge for assumption of added liability may be partially or completely offset by reducing the Government's contract quality assurance requirements where the warranty provides adequate assurance of a satisfactory product.
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