48 CFR § 801.690-5 - Requirements for contracting authority.

801.690-5 Requirements for contracting authority.

(a) Effective January 1, 2007, no individual, regardless of job series, may be issued a new contracting officer warrant above the micro-purchase threshold unless the individual meets the requirements for Federal Acquisition Certification (Certification) for the applicable Level I, II, or III warrant level as specified in OFPP Policy Letter 05-01 and the OFPP Memorandum dated January 20, 2006, titled “the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Program.” A new contracting officer warrant is defined in OFPP Policy Letter 05-01 as a warrant issued for the first time at a department or agency. For contracting officers warranted before January 1, 2007, certification will not be required to retain their existing warrants, but will be required before higher level warrants can be issued. Certification includes minimum requirements for education, training, and experience. A candidate for a warrant must have at least a satisfactory-or-above performance rating during the most recent performance period.

(b) For contracting officer warrants issued prior to January 1, 2007, the minimum requirements for qualifying as a contracting officer previously specified in VA regulation and other internal VA guidance shall apply.

(c) Multi-VISN. The HCA shall obtain written or e-mail concurrence from the HCAs of the other affected VISNs or Area Offices when requesting Multi-VISN contracting authority.

(d) Training.

(1) Contracting officers and non-warranted contract specialists shall complete the required coursework and on-the-job training needed to possess the established competencies listed in OFPP's Federal Acquisition Institute Contract Specialist Training Blueprints (http://www.fai.gov/policies/contract.htm).

(2) The Chief, ATCD, oversees the ATP.

(3) Training course equivalency will be determined and approved by the Chief, ATCD. Candidates should contact the Chief, ATCD, for an equivalency determination and must furnish any information or evidence necessary to support the request. Appeals of decisions may be made to the VA ACM and the decisions of the ACM shall be final.

(e) Skills Currency.

(1) Contracting officers and non-warranted contract specialists who have completed the core training requirements shall obtain a minimum of 80 CLPs of continuing education or training every two fiscal years to stay abreast of current acquisition knowledge and skills as mandated by OFPP. The HCA (for Level I warrant contracting officers) and the Chief, ATCD (for Level II warrant and Level III warrant contracting officers), shall make written determinations every October 1 for each warranted contracting officer on whether the required CLPs, as specified in OFPP guidance, were completed during the two prior fiscal years. The HCA shall assign CLP values to training taken by Level I warrant contracting officers for training that does not have pre-assigned CLP or continuing education unit (CEU) values assigned to the training by the provider. The Chief, ATCD, shall assign CLP values to training taken by Level II warrant and Level III warrant contracting officers for training that does not have pre-assigned CLP or CEU values assigned to the training by the provider. Values shall be assigned based on guidance provided by OFPP and the combined efforts of the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Defense Acquisition University. Questions regarding the CLP or CEU values assigned to training shall be resolved by the ACM.

(2) The Chief, ATCD, is responsible for the management of the ACEP, the program that assists contracting officers and contract specialists to meet the training requirements.

(3) An expiring warrant will not be re-issued if the contracting officer has not met the continuing education or training requirement.

(f) Education.

(1) The 24 business-related college credits shall be in any combination of the following fields of study at an accredited college or university: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

(2) The HCA will make the final determination whether a course is accepted as business-related for the purpose of granting Level I warrant authority. The Chief, ATCD, will make the final determination whether a course is accepted as business-related for the purpose of granting Level II warrant or Level III warrant contracting authority.

(3) American Council on Education (ACE) credits are not considered as college credits until they are converted and included on a transcript from an accredited college or university.

(g) Grandfather provision for the education requirement.

(1) VA contracting officers, regardless of grade level, who currently hold Level I, Level II, or Level III (Senior Limited or Unlimited) warrants are considered as having met the Experience, Education, and Training requirements for their respective warrant levels. This includes transfers or laterals to other VA contracting activities with similar geographical restrictions. Contracting officers who are promoted up to a GS-12 can maintain their current warrant level authority.

(2) This Grandfather provision does not cover new VA employees, current VA employees who are not warranted, former VA employees who held contracting authority at their previous Federal Government agencies or VA positions, or VA employees whose warrants have been rescinded or have expired. VA contracting officers who are promoted to GS 13-and-above will no longer be covered by this Grandfather provision and, therefore, must meet the current Experience, Education, and Training requirements for the specific warrant authority that they currently hold or to which they wish to be appointed. Contracting officers requesting a higher level warrant (e.g., from Level I warrant to Level II warrant or from Level III (Senior Limited) warrant to Level III (Senior Unlimited) warrant) must also meet the current Experience, Education, and Training requirement for the specific warrant authority requested.

(3) This Grandfather provision for retaining a contracting officer's current warrant authority is voided if the contracting officer does not fully meet the minimum Skills Currency requirement prior to warrant expiration or when the warrant authority is suspended or revoked. The contracting officer will then need to meet all of the current warrant prerequisites before a new warrant can be issued or before the suspended or revoked warrant can be reinstated.

(h) The training requirements for contracting officers whose delegated authority is limited to the acquisition of transportation services, as provided in part 102-117 of title 41 Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Management Regulation, shall be as specified therein.

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