Describe the role of Contracting Officer in contract performance.
Contracting officer is closely related to the life cycle of the contact. The life cycle of the contract means the terms for which the contract remain active between the buyer and the seller. This is the time period within which the seller provides the good and services and the buyer makes the final payment plus any extra time that could include guarantees and warranties. The contracting offices works on behalf of the buyer as an agent of the buyer. He/she directly deals with all the contractors who show interest in the acquisition process.
A contracting officer enjoys the sole authority to solicit and negotiate with the contractors. He/she solicit proposals. Meaning that the contractors have to communicate with him/her for information about the procurement. Contractors have to negotiate the project terms with the contracting officer. The contracting officer has the authority to award the contract to any contractors that fulfills the requirements of the proposed project. Contract officer can also modify the terms of the contract on behalf of the buyer. If the contract officer feels that the terms of the contract are not fulfilled, he/she has the authority to terminate the contract. In case of the buyer being a government department, the contracting officer is appointed by the department. The contracting officer remains in contact with the requirement officer who provide guidance on technical support concerning the products or services that are required from the contractors. The contracting officer may be appointed from within the government department or brought in on deputation from another government department depending on the requirements of the projects and the necessary skills compulsory for a contracting officer.