Top 10 Tips From Contracting Officers

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GBG spoke with different contracting officers within the DoD organizations to compile a list of tips, advice and information that could be used by our members:

  1. Except for invitations for bids, where you must be responsive, everything is negotiable including price, contract type, discount terms and financing arrangements.
  2. Talk to the Contracting Officer before submitting your offer or proposal as important information can be obtained to help with your bid.
  3. Everyone, including Contracting Officers, should be familiar with FAR 204.7104.*
  4. Payment instructions are standardized and cannot be changed even if the vendor complains.
  5. A main part of the Contracting Officer's job is "risk aversion." The Contracting Officer is there to protect the taxpayer and to avoid a "windfall."
  6. Yes, CLINs (Contract Line Item Numbers) are important.
  7. If you write "last invoice" and it is not the last invoice, you could delay any payments after the fact.
  8. Payment requires an invoice, an invoice must require acceptance and acceptance requires a proper invoice per contract.
  9. Read your contract! Most payment issues come from the contract not being followed.
  10. Coordinate with the Contracting Officer and their office. Should you not be able to contact the Contracting Officer in regards to your contract, someone from that office is responsible for it. Keep the information current. Be proactive!

*Far 204.7104: Uniform Contract Line Item Numbering System

Update on the Repeal of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act

The policy memorandum released on July 29, 2003 established IUID as a mandatory DoD requirement on all solicitations. IUID stands for Item Unique Identification and was implemented to identify tangible items using international standards and commercial item markings while not imposing unique government data requirements. Uniquely identified tangible items will facilitate item tracking in DoD business systems and provide reliable and accurate data for management, financial, accountability and asset management purposes.

IUID is required on all property items delivered to the government if:

  • The acquisition cost is more than $5000.
  • Items with an acquisition cost below $5000 when it is identified by the requiring activity as DoD serially managed, mission essential, or controlled inventory.
  • Items with an acquisition cost below $5000 as determined by the requiring activity.
  • Regardless of value, any DoD serially managed subassembly component or part embedded within an item and also on the "parent" item in which it is embedded.

A forum, open to government contractors, will be held in Orlando, Florida on September 7-9. The conference is sponsored by DoD and will give the latest information on IUID policy. For more information including agenda and cost, visit


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