Nine associations representing construction contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals petitioned the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) to alter how the office handles change orders.
The groups want the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) amended to "make explicit" that before ordering a change to a construction contract, the contracting officer must assure that funds are available to pay for additional work being ordered.
“Our members are facing increasing numbers of instances in which a Contracting Officer will direct a change in the scope of work on a construction project, lacking funds available to pay for the increased costs being imposed upon the contractor,” the associations wrote in a March 18 letter to OFCPP Administrator Anne Rung.
The groups signing the letter included the Design-Build Institute of America, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Subcontractors Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, the National Electrical Contractors Association, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America.
They also recommended an amendment that would allow contracting officers to continue to make changes in the work within the general scope of the contract, at any time and without notice to sureties, “but only if funds are available to pay the costs of such changes.”