As a general rule, the rights and responsibilities of the parties to a contract are governed by the terms of the contract. In the case of federal procurement contracts (i.e., contracts whereby an agency obtains supplies and services for its own direct benefit or use), some of these terms are unique to the contract and the circumstances of its performance. Such terms may, for example, specify the work the contractor is to perform, the time period(s) within which it is to perform, and how the contractor is to be compensated for performance. Other terms, however, are standard ones that appear, in some form, in all or most federal procurement contracts. These standard terms may be required by statute, and their use and language is often prescribed by regulation, typically the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). See generally CRS Report R42826, The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, by Kate M. Manuel et al. This “In Focus” provides a brief overview of the standard types of terms that appear in federal procurement contracts. It also notes key CRS reports on the topics discussed here.
Date of Report: February 23, 2015
Order Number: IF10137
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