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3.35.1. Contracts with Task Authorizations

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3.35.1.1 Definition

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  1. A contract with Task Authorizations (TAs) is a method of supply for services under which all of the work or a portion of the work will be performed on an "as and when requested basis" through predetermined conditions including an administrative process involving task authorizations. Contracts with TAs are used in service contracting situations when there is a defined need by a client to rapidly have access to one or more categories of service(s) that are expected to be needed on a repetitive basis during the period of the contract. Under contracts with TAs, the work to be carried out can be defined but the exact nature and timeframes of the required services, activities and deliverables will only be known as and when the service(s) will be required during the period of the contract. The contract with TAs must stipulate the conditions for issuing TAs. A TA is a structured administrative tool enabling PWGSC or a client to authorize work by a contractor on an "as and when requested" basis in accordance with the conditions of the contract. TAs are not individual contracts.

3.35.1.5 Application

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  1. Contracts with TAs may be used for service requirements such as:
    1. Professional Services;
    2. Informatics Professional Services;
    3. Technical Investigation and Engineering Studies;
    4. some types of Repair and Overhaul (R&O) services where work authorizations issued are considered task authorizations, i.e. Additional Work Requirements (AWR); Mobile Repair Party (MRP); Special Investigations and Technical Studies (SITS); Project Work Order (PWO).
  2. Contracts with TAs are not to be used for shipbuilding or ship refits. Nor are they to be used for those R&O work authorizations that are not considered task authorizations, i.e. Selection Notice and Priority Summary (SNAPS); Repairable Materiel Request (RMR); Quartermaster Transfer Orders (QTO); and Vehicle Movement Orders (VMO).
  3. Although TAs are used for service requirements, they may be used to purchase incidental goods that are related to a specific service requirement when these goods will later become the property of the government. When this incidental acquisition of goods will be necessary, the Contract Planning and Advance Approval (CPAA) form or procurement plan (see 3.35.1.15) and the solicitation and resulting contract must address the conditions for this incidental acquisition of goods, with appropriate limitations defined. TAs must not be used to have the contractor acquire goods on behalf of the client that are outside the scope of the work in order to circumvent the normal procurement process. For instance, a contract with TAs for engineering services cannot be used to purchase software unless this requirement was part of the original solicitation and the related payment provisions of the contract.
  4. Directors may approve or prohibit classes of procurement in which TAs may be used.

3.35.1.10 Conditions of Use

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  1. (a) Contracts with task authorizations that are improperly used can lead to major problems between the government and its suppliers, between PWGSC and its clients, and for the government in the eyes of the public. When a contract with TAs is being considered as a method of supply for a particular procurement, before seeking approval for the procurement strategy, the contracting officer must follow all the applicable procedures detailed in 3.35.1 Contracts with Task Authorizations. In instances when the TAs are issued only by PWGSC, some of these procedures may not apply (i.e. roles and responsibilities, setting client limits for issuing TAs, the guide for PWGSC's clients, the Record of Agreement, some reporting requirements).
  2. As conditions of use of contracts with TAs, the contracting officer must:
    1. ensure the contract with TAs is the appropriate method of supply for these services. (Refer to 3.35.1.5 Application and Annex 3.8: Comparaison of Different methods of Supply attached, and other sections relative to methods of supply included in the Supply Manual).
    2. decide whether to allow the client to issue TAs, and determine the financial limits for issuing TAs by clients. These decisions should be made by PWGSC in consultation with the client in accordance with 3.35.1.30 Setting financial limits on Individual Task Authorizations.
    3. provide the client the Guide for Preparing and Administering Task Authorizations – for PWGSC's Clients ( Annex 3.4.1: A Guide to Preparing and Administering Task Authorization for PWGSC Clients) with an explanation of its purpose and discuss as required.
    4. reach an agreement with the client regarding the roles and responsibilities of both organizations, including responsibilities for reporting. In this regard, the use of the Record of Agreement template pertaining to the use of Task Authorizations ( Annex 3.4.2: Record of Agreement Template – for PWGSC Clients) is strongly encouraged. The agreement must include the provision for timely receipt of documentation such as:
      1. copies of all TAs with their attachments;
      2. copies of all revisions to TAs with their attachments;
      3. copies of all claims/invoices, supported by reports.
    5. follow the procedures detailed in 3.35.1.15 Approval Documents for Contracts with Task Authorizations to 3.35.1.60 Reporting.
    6. discuss, as required, the use of contracts with TAs with the client, in particular the administrative process for authorizing and issuing TAs.

3.35.1.15 Approval Documents for Contracts with Task Authorizations

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  1. For contracts with TAs, the Contract Planning and Advance Approval (CPAA) form or procurement plan for a contract with TAs must address the following, as applicable:
    1. the reasons why the services are deemed suitable for this method of supply.
    2. the justification for the proposed financial limits for issuing TAs by clients.
    3. a statement confirming that the Guide to Preparing and Administering Task Authorization for Public Works and Government Services Canada Clients was provided, and discussed with the client, as required.
    4. a statement confirming that an agreement was reached with the client regarding roles and responsibilities of both organizations or a statement confirming the client's commitment to reaching such an agreement before issuance of the bid solicitation.
    5. a statement confirming that discussions took place with the client on the use of contracts with TAs, before the client authorizes the first task.
    6. a description of the contract monitoring process and activities to be implemented or carried out.
  2. See Chapter 6 for additional instructions on the use and preparation of the CPAA form or procurement plan.
  3. The approval authority for contracts with TAs, and for amendments which will amend the provisions of a contract with TAs, is in accordance with the approvals and authorities for contracts detailed in Chapter 6.

3.35.1.20 Bid solicitations and resulting contract documents

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  1. Contracting officers must ensure that the bid solicitation and resulting contract document(s) that they issue and use to establish the subsequent contract with task authorizations follow the standard approach for issuing solicitations (refer to Chapters 3 and 4). For any portion of work to be performed on an "as and when requested" basis, the bid solicitation and the resulting contract document must include the following:
    1. a clear Statement of Work (SOW) describing, in broad terms, the scope of work that will be performed pursuant to issued TAs.
    2. a description of the administrative process for authorizing and issuing TAs and all applicable SACC Manual clauses relative to TAs. In the case of multiple contracts with TAs, the evaluation portion of the solicitation must include the contractors' order of ranking process (generally as part of the basis of selection clause) and, the resulting contract portion must include the contractors' order of ranking and the work allocation process (to be completed at the time of contract award). The following SACC Manual clauses relative to Task Authorizations (TAs) must be used for all clients, as applicable: B9030C, B9031C, B9051C, B9053C, B9054C, B9056C, C9010C and C9011C.
    3. the task authorization limits for authorizing and issuing TAs by the client in accordance with the guidance in 3.35.1.30 Setting financial limits on Individual Task Authorizations.
    4. the applicable form for authorizing and issuing TAs. Refer to section 3.35.1.25 Forms for further guidance
    5. the payment provisions applicable to the TA such as basis or bases of payment (for example, SACC Manual clauses C0204C and C0209C) and method(s) of payment. Consult section 4.70.20 Basis of payment of the Supply Manual for more information.
    6. Canada's obligation and Canada's total liability:
      1. when all the work under a contract will be performed through TAs:
        1. the SACC Manual clause B9030C must be used to limit Canada's obligation for TAs and to provide a minimum work guarantee to the Contractor; and,
        2. the SACC Manual clause C9010C must be used when the contract with TAs is subject to a Limitation of Expenditure to limit Canada's total liability under the contract for all approved TAs. The "Total estimated cost" shown on the cover page of the contract document must equal the total of the limitation of expenditure stipulated under the clause.
      2. when only a portion of the Work will be performed through task authorizations:
        1. the SACC Manual clause B9031C must be used to limit Canada's obligation under the task authorizations; and,
        2. the SACC Manual clause C6001C must be used when the contract with TAs is subject to a Limitation of Expenditure to limit Canada's total liability under the contact. The "Total estimated cost" shown on the cover page of the contract document must equal the total of the limitation of expenditure stipulated under the clause.
  2. Contracting officers are responsible for monitoring the use of TAs, they must also consider including a provision for reporting of usage of TAs by the contractor (i.e. SACC Manual clause B9056C). Also refer to section 8.70.20(b) Administration of Contracts with Task Authorizations for details on administration of contracts with task authorizations.

3.35.1.25 Forms

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The contracting officer should use the form PWGSC- TPSGC 572The information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. Task Authorization, for the authorization of tasks by both PWGSC and clients other than the Department of National Defence (DND). This form is available through the PWGSC Forms CatalogueThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. Web site. Alternatively, any locally developed and approved task authorization forms may be used for non-DND contracts. The form DND 626 Task Authorization must be used in contracts for DND . Forms PWGSC- TPSGC 942The information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. (Call-up against a Standing Offer), PWGSC-TPSGC 1379The information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. (Work Arising or New Work), and GC 111The information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. (Purchase Order) must not be used as a task authorization form in a contract with TAs.

3.35.1.30 Setting financial limits on Individual Task Authorizations

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  1. Task authorizations may be authorized and issued by the client and/or PWGSC. PWGSC contracting officers who have been delegated services contract approval and signing authority have no maximum limit on the dollar amount for authorizing individual TAs up to the total approved contract value, unless directed otherwise by their management. The decision to allow TAs to be issued by a client is made by PWGSC in consultation with the client. When the client will be allowed to authorize TAs, the PWGSC contracting officers must establish a maximum limit on the dollar amount of a TA (including Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)) authorized by the client. In establishing such limits for individual TAs and any revisions to those TAs, contracting officers should seek to achieve a balance between operational effectiveness and contract risk management, and should consider the following when setting the client's TA limit:
    1. whether an agreement has been reached between the client and PWGSC on the conditions of use of TAs. (See 3.35.1.10 Conditions of Use).
    2. the client and the industry's past performance history relative to the effective use of contracts with TAs, as experienced by the contracting officer and PWGSC colleagues/managers.
    3. the procurement/contract management expertise that exists in the client department:
      1. Whether training is available/required.
      2. Whether the client department policies and procedures are in place and whether these are enforced. For example, the internal procedure for the administration of TAs for the Department of National Defence (DND) is contained in article 3.3.2 of DND's Procurement Administration Manual (PAM).
    4. operational requirements, e.g. time sensitivity of tasks.
    5. contract scope and risk associated with individual tasks:
      1. The clarity and level of detail in the contract statement of work.
      2. Anticipated complexity and duration of individual tasks.
      3. Whether tasks can be easily priced.
      4. The average value of TAs, the frequency of tasks and the number of tasks anticipated during the period of the contract.
    6. as applicable, the total estimated value of work that will be carried out through the portion of the work that is not performed through TAs in relation to the total estimated value of work that will be performed through TAs.
    7. the frequency of reporting on task authorizations.
  2. Furthermore, in setting the value at which PWGSC must authorize individual TAs, contracting officers must ensure that this PWGSC involvement will add value to the task authorization process while at the same time ensuring that PWGSC maintains adequate control over the TA process. Added value can be in several forms, such as financial oversight or comparisons with similar contracts for other clients to ensure value for money. Setting the client's TA limit should be subject to a department's experience in administering TAs and contracting officers may want to consider setting a limit such that PWGSC authorizes a representative amount of TAs.

3.35.1.35 Separation of Duties

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The Treasury Board Directive on Delegation of Financial Authorities for Disbursements requires that the authority to enter into contract or amendment must be separate from the certification authority required under section 34 of the Financial Administration Act. In Chapter 3 of the 2008 December Report of the Auditor General of Canada, the Office of the Auditor General raised the issue of separation of duties with respect to task authorizations and stated that combining procurement and certification functions under the responsibility of one individual was not in keeping with the Treasury Board Policy on Delegation of Authorities. As a result, although task authorizations are not individual contracts, PWGSC applies the principle of separation of duties to task authorizations issued for PWGSC's own needs; i.e. the PWGSC individual who signs the task authorization must not also certify the associated invoices. In its Guide to Preparing and Administering Task Authorization for Public Works and Government Services Canada Clients, PWGSC recommends this practice to all its clients. However, as specified in the above-mentioned TB Directive, where the client's current processes in place or other circumstances do not allow such separation of duties, alternate control measures may be implemented by the client. The client is responsible to ensure that its current processes or alternate control measures can withstand scrutiny under audit.

3.35.1.40 Authorizing and Issuing Task Authorizations

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  1. The client organization authorized to issue tasks to the contractor is responsible for authorizing and issuing TAs in accordance with the process detailed in the contract. As a minimum, the client organization is responsible for:
    1. ensuring the work requirement of the TA including the deliverables and the schedule, as applicable, is in accordance with the scope of the contract.
    2. providing the contractor with the task description, the payment provisions and obtaining the level of effort, as applicable.
      Setting dates or timeframes for completing tasks must take into consideration the expiry date of the contract. A task must be completed on or before the expiry date of the contract, however, if a task cannot be completed by such date, a contract amendment to extend the contract period to the task completion date must be issued by the contracting officer before the TA can be issued.
    3. finalizing the task authorization, including the total value of the TA (GST/HST extra), in accordance with the contract.
    4. obtaining all applicable signatures (client, or PWGSC, or both, as applicable; and contractor), and the date of these signatures on the TA.
  2. Integrity Provisions
    1. Once verification is completed as per section 5.16 Integrity Compliance, contracting officers should ensure that the integrity verification result is in the procurement file for any subsequent transaction with that supplier.
    2. During the contract period, where a supplier has been identified as not complying with the Integrity Provisions of the contract (see section 5.16), contracting officers must request direction from Acquisitions Program Integrity Secretariat (APIS), by e-mail at TPSGC.DGAIntegrite-ABIntegrity.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

3.35.1.45 Administration of the Task Authorizations by Public Works and Government Services Canada's Clients

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For details, see Annex 3.4.1 Guide to Preparing and Administering Task Authorization for Public Works and Government Services Canada Clients.

3.35.1.50 Revision of a Task Authorization by the Client

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  1. The client may revise a TA that it originally authorized subject to the work being within the scope and value of the contract as well as within the client authority limit set in the contract. Any revision to the TA is subject to concurrence by the contractor. A TA revision, which will bring the TA value above the client TA limit, must be referred to the contracting officer.
  2. An authorized TA may be revised to either reduce an activity (or activities) or to cancel the task in its entirety, however a TA cannot be revised to terminate a task. In situations when the contractor is in default or for the convenience of Canada, the termination provisions of the applicable general conditions will apply and the contract may be terminated either entirely or in part for default or for convenience. Such matters must be referred to the PWGSC contracting officer.

3.35.1.55 Monitoring and Oversight

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  1. Contracting officers must monitor issued TAs to ensure they comply with the contract conditions. They must also review progress reports to ensure the work is being performed in accordance with the contract and the issued TAs and to monitor the amount expended against the contract value.
  2. If the monitoring of the authorized and issued TAs demonstrates that the TA process is not in accordance with the contract or the agreement with the client, the specific corrective measures must be implemented. This is addressed in the Record of Agreement template in Annex 3.4.2, paragraph 5. The contracting officer must notify the contractor when the limit of the client's authority specified in the contract is reduced or revoked. Furthermore, invoking penalty or termination provisions should not be undertaken without consultation with Legal services.

3.35.1.60 Reporting of Contracts with Task Authorizations

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Contracting officers must report on contracts with Task Authorizations (TAs), or amendments thereto. See 7.70.35 Contracts with Task Authorizations - Coding for details.