FAR Subpart 46.1 General
- Means the act of an authorized representative of the Government by which the Government, for itself or as agent
of another, assumes ownership of existing identified supplies tendered or
approves specific services rendered as partial or complete performance of the
- Conditional Acceptance:
- Means acceptance of supplies or services that do not conform to contract quality requirements, or are otherwise incomplete, that the
contractor is required to correct or otherwise complete by a specified date.
- Contract Quality Requirements:
- Means the technical requirements in the contract relating to
the quality of the product or service and those contract clauses
prescribing inspection, and other quality controls incumbent on the
contractor, to assure that the product or service conforms to the
- Critical Nonconformance:
- Means a nonconformance that is likely to result in hazardous or
unsafe conditions for individuals using, maintaining, or depending
upon the supplies or services; or is likely to prevent performance
of a vital agency mission.
- Government contract quality assurance:
- Means the various functions, including inspection, performed by
the Government to determine whether a contractor has fulfilled the
contract obligations pertaining to quality and quantity.
- Major nonconformance:
- Means a nonconformance, other than critical, that is likely to
result in failure of the supplies or services, or to materially
reduce the usability of the supplies or services for their intended
- Minor Nonconformance:
- Means a nonconformance that is not likely to materially reduce
the usability of the supplies or services for their intended
purpose, or is a departure from established standards having little
bearing on the effective use or operation of the supplies or
- Off-The-Shelf item:
- Means an item produced and placed in stock by a contractor, or
stocked by a distributor, before receiving orders or contracts for
its sale. The item may be commercial or produced to military or
Federal specifications or description.
- Patent defect:
- Means any defect which exists at the time of acceptance and is
not a latent defect.
- Subcontractor (see 44.101).
- Means that element of inspection that determines the properties
or elements, including functional operation of supplies or their
components, by the application of established scientific principles
- (a) Contracts include inspection and other quality
requirements, including warranty clauses when appropriate, that are
determined necessary to protect the Government’s interest.
- (b) Supplies or services tendered by
contractors meet contract requirements.
(c) Government contract quality assurance is
conducted before acceptance (except as otherwise provided in this part), by
or under the direction of Government personnel.
(d) No contract precludes the Government from
(e) Nonconforming supplies or services are
rejected, except as otherwise provided in 46.407.
- (f) Contracts for commercial items shall rely on a contractor’s existing quality assurance system as a substitute for
compliance with Government inspection and testing before tender for acceptance unless customary market practices for the commercial item being
acquired permit in-process inspection (41 U.S.C. 3307). Any in-process inspection by the Government shall be conducted in a manner consistent with
commercial practice; and
(g) The quality assurance and acceptance services of other agencies are used when this will be effective, economical,
or otherwise in the Government’s interest (see Subpart
- (a) Receiving from the activity responsible for technical requirements any specifications for inspection, testing, and other
contract quality requirements essential to ensure the integrity of the supplies or services (the activity responsible for technical requirements is
responsible for prescribing contract quality requirements, such as inspection and testing requirements or, for service contracts, a quality
assurance surveillance plan)
- (b)Including in solicitations and contracts the appropriate requirements for the contractor’s control of quality for the
supplies or services to be acquired
- (c) Issuing any necessary instructions to the
cognizant contract administration office and acting on recommendations submitted by that office
(see 42.301 and 46.104(f)
- (d) When contract administration is retained
verifying that the contractor fulfills the contract quality requirements;
- (e) Ensuring that nonconformance's are identified, and establishing the significance of a nonconformance when
considering the acceptability of supplies or services which do not meet contract requirements.
46.104 -- Contract Administration Office Responsibilities.
When a contract is assigned for administration to the contract
administration office cognizant of the contractor’s plant, that office, unless
specified otherwise, shall:
- (a) Develop and apply efficient procedures for performing Government contract quality assurance actions under the contract
in accordance with the written direction of the contracting office
- (b) Perform all actions necessary to verify whether the supplies or services conform to contract quality requirements
- (c) Maintain, as part of the performance records of the contract, suitable records reflecting:
- (1) The nature of Government contract quality assurance actions, including, when appropriate, the number
of observations made and the number and type of defects; and
- (2) Decisions regarding the acceptability of the products, the processes, and the requirements, as well as action to
(d) Implement any specific written instructions from the contracting office; (e) Report to the contracting office any
defects observed in design or technical requirements, including contract quality requirements; and (f) Recommend any changes necessary to the
contract, specifications, instructions, or other requirements that will provide more effective operations or eliminate unnecessary costs (see 46.103(c)).
- (a) The contractor is responsible for carrying out its
obligations under the contract by
- (1) Controlling the quality of supplies or services
- (2) Tendering to the Government for acceptance only those
supplies or services that conform to contract requirements
- (3) Ensuring that vendors or suppliers of raw materials,
parts, components, subassemblies, etc., have an acceptable quality
control system; and
- (4) Maintaining substantiating evidence, when required by
the contract, that the supplies or services conform to contract
quality requirements, and furnishing such information to the
Government as required.
- (b) The contractor may be required to provide and maintain an
inspection system or program for the control of quality that is
acceptable to the Government (see 46.202).
- (c) The control of quality by the contractor may relate to,
but is not limited to:
- (1) Manufacturing processes, to ensure that the product is
produced to, and meets, the contract’s technical requirements
- (2) Drawings, specifications, and engineering changes, to ensure
that manufacturing methods and operations meet the contract’s
- (3) Testing and examination, to ensure that practices and
equipment provide the means for optimum evaluation of the
characteristics subject to inspection
- (4) Reliability and maintainability assessment (life, endurance,
and continued readiness)
- (5) Fabrication and delivery of products, to ensure that
only conforming products are tendered to the Government
- (6) Technical documentation, including drawings,
specifications, handbooks, manuals, and other technical publications
- (7) Preservation, packaging, packing, and marking; and
- (8) Procedures and processes for services to ensure that
services meet contract performance requirements.
- (d) The contractor is responsible for performing all inspections
and test required by the contract except those specifically reserved
for performance by the Government (see 46.201(c) ).