Aneta Janiak-Olejnik

What Is a Change Order in Government Contracting

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When it comes to government contracting, change orders are a common occurrence. But what exactly is a change order, and why is it important to know about it? In this article, we`ll explore the basics of change orders in government contracting and help you understand their role in the process.

What is a change order?

A change order is a written order issued by the government contracting officer that directs changes in the scope of work, price, or delivery schedule of a contract. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as changes in project requirements, unforeseen circumstances, or errors in the original contract. Essentially, a change order modifies the original contract to reflect the new agreement between the government and the contractor.

Why are change orders important?

Change orders are important because they help ensure that the government gets what it paid for, and that the contractor is compensated fairly for any additional work required. Without change orders, the project might not be completed as planned, or the contractor might not be paid for work that was not originally included in the contract.

Additionally, change orders are a way to manage risk and avoid disputes between the government and the contractor. By documenting changes in writing, both parties can refer to the change order as evidence in case of any disagreements or legal disputes that may arise.

How are change orders processed?

Change orders are typically initiated by the government contracting officer, who will send a written request to the contractor outlining the proposed changes. The contractor will then submit a proposal outlining the estimated cost and schedule impact of the proposed changes. Once the proposal is approved, the change order will be issued, and the contract will be modified accordingly.

It is important to note that change orders can have a significant impact on the overall cost and schedule of a project. Therefore, it is important for contractors to carefully review any proposed changes and provide accurate estimates of the cost and schedule impact.

In conclusion, change orders are an important part of government contracting that help ensure that both parties get what they paid for, and that the project is completed as planned. By understanding the basics of change orders, contractors can avoid disputes and manage risk effectively, while the government ensures that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.