Skip to main content


Part Number: 701

USAID Acquisition Regulation

Subpart 701.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities

Subpart 701.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities

701.601 General.

Link to an amendment published at 89 FR 4203, Jan. 23, 2024.


(1) Pursuant to the delegations in USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 103, the M/OAA Director is authorized to act as the head of the agency for all purposes described in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR, 48 CFR chapter 1), except for the authority in (48 CFR) FAR 6.302-7(a)(2), 6.302-7(c)(1), 17.602(a), 19.201(c), 27.306(a), 27.306(b), and 30.201-5, or where the “head of the agency” authority is expressly not delegable under the FAR or AIDAR. Further, the M/OAA Director is responsible for implementing the procurement related aspects of the Foreign Assistance Act, Executive Order 11223, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, and other statutory and Executive Branch procurement policies and requirements applicable to USAID operations, including those authorities and responsibilities delegated to the Senior Procurement Executive as specified in USAID's internal delegations found in the ADS.

(2) The M/OAA Director has specific authority to:

(i) Select and appoint contracting officers and terminate their appointments in accordance with section 1.603 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and

(ii) Exercise in person or by delegation the authorities stated in subpart 1.4 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation with regard to deviations from that regulation.

(b) Except as otherwise prescribed, the head of each contracting activity (as defined in 702.170) is responsible for the procurement of supplies and services under or assigned to the procurement cognizance of his or her activity. The heads of USAID contracting activities are vested with broad authority to carry out the programs and activities for which they are responsible. This authority includes authority to execute contracts and the establishment of procurement policies, procedures, and standards appropriate for their programs and activities, subject to Government-wide and USAID requirements and restrictions, such as those found at (48 CFR) AIDAR 701.601 and particularly 701.603-70, the USAID policy regarding the direct-hire status of contracting officers.

(c) The authority of heads of contracting activities to execute contracts is limited as follows:

(1) Director, the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (DCHA/OFDA). Authority to execute contracts for disaster relief purposes during the first 72 hours of a disaster in a cumulative total amount not to exceed $500,000. Authority to execute simplified acquisitions up to $50,000 at any time. May issue warrants for simplified acquisitions up to $50,000 to qualified individuals on his or her staff.

(2) Director, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, Office of Education (E3/ED). Authority to execute simplified acquisitions up to $10,000. Unlimited authority for procuring participant training based on published catalog prices. May issue warrants for simplified acquisitions up to $10,000 to qualified individuals on his or her staff.

(3) Overseas heads of contracting activities. Authority to sign contracts where the cumulative amount of the contract, as amended, does not exceed $1,000,000 (or local currency equivalent) for personal services contracts; or the simplified acquisition threshold as defined in (48 CFR) FAR 2.101 (or local currency equivalent) for all other contracts. May issue warrants for simplified acquisitions up to $50,000 to qualified individuals on his or her staff.

701.602-1 Authority of contracting officers in resolving audit recommendations.

Link to an amendment published at 89 FR 4204, Jan. 23, 2024.

With the exception of termination settlements subject to part 749 of this chapter, Termination of Contracts, contracting officers have the authority to negotiate and enter into settlements with contractors for costs questioned under audit reports, or to issue a contracting officer's final decision pursuant to applicable dispute resolution procedures (in the event that questioned costs are not settled by negotiated agreement) in accordance with USAID's internal policy found in ADS Chapter 591. The negotiated settlement or final decision will be final, subject only to a contractor's appeal under the provisions of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, as amended (41 U.S.C. 601-613), or other procedures as applicable. Policies and procedures for resolving audit recommendations are in accordance with USAID's internal policies found in ADS Chapters 591 and 592.

701.602-3 Ratification of unauthorized commitments.

(a) [Reserved]

(b) Policy.

(1) [Reserved]

(2) In order to maintain management oversight and controls on unauthorized commitments, authority to ratify unauthorized commitments within USAID is reserved to the M/OAA Director.

701.603 Selection, appointment, and termination of appointment of contracting officers.

701.603-70 Designation of contracting officers.

A contracting officer represents the U.S. Government through the exercise of his/her delegated authority to negotiate, sign, and administer contracts on behalf of the U.S. Government. The contracting officer's duties are sensitive, specialized, and responsible. To ensure proper accountability, and to preclude possible security, conflict of interest, or jurisdiction problems, USAID contracting officers must be U.S. citizen direct-hire employees of the U.S. Government. However, Director, Bureau for Management, Office of Acquisition and Assistance (M/OAA Director) may also designate a U.S. Personal Services Contractor (USPSC) or a Cooperating Country National Personal Services Contractor (CCNPSC) as a contracting officer with a specific level of warrant authority. To qualify for a designation as a contracting officer, an individual must meet the requirements in FAR subpart 1.6 and the Agency's applicable warrant program.


AIDAR Appendix