Skip to main content


Part Number: 3401

Department of Education Acquisition Regulation

Subpart 3401.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities

Subpart 3401.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities

3401.601 General.

(a) Contracting authority is vested in the Secretary. The Secretary has delegated this authority to the CAO. The Secretary has also delegated contracting authority to the SPE, giving the SPE broad authority to perform functions dealing with the management direction of the entire Department's procurement system, including implementation of its unique procurement policies, regulations, and standards. Limitations to the extent of this authority and successive delegations are set forth in the respective memorandums of delegations.

3401.602-3 Ratification of unauthorized commitments.

(a) Definitions. As used in this subpart, commitment includes issuance of letters of intent and arrangements for free vendor services or use of equipment with the promise or the appearance of commitment that a contract, modification, or order will, or may, be awarded.

(b) Policy.

(1) The Government is not bound by agreements with, or contractual commitments made to, prospective contractors by individuals who do not have delegated contracting authority or by contracting officers acting in excess of the limits of their delegated authority. Unauthorized commitments do not follow the appropriate process for the expenditure of Government funds. Consequently, the Government may not be able to ratify certain actions, putting a contractor at risk for taking direction from a Federal official other than the contracting officer. See FAR 1.602–1. Government employees responsible for unauthorized commitments are subject to disciplinary action.

(2) The HCA must review and sign or reject all ratification requests, with the exception that the Chief of the Contracting Office is authorized to review and sign or reject ratification requests for unauthorized commitments up to $25,000.

3401.604-70 Contract clause.

Contracting officers must insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 3452.201–70 (Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)), in all solicitations and contracts for which a COR will be (or is) appointed.