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Attachment 18

Task Manager Appointment Memorandum

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MEMORANDUM FOR   Task Manager – Purchase Order


  Contacting Officer
  Acquisition Division
  U.S. Census Bureau


  Appointment of and Instructions to the Task Manager – Purchase Order (INSERT NUMBER)

You are hereby appointed the Task Manager for the purchase order described in the cover email. After you have fully read the memorandum, you are requested to email a response to the sender within 7 calendar days to acknowledge your appointment as the Task Manager and your receipt and understanding of its contents.

The Contracting Officer (CO) is the exclusive agent of the Government with authority to enter into and administer contracts. Thus, the CO has the responsibility to see that all requirements of law and regulation are followed. As this contract contains provisions for purchase orders, each purchase order has its own Task Manager. As Manager for the Purchase Order, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of the purchase order, and communicate with the Contractor as necessary to ensure the Contractor is making satisfactory progress in performance of the purchase order. Other than the CO, you are the only Government employee who may direct the flow of technical matters between the Government and the Contractor.

Technical Direction

You are responsible for the overall technical direction of the purchase order, communicating regularly with the Contractor's task manager and staff on technical issues. You must ensure that the work is proceeding according to the schedule and technical requirements, as outlined in the SOW and proposal. You should pay particular attention to the progress of the work in relation to the money spent to date and the remaining work and funds. You will have to manage the purchase order carefully to ensure a satisfactory product is on schedule and within budget.

This purchase order is a legally enforceable agreement that is tied to a contract that contains the rights and remedies of the parties. If the Contractor deviates from the terms of the purchase order, it is a matter between the Government (represented by the CO) and the Contractor. You must keep the CO fully informed so that legally effective solutions can be applied to problems as they develop. Your suggestions to the Contractor may be construed as instructions and lead to claims for additional compensation or to a release of the Contractor from its obligations under the purchase order. Suggestions sometimes work out, but often lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, while you can and must make technical decisions, do not take any contract administration actions unless they are clearly authorized by this appointment.

Your responsibilities as the Task Manager are:


  • Plan, organize, direct, and control assigned resources to support the goals and objectives of the purchase order.
  • Direct, evaluate, and control the Contractor (within contract specifications and processes) to meet schedule and performance specifications.
  • Establish budgetary controls.
  • Provide technical guidance to all Government personnel and be accountable for all actions they take as they relate to this contract.
  • Maintain an arms-length relationship with the Contractor in the interest of procurement integrity as well as sound contract management.
  • Keep the CO fully informed of any technical or contractual difficulties encountered during performance.
  • Inform the Contractor of failures to comply with the technical requirements of this purchase order, and inform the CO of any failures to do so, particularly if the Contractor does not make corrections.
  • Monitor Contractor costs and performance to ensure compliance with project budget.
  • Analyze Contractor deliverables and work progress measured against purchase order costs.
  • Ensure implementation of Contractor management plans and procedures in compliance with the purchase order.
  • Develop plans and implement procedures for evaluating Contractor management practices and deliverables.
  • Document lessons learned and ensure that they are considered in all future actions by the Government and the Contractor.
  • Control and coordinate the project schedule. Alert managers of schedule delays, conflicts, and resource issues.


  • Ensure that Government furnished property, if any, is available when required, and report any accountable property to the appropriate property personnel.
  • Ensure that all required items, documentation, data, and/or reports are submitted to you as required by the purchase order. If additional time is required by the Contractor, the Contractor should submit a formal request for a time extension to the CO through you. You should indicate your concurrence or state the reasons why you do not concur, and forward the request to the CO for review.
  • Evaluate proposals for and participate in negotiation of changes, modifications and claims at the request of the CO.
  • Approve vouchers or invoices for cost-reimbursement if the Contractor's costs are consistent with the negotiated amounts for the contracted efforts and progress is satisfactory and commensurate with the rate of expenditure.
  • Process all invoices and vouchers in a timely manner in accordance with the Prompt Payment Act.
  • Document actions taken and decisions that you have made as the Task Manager, and maintain adequate records to sufficiently describe the performance of your duties as Task Manager during the life of this purchase order. As a minimum, the Task Manager file should contain copies of the following:
    1. Task Manager appointment memorandum and acknowledgment.
    2. Purchase Order and any modifications.
    3. All contractual correspondence.
    4. Records of Task Manager inspections.
    5. Records of conversations with the Contractor.
    6. Invoices/vouchers.
  • Provide the CO with a copy of any correspondence you send to the Contractor.
  • If you visit the site where work is being performed, check to see that the Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity posters and applicable wage determination rates are posted in full view of employees.
  • Perform final inspection and acceptance of all work required under the contract, including the review and approval of reports and assist the CO with contract closeout activities as requested. See Commerce Acquisition Manual Part 4, Chapter 3, on contract Closeout for specific procedures.
  • Prepare any required reports on Contractor performance.
  • Technical Analysis

    • Review proposed technical solution, determine appropriateness to meet requirements and functionality, and monitor any necessary incorporation/integration.
    • Monitor and assess proposed technology insertion or product improvement aspects.
    • Coordinate, review, and assess technical aspects of formal development reviews.
    • Track/manage closure.
    • Identify, track, and analyze project technical risks.
    • Control the development and maintenance of analytical tools required to support Technical Team analyses.

    Communication with Contractors

    • Telephone - All telephone conversations with the Contractor should be noted in a purchase order telephone log including: time, individuals involved, purpose of the call, results, and action items, if any. This log becomes a part of the official file and could prove invaluable should questions arise at a later time.
    • Meetings - Minutes of all meetings should be prepared documenting date, participants, purpose/agenda, highlights of the discussion, results, and action items. These also become part of the record.

    Reporting Requirements

    The contract may require monthly cost and progress reports from the Contractor to be submitted to the government. If the reports are required, you are responsible for reviewing the report, and informing the CO within 3 working days of any disagreements with the progress, costs, and schedule as reported.

    Upon receipt of the Contractor’s invoices, you should indicate that the charges are appropriate for the work performed during the reporting period by signing and dating the invoice and returning it to Finance. Do not sign the invoice if there are any issues with the invoice until they are resolved with the Contractor. The government has 30 days to review, approve, and pay an invoice without incurring interest charges, so the invoice needs to be approved promptly if it is submitted for the negotiated work and rates/price.

    Acceptance of Work

    For each deliverable or product listed on the Purchase Order Schedule of Deliverables, you should determine your acceptance/non-acceptance of the deliverable or product according to the specifications in the Purchase Order. This determination will become a part of the official record as proof of delivery. Note that a copy of all deliverables requested through the purchase order become a part of the official file as well.

    Once the purchase order has been completed, you should submit a final acceptance memo stating that the purchase order has been satisfactorily completed and complete a brief questionnaire about the Contractor and the performance. This questionnaire will provide valuable past-performance data on the contract, which is mandated by regulation.

    In your capacity as Task Manager you DO NOT have the authority to:

    • Award, agree to, or sign any contract, delivery order or task order. All contractual agreements, commitments, or modifications shall be made only by the CO.
    • Make any commitments or otherwise obligate the Government, or to make any changes to the contract.
    • Grant deviations from or waive any of the terms and conditions of the purchase order.
    • Impose or place a demand upon the Contractor to perform any task or permit any substitution not specifically provided for in the purchase order.
    • Increase the dollar limit of the purchase order, or authorize work beyond the dollar limit of the purchase order, or authorize the expenditure of funds.
    • Give direction to the Contractor or to the employees of the Contractor except as provided for in the purchase order.
    • Change the period of performance.
    • Authorize the purchase of equipment, except as required under the purchase order.
    • Authorize the furnishing of Government property, except as required under the purchase order.
    • Authorize subcontracting or the use of consultants.
    • Approve shifts of funding between line items of the budget.
    • Approve travel and relocation expense over and above that provided for in the purchase order.
    • Authorize the use of overtime.

    Security Requirements

    If the contract includes personnel who will be on site, the Office of Security must have information on the contractors prior to their reporting to work at the U. S. Census Bureau.

    • Obtain security forms from Personnel Security Office (1620-3) and provide contract company with proper paperwork for individual contractor employees to complete. Submit these forms to the Personnel Security office at least 14 working days prior to the time the contractor is to start work on the contract. Proper paperwork consists of a resume, an SF-86C (Special Agreement Check) or an SF-85 (NACI - for contracts of one year or more); an OF-306 (Declaration for Federal Employment); and FD-258 (OPM Fingerprint Card).
    • If appropriate, provide the Personnel Security Office with any previous investigations from the contractor’s former employer. This information should be in memorandum form on company (or government) letterhead and include a point of contact and a current telephone number.
    • Once the pre-employment check has been completed and adjudicated favorably, fill out and sign Part D of the BC-1759 (Special Sworn Status) form, including start and end date of the contract. Please put the name and number of the contract on the bottom of the form . Include a letter for after hours (24 x 7) building access, if appropriate. Direct contractor to Personnel Security Office (Rm 1620-3) to be administered the Oath of Non-Disclosure (Title 13).
    • Explain building and security regulations governing the compound (See attached).
    • Explain and enforce foreign national policy. Foreign nationals must bring current INS documentation with them in order to get a badge. Without two consecutive, current years of continuous residence in the U.S., non-citizens must be escorted by a Census employee at all times during non-business hours after submitting Form BC-120 to the Security Office.
    • If a contractor does not need 24 x 7 access but requires occasional access during secure hours, complete BC-120 (Request for Visitors Admittance to Census) form for the contractor and forward it to the Physical Security Office, Room 1631-3, in the requested time frame.
    • Work with the Personnel Security Office to resolve any suitability issues which surface.
    • Notify the Personnel Security Office when a contract ends or an individual contractor leaves the agency or transfers to another office (to be completed on-line when CAMS COTR Security Module is operational). Return contractor badge and keys to the Badge and Key Room (1051-3).

    Term of Appointment

    Your designation as Task Manager shall remain in effect through the life of the purchase order unless sooner revoked by the CO, and any such revocation of the designation shall be in writing. If your designation is revoked for any reason before completion of this purchase order, turn your records over to the successor Task Manager or obtain disposition instructions from the CO. If you are reassigned or separated from service, request termination and relief from you duties from the CO sufficiently in advance of your reassignment or separation to permit timely selection and designation of a successor Task Manager.

    If you have or may have direct or indirect financial interests that would place you in a position where there is a conflict between your private interests and the public interests of the United States, you shall immediately advise CO of the conflict so that appropriate action may be taken. You shall avoid the appearance of such conflict to maintain public confidence in the Government’s conduct of business with the private sector. Note Department Administrative Orders 202-735 and 202-735A, which cover employee responsibilities and conduct for U.S. Department of Commerce personnel.


    Source: U.S. Census Bureau
    Acquisition Division

    Last Revised: October 15, 2012