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Designated Agency Representative Policy

U.S. Department of Commerce
Office of the Chief Information Officer

Telecommunications
Designated Agency Representative (DAR) Policy

What is a DAR and what are a DAR’s responsibilities?
What is a DAR Administrator and what are a DAR Administrator’s responsibilities?

What are hierarchy codes?

What is the relationship of the DAR to other officials?

What general requirements must be met to be a DAR?

What are the three levels of DAR authority?

What specific training requirements must be met to receive DAR authorization?

To whom does this policy apply?

Who else can perform these duties?

Where can I get additional information?

What is a DAR and what are a DAR’s responsibilities?

A Designated Agency Representative (DAR) is a federal employee (not a contractor) authorized to order telecommunications services and equipment under the network services contracts managed by the General Services Administration (GSA). At the present time, the GSA network services contracts include the FTS2001 and FTS2001 Crossover, Networx, WITS2001, WITS3, and Federal Relay contracts. A DAR must be appointed in writing by the Commerce Chief Information Officer (CIO) or operating unit CIO. The CIO’s appointment letter will specify the DAR’s responsibilities and any authorities or limitations.

A DAR is responsible for:

    • Reviewing and approving requests for telecommunications services and equipment.

    • Serving as the liaison between the DAR Administrator and the operating unit.

    • Placing logical follow-on orders under the network services contracts.

    • Ordering, inspecting, and accepting or rejecting these services and equipment.

    • Validating and maintaining an inventory of services that are ordered, connected, maintained, and disconnected.

    • Maintaining a documented inventory validation process.

    • Ensuring that contract performance conforms to Commerce’s Fair Opportunity Decision. The Fair Opportunity Process requires that the Contracting Officer ensure that all vendors within a specific acquisition have a fair opportunity to be considered for each order. A Fair Opportunity Decision will be made to determine which vendor(s) can provide services to the Commerce Department based on the terms and conditions of the contract. A DAR is not authorized to perform Fair Opportunity Processes independently, but can perform these processes under the authority of a warranted Contracting Officer.

The DAR operates within the rules, regulations, and conditions promulgated by the Commerce Office of Acquisition Management and any limitations or authorities specified in the DAR appointment document.

What is a DAR Administrator and what are a DAR Administrator’s responsibilities?

A DAR Administrator is a federal government employee (not a contractor) appointed by Commerce’s CIO in writing, who manages the work of the DARs and subordinate DAR Administrators. There is one DAR Administrator for Commerce, but individual operating unit CIOs may also appoint their own DAR Administrators. A DAR Administrator may also be appointed to function as a DAR. The CIO’s appointment letter will specify the DAR Administrator’s responsibilities and any authorities or limitations.

The Commerce DAR Administrator’s responsibilities are to:

    • Compile, track, disseminate, and maintain an up-to-date list of DARs within the DAR Administrator’s area of responsibility, and the hierarchy codes for which the DARs have authority to place orders.

    • Maintain an up-to-date list of hierarchy codes for the DAR Administrator’s area of responsibility.

    • Provide these lists and any updates to GSA and the network services contractor.

    • Provide instructions to DARs on the ordering procedures and their authorities and limitations.

What are hierarchy codes?

Hierarchy codes are 28-character billing account codes that are used by GSA for billing services to the correct agency. The first four digits of the code are assigned by GSA and the remaining codes may be assigned by the individual operating units to suit their own administrative purposes or left all zeroes. All orders placed for telecommunications services must contain a hierarchy code.

What is the relationship of the DAR to other officials?

The DAR is subject to guidance and oversight from the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), the Assistant COR, and the Contracting Officer (CO) for purposes of acquisition of telecommunications services and equipment. The DAR coordinates with these officials and the GSA CO regarding vendor performance issues.

Although the DAR coordinates with these officials and adheres to their guidance on acquisition management, the DAR is responsible and reports to the operating unit supervisory chain. Depending on the level of responsibility and workload of an individual DAR or DAR Administrator, the operating unit may determine that the DAR-related activities should be identified in the employee’s performance plan as a separately weighted performance element.

What general requirements must be met to be a DAR?

Each operating unit CIO is authorized to designate as a DAR or DAR Administrator an employee the CIO determines is best suited to carry out the DAR responsibilities. There are no specific classification series, grade, or technical expertise requirements. However, the DAR or DAR Administrator will be required to complete successfully the training specified below in order to process telecommunications contract orders. The operating unit CIO signs a DAR form to nominate a DAR or DAR Administrator and submits it to the Director, Office of Network and Telecommunications Operations for authorization.

What are the three levels of DAR authority?

The level 1 DAR designation allows a DAR to acquire up to $25,000 of telecommunications services and equipment per order.

The level 2 DAR designation allows up to $100,000 per order.

The level 3 DAR designation allows up to $1,000,000 per order.

What specific training requirements must be met to receive DAR authorization?

As a procurement official, a DAR or DAR Administrator must successfully complete the following courses before receiving authorization to order services or commit Government funds. The training should be accomplished prior to appointment as a DAR or DAR Administrator and within 6 months for those currently under appointment.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

DAR training provided by Networx, WITS2001, WITS3, and Federal Relay vendors

DAR training provided by Networx, WITS2001, WITS3, and Federal Relay vendors

DAR training provided by Networx, WITS2001, WITS3, and Federal Relay vendors

Basic COR training (40 hours)

Basic COR training (40 hours)

Basic COR training (40 hours)

 

Simplified Acquisition Procedures (40 hours)

Basic Contracting (40 hours)

Procurement Ethics (1 hour; Office of General Counsel)

Procurement Ethics (1 hour; Office of General Counsel)

Procurement Ethics (1 hour; Office of General Counsel)

Effectively Integrating IT Security into the Acquisition Process (1 hour; Web course)

Effectively Integrating IT Security into the Acquisition Process (1 hour; Web course)

Effectively Integrating IT Security into the Acquisition Process (1 hour; Web source)

A COR course, Simplified Acquisitions course, or Basic Contracting course completed within the two years prior to designation may be accepted along with a copy of the training certificate. DARs and DAR Administrators must maintain this level of training by taking refresher courses every three years.

To whom does this policy apply?

This policy applies to all Department of Commerce operating units and all offices within the Office of the Secretary.

Who else can perform these duties?

DARs in the Commerce Office of the CIO, Office of Network and Telecommunications Operations may order telecommunications services and equipment for an operating unit in the absence of the operating unit DAR and with the approval of the operating unit's CIO.

Where can I get additional information?

See the Designated Agency Representative (DAR) Guidelines for Network Services Contracts of the Office of Integrated Technology Services, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration, Version 6.0, August 28, 2007.

General References:

Commerce Acquisition Manual (CAM)

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

If you have general questions about this policy, contact Ricardo Farraj-Feijoo, 202-482-0941, RFarrajFeijoo@doc.gov .

For acquisition issues, including acquisition training sources, contact Lori Donovan, 202-482-1716, ldonovan@doc.gov.

Supersedes policy dated: March 11, 2004
Origination date: June 17, 2008
Approved by: Suzanne Hilding, Chief Information Officer, June 25, 2008
Revision status: None