What is a Contracting Officer (CO)?

Contracting Officers (CO’s) negotiate the price and terms of government contracts on behalf of the United States Government – they work in every federal agency.


What are the responsibilities of the Contracting Officer?

  • They have the power to solicit proposals, execute, modify, and terminate government contracts, and make related determinations and findings. CO's bind the government to contracts, to the extent of the power given to them. 
  • It is the CO's responsibility to make sure that both parties meet contract terms, and to ensure that there are funds available to make payments on the contract.
  • COs are responsible for protecting the interests of the US government, as well as taxpayer money in the way that contracts are prudently awarded.
  • COs hold the responsibility of ensuring that the government (and taxpayers) gain value from any contracts, and that contracts meet all laws and regulations prior to execution. 
  • COs must treat contractors in an impartial, fair, and equitable manner.  Their decisions are documented to show they were fair and reasonable, based on specific facts and evidence as of a certain date.


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