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Contract Closeout SOP

This SOP has internal roles only.

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To administratively close a contract after it is completed, including certifying that all services and deliverables are satisfactory and all costs have been settled.


Contracts are physically complete when contractors have rendered all services and the government has accepted all documents, materials, data, and other deliverables. Contracts are administratively closed when all administrative activities have been accomplished, releases executed, and final payment made.

Contract specialists close files according to the following schedule:

  • For firm-fixed-price contracts, other than those using simplified acquisition procedures: within six months after the date on which the contracting officer receives evidence of physical completion.
  • For contracts requiring settlement of indirect cost rates: within 36 months of the month in which the contracting officer receives evidence of physical completion.
  • For all other contracts: within 20 months of the month in which the contracting officer receives evidence of physical completion.

A contract file shall not be closed if the contract is in litigation or under appeal or if all termination actions have not been completed.

For hard copy files, NIAID retains completed contract files in the main contract and grant contract file room of the Division of Extramural Activities for two years after a final voucher is received.

Then, the contract files are moved to the Washington National Records Center where they are retained for four years and three months. They may be destroyed six years and three months after the final voucher has been received and paid.

Contract Specialists

  • At least three months before contract completion, begin preparing for closeout.
    • Discuss property and data disposition with contracting officer's representative (COR).
    • Inform the closeout administrator if contract will be extended.
    • Evaluate contract performance.
  • Within five days of contract completion, update “Contract Status Code” (Item 27) in the Departmental Contracts Information System (DCIS) by selecting the “Physically Closed” option. Follow these steps:
    • Log in to PRISM.
    • Go to the most recent modification in Release status.
    • Launch FPDS.
  • Within 90 days after contract completion:

Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)

Closeout Administrators

  • Send an expiration letter to the contractor (Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Expiration Letter Template).
  • Receive access to the contract file in the contract file repository from the contract specialist. (This will change now that the contracts are electronic. The protocol as of now is once the contract expires, the specialist will select a button in the repository titled “Send to Closeout”. At that time, the closeout team will be alerted via email that the contract is ready for closeout and will have access to the contract in the repository.)
  • Maintain completed contracts, assuring all forms listed in the Contract Closeout Checklist are complete and included in the contract file.
  • Obtain statements from contractors indicating that each subcontract has been settled.
  • Obtain statement for animal disposition.
  • Obtain eSRS report (Form 294)
  • Obtain final property inventories from contractors and property disposition memo from the contract specialist.
  • Obtain a contract property administration completion report (NIH 488) from the property administrator.
  • Receive final negotiated indirect cost agreements for the contract period of performance from the contract specialist.
  • Perform a desk audit.
  • Process all vouchers using predetermined or final indirect cost rates and cross-check all vouchers against the Data Warehouse spreadsheet.
  • Settle interim and disallowed costs with the contractor.
  • Obtain a Contractor's Certification—General Provisions.
    • Contracting officers will include this certification in the Contracting Officer’s Completion/Expiration Letter.
  • Obtain a Contractor’s Release of Claims and/or Assignment of Refunds, Rebates, Credits, and Other Amounts.
  • If funds are deobligated, complete a contract modification.
  • Complete the Contracting Officer’s Contract Completion Statement and Certification.
  • Change contract status to Administratively Closed in Merlin, NBS, and DCIS.

Office of Acquisitions Branch Chiefs and Contracting Officers

  • Receive completed contract file from closeout administrators.
  • Assign the contract file to a contract specialist to process an in-house modification, if funds are to be deobligated or refunds are to be returned to OA.
  • Upon receipt of the closeout modification from the contract specialist, review the contract file, execute the in-house modification, and sign the required closeout forms.
  • Within 30 calendar days of initial receipt of the contract file, do the following:
    • Sign and file the closeout forms.
    • Tell the closeout administrator to pick up the contract file.

Note the difference between a completion voucher and a final voucher. A completion voucher is received shortly after a contract is completed; a final voucher is due within one year after contract completion and is for a final payment.


Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Staff Only Contact

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Staff Only Contact

Closeout Team Contacts: Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Staff Only Contact and Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Staff Only Contact

See the public Office of Acquisitions staff listing for list of contract specialists and branch chiefs.

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


Contract Deliverables and Reporting Requirements SOP

Contracting Officer SOP

Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) SOP

FAR Subpart 4-804 Closeout of Contract Files

FAR Subpart 35.014, Government Property and Title

FAR 42.708, Quick-Closeout Procedure

FAR Part 45, Government Property

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. HHS Contract Closeout Guide

HHSAR 304.804-70 Contract closeout audits

NIH Manual 1742, Transfer, Withdrawal and Destruction of Records at the Washington National Records Center

NIH Manual 1743, Keeping and Destroying Records

NIH Manual 6342-2, Funding of Cost Overruns

NIH Manual 6342-70, Contract Financial Reporting and Review

Last Updated March 02, 2016

Last Reviewed June 22, 2015