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Providing Consent to Subcontract SOP

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


To authorize subcontractors to furnish supplies or services to prime contractors or other subcontractors.


Under FAR Part 44—Subcontracting Policies & Procedures the contracting officer may provide a prime contractor with consent to perform some requirements of the contract through the use of a subcontract or subcontractor.

Prime contractors and the government have a direct legal relationship; however, the government does not have such a relationship with subcontractors. As a result, the prime contractor is obligated to ensure that the requirements of the contract are met properly, including those requirements performed by the subcontractor. Additionally, a representative from the prime contractor must be included in all communications between the government and the proposed subcontractor.

Prime Contractors

  • Submit request to subcontract to contracting officer. The Contractor's Request to Subcontract Checklist identifies the required elements of the request, and we encourage you to use this when preparing and submitting a Request to Subcontract.
  • You remain responsible for all work performed by a subcontractor.

Contracting Officers

  • Forward the contractor’s requests to the contracting officer's representative(s) (COR) for review and recommendation (by signature or email) regarding whether the contracting officer should provide consent.
  • Receive completed Project Officer's Technical Questionnaire.
  • With help from the COR, assist the prime contractor in negotiating technical and cost issues with a proposed subcontractor.
  • Complete the Office of Acquisitions Consent to Subcontract Checklist, which includes the required elements of the contracting officer’s review.
  • Prepare and issue a bilateral modification giving consent to subcontract on an SF-30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract, or prepare and issue a Contracting Officer's Authorization (COA) giving consent to subcontract.
    • Decide whether to review subcontract documents beyond the mandatory requirements in FAR Part 44—Subcontracting Policies & Procedures.
      • In accordance with FAR 44.203(a), consent to a subcontract or approval of the contractor's purchasing system does not constitute a determination of the acceptability of the subcontract terms or price or of the allowability of costs unless the consent or approval specifies otherwise.
      • It is not recommended that the consent to a subcontract or approval of the purchasing system specify that it is also a determination that the terms or price are acceptable or the costs are allowable. However, you may specify that at your discretion.
    • Note: A COA may be used only if the terms and conditions of the prime contract remain unchanged by the proposed subcontract.
  • For the official file, receive final copies of subcontracts within 30 calendar days after execution and a copy of any subcontract modifications.
  • Executed copies of the subcontract and modification must be filled in the Repository in a timely manner.

Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)

  • Review contractor’s Request to Subcontract to determine if the proposed subcontract is needed and to ensure all of the elements (including supplies, equipment, and all services) are technically justified.
  • Ensure that work is within the scope of the prime contract and that all of the technical requirements have been properly incorporated into the proposed subcontract requirements.
  • Review the technical capability of proposed subcontractors.
  • Review cost estimates for proposed subcontracts.
  • Complete the Project Officer's Technical Questionnaire and send it to the contracting officer. Include your recommendation to contracting officer of whether to grant the contractor consent to subcontract.


See the Office of Acquisitions staff listing for the appropriate contract specialist.

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.


FAR Part 8—Required Sources of Supplies and Services

FAR Part 19—Small Business Programs

NIH Manual Chapter 6019-1—Subcontracting Plan Review and Monitoring

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contract Modifications SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contracting Officer SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) SOP

Contractor's Request to Subcontract Checklist

Office of Acquisitions Consent to Subcontract Checklist

Last Updated June 06, 2016

Last Reviewed February 06, 2015