CLAUSE H.13 – CONTRACTOR ASSURANCE SYSTEM
(a) The Contractor shall develop a contractor assurance system that is executed by the Contractor’s Board of Directors (or equivalent corporate oversight entity) and implemented throughout the Contractor’s organization. This system provides reasonable assurance that the objectives of the contractor management systems are being accomplished and that the systems and controls will be effective and efficient. The contractor assurance system, at a minimum, shall include the following key attributes:
(1) A comprehensive description of the assurance system with processes, key activities, and accountabilities clearly identified.
(2) A method for verifying/ensuring effective assurance system processes. Third party audits, peer reviews, independent assessments, and external certification (such as VPP and ISO 9001 or ISO 14001) may be used.
(3) Timely notification to the Contracting Officer of significant assurance system changes prior to the changes.
(4) Rigorous, risk-based, credible self-assessments, and feedback and improvement activities, including utilization of nationally recognized experts, and other independent reviews to assess and improve the Contractor’s work process and to carry out independent risk and vulnerability studies.
(5) Identification and correction of negative performance/compliance trends before they become significant issues.
(6) Integration of the assurance system with other management systems including Integrated Safety Management.
(7) Metrics and targets to assess performance, including benchmarking of key functional areas with other DOE contractors, industry and research institutions. Assure development of metrics and targets that result in efficient and cost effective performance.
(8) Continuous feedback and performance improvement.
(9) An implementation plan (if needed) that considers and mitigates risks.
(10) Timely and appropriate communication to the Contracting Officer, including electronic access, of assurance related information.
The initial contractor assurance system description shall be approved by the Contracting Officer.
(b) The Government may revise its level and/or mix of oversight of this contract when the Contracting Officer determines that the assurance system is or is not operating effectively.