The QAE should conduct an incidental or
unscheduled inspection on a contractors work. This
surveillance method is not an accurate way to decide a
contractors complete performance and should not be
the primary means for evaluating the contract. This
method is useful in finding out if a contractor is having
difticulties. The method is also useful to help in
predicting or validating any future problem that was
possibly overlooked during the scheduled OIC
meetings. An example of this type of problem is
material deliveries or schedule problems.
The key to obtaining satisfactory performance from
contractors is good government surveillance of a
contractors performance. Haphazard surveillance by
untrained personnel is an invitation to poor
performance. Historically, some work is more prone to
poor quality, such as concrete, heating, and air
conditioning, or similar work, that is usually hidden
from view. Most government contractors are honest
and do not cut corners, but the few who do require
monitoring and correcting deficiencies immediately.
The QAE is the primary frontline person in contract
management and serves as the eyes and ears of the
contract manager and the OIC.
The two most important requirements that a QAE
must have, to do a good job, are the contract
requirements and the contractors work schedule. The
first requirement dictates exactly what work the
contractor is to do. It also dictates what the QAE is to
evaluate. The work schedule is necessary so the QAE
will know precisely when the work is occurring. Obtain
this information before the contractor begins any work.
Also, the contract manager and QAE can include any
modifications to the QA plan and schedule since
development was before the awarding of the contract.
After development of QA plans and schedules,
normally they remain unaltered for the life of the
Conduct contract surveillance strictly
according to the QA plan and schedule. Note any
contractor discrepancies. The QAE must fully
document them and alert the contract manager. The
QAE or contract manager will notify the contractor to
correct the discrepancies.
At the end of each surveillance period (usually 1
month each), analyze all documented surveillance
results to decide the contractors complete level of
There are several courses of action
available if the contractors performance is below
acceptable standards. These courses of action are as
1. Making monetary deductions against the
contractor for all observed and documented cases of
This can be done despite the
contractors overall performance.
2. Issuing a verbal or written warning to the
3. Issuing a contract discrepancy report (CDR).
4. Issuance of a show cause letter.
The OIC may take one of the above actions.
However, termination by default must be coordinated
with the commander of the engineering field division.
It is important that the QAE provides and maintains
good documentation despite the course of action taken
to correct poor contract performance.
The development of an effective evaluation
schedule should be of the highest priority to the QAE.
The evaluation schedule permits the QAE to plot where
he or she should be on any given day of the week. By
developing a balanced inspection schedule, the QAE
can plan and execute the QA work load. This enables
the QAE to make the most efficient use of available
time. The surveillance schedule serves the following
1. It optimizes time.
2. It provides for management control.
3. Combining the schedule with evaluation reports
provides an accurate audit.
Contract surveillance must cover all hours of
operation. Schedule random observations at night, on
weekends, and on holidays when services are done
during these periods. Monitor areas on a set schedule
including these in the monthly schedule. This monthly
schedule will always show where and what the QAE is
Figure 8-2 shows an example of a QAEs schedule.
This example shows only a 6-day schedule. The QAE
makes up enough sheets to cover the entire month.
After preparing the schedule, mark it FOR OFFICIAL
USE ONLY and never show it to the contractor.