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Revision D, April 3, 1996

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Description / Abstract:

This handbook applies to the preparation of Statements of Work (SOWs) for projects and programs that have deliverables and or services performed. It is written to implement the acquisition policies established in DoDD 5000.1. It covers the preparation of SOWS which correlate to the acquisition life cycle phases identified in Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition Instructions such as DoDI 5000.2. This handbook is for SOWs in DoD solicitations and contracts and covers work requirements. in conjunction with applicable performance/design requirements contained in specifications but also data deliverables contained in Contract Data Requirements Lists (CDRLs). The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements (DFARS) discuss the essentiality of the SOW for sound contracting. An offeror submits a proposal based on his perception of the Government's needs as defined in the RFP. Precisely stated requirements will enable the offeror and the Government to negotiate a fair price for the deliverables and/or services to be provided. This handbook has been developed as a framework to assist the responsible manager in providing a consistent, orderly, and complete description of work required.

The majority of government contracts include a SOW which forms the basis for successful performance by the contractor and effective administration of the contract by the government. A well-written SOW enhances the opportunity for all potential offerors to compete equally for Government contracts and serves as the standard for determining if the contractor meets the stated performance requirements.

This document introduces a new concept called the SOO which shifts the responsibility for preparing the SOW from the government to the solicitation respondents. Following recent DoD direction to lower Government costs by encouraging innovative contract options and flexible design solutions, the SOO captures the top level objectives of a solicitation and allows the offerors complete freedom in the structure and definition of SOW tasks as they apply to the proposed approach. However, the requirement, content and purpose of the SOW in the contract remain unchanged. The SOO concept is explained in detail in Section 5.