Corrosion Prevention & Control (CPC) Acquisition Issues  

by Joseph C. Dean, P.E. for the Director, Corrosion Policy & Oversight (DCPO), (DASD) [Materiel Readiness]

Updated: 09-30-2021


Implementation of good CPC practices depends on a successfully executed acquisition process. Overarching acquisition guidance is received from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG). The actual procurement process begins with the identification of the requirement and continues to the creation of a statement of work and the associated contract documents and realization of a completed facility contract.


The term "acquisition" means acquiring, by contract with appropriated funds of supplies or services (including construction) by and for the use of the Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated" (FAR 2.101(b)(2)). The term "acquisition" throughout this webpage is in reference to facilities. Common to each DOD Component engaged in facilities management is the need to plan, design, construct and sustain those assets. The Facilities Life Cycle (Figure 1) involves elements of Planning and Requirements Definition, Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (SRM) Engineering and Design, Construction and Commissioning, Sustainment, Renovation, Restoration, and or Disposal. All of these steps interact with the defense acquisition program to create a lasting CPC solution.

A flowchart titled Acquisition & the Facilities Life Cycle. Going clockwise, the flowchart starts with Planning & Requirements Definition, SRM Engineering & Design, Construction & Commissioning, Sustainment, Renovation & Restoration or Disposal, and Acquisition Support DB, DBB, Simplified Acquisition, IDIQ, etc..

Figure 1: Flowchart of the Acquisition & the Facilities Life Cycle

Acquisition Overview and Acquisition Strategy Impacts On CPC

Contracting officer support for facility acquisition is essential when obtaining timely resolution of corrosion-related deficiencies. Installations that have in place an array of contract vehicles that are specifically designed to support facilities and infrastructure, especially corrosion prevention and control, are more successful at minimizing the effect of corrosion. Differing acquisition strategies and delivery methods such as Design/Bid/Build (DBB), Design-Build (DB), Simplified Acquisition, Task Order/Indefinite Quantity Job Order Contracts should consider and include CPC in their requirements definition, RFP and execution consistent with Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) 1-200-01 DoD Building Code and UFC 1-300-02 Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS) Format Standard. Information contained on the WBDG and addressed on these pages are good resources to consider and include as the RFP and specifications are developed and executed. Fitting all of the pieces together correctly (See Figure 2) will have a significant impact on the realization of a successful CPC project that is durable and appropriate for life cycle expectations.

A flowchart that displays fitting the pieces together to create a durable and sustainable project that meets requirements. Chart starts with Acquisition Strategy, Technical Selection Factors, Statement of Work, Request for Proposal, Contractor & Designer Qualifications & Experience, Criteria, Design, QA, QC, Cx, and e-OMSI & Turnover.

Figure 2: Fitting the pieces together to create a durable and sustainable project that meets requirements

During a DB acquisition, the request for proposal (RFP) includes a scope of work (project program) and defines the associated performance criteria required to achieve a successful constructed facility. The DB contractor retains the architect-engineer to develop the design documents and subsequently accomplishes the work. Design-build contracts may include corrosion-related requirements within the RFP. The primary contractor has full responsibility for the design and construction of the project or facility, which can expedite project completion. Since the government has less control over design details under DB acquisition strategy, it is important to explicitly provide CPC requirements in RFP's and other acquisition documents, as well as during design and construction kick-off meetings.

A DBB contract begins with a fully designed facility provided by either an architect-engineer firm retained by the government or by an in-house government design team. The successful bidder is awarded the contract to construct the facility according to the government-provided design and specifications. Design-bid-build contracts should address CPC during the design phase, which is executed by the government contracted architect/engineer (A/E). DBB may have a longer lead time for execution, but this allows the greatest opportunity to address corrosion-related requirements. DBB may use government personnel to perform A/E design functions. This helps in the development and retention of in-house CPC capabilities. Specific technical details and technologies are identified during the design process, and design reviews are conducted on the schedule laid out in the contract.

Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts are widely acknowledged as a good mechanism for single discipline project work (such as painting, HVAC, roofing, roads, and electrical). Some installation representatives commented during the FICE Study (2013) that they have IDIQs developed for each major SRM area. IDIQs allow quick delivery order award (within hours, as opposed to months). These contracts allow for focused repairs resulting from corrosion and the installations are positioned to request specific CPC related coatings and related actions ensuring better and more durable solutions for sustainment.

Installation services (sometimes referred to as base operating support (BOS) contracts may include specific CPC requirements and deliverables, and the contractor must have qualified personnel on staff or must subcontract CPC efforts to qualified personnel. BOS contracts/installation services are widely used across installations because of the need for responsive services.

Military construction projects typically utilize several different acquisition strategies such as Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build to accomplish the work. The project contract documents contain the project scope, performance clauses, and relevant criteria requirements for the designer of record to accomplish the task of preparing the design, plans and construction specifications.


It is important to understand what the FAR clauses are saying and how they can enable the Contract to achieve the desired objective of having a completed project that is durable and meets life cycle objectives including appropriate CPC focus. As contract documents are developed, the FAR clauses actually have to be inserted in the contract document. It does not happen by chance, and while many clauses maybe "automatically" included, the customer and the acquisition professional must be knowledgeable enough to make certain that clauses pertinent to the acquisition are incorporated into the contract. In other words, "buyer beware.".

FAR references and applicability are listed and summarized in Table 1 to encourage a broader understanding of the importance of having a strong, enforceable procurement package. This is not intended to be a complete list but rather provides a few highlights related to competencies, experience, quality control and warranties that could affect CPC. The size of the procurement affects which specific clauses will be used.

Table 1 - FAR Reference Summary: Standards, Selection, Responsibilities, Qualifications, Quality, Inspection, and Warranties.

Visit for complete guidance on wording.

FAR Index Title Clause Language or Comments
Subpart 9.104-1 (f) Standards: General Standards FAR Part 9.103(a)FAR Part 9.104-1 "Contractor Qualifications and associated procedures" and, "have the necessary organization, experience, …technical skills, or the ability to obtain them."
Subpart 9.104-2 Special Standards "…the contracting officer shall develop, with the assistance of appropriate specialists, special standards of responsibility. Special standards may be particularly desirable when experience has demonstrated that unusual expertise or specialized facilities are needed for adequate contract performance. The special standards shall be set forth in the solicitation (and so identified) and shall apply to all offerors."
Subpart 36.601-4 Construction and Architect - Engineer Contracts: Implementation Implementation requires A/E services to be accomplished be a registered engineer or architect including defining services performed under that definition such as "plans and specification."
Subpart 36.602-1 Construction and Architect - Engineer Contracts: Selection of Firms for Architect-Engineer Contracts: Selection Criteria Selection Criteria contractor evaluation should include "professional qualifications, specialized experience and technical competence in type of work required…"
Clause 53.236-25 Requirements for Registration of Designers (June 2003) As prescribed in 36.609-4, insert the following clause: Requirements for Registration of Designers (June 2003) - "Architects or engineers registered to practice in the particular professional field involved in a State, the District of Columbia, or an outlying area of the United States shall prepare or review and approve the design of architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, civil, or other engineering features of the work."
Clause 52.236-23 Responsibility of the Architect-Engineer Contractor (Apr 1984) "(a) The Contractor shall be responsible for the professional quality, technical accuracy, and the coordination of all designs, drawings, specifications, and other services furnished by the Contractor under this contract. The Contractor shall, without additional compensation, correct or revise any errors or deficiencies in its designs, drawings, specifications, and other services. (b) Neither the Government's review, approval or acceptance of, nor payment for, the services required under this contract shall be construed to operate as a waiver of any rights under this contract or of any cause of action arising out of the performance of this contract, and the Contractor shall be and remain liable to the Government in accordance with applicable law for all damages to the Government caused by the Contractor's negligent performance of any of the services furnished under this contract.
Subpart 36.301(b) (3) (iii) Use of Two-Phase Design-Build Selection Procedures Use of Two-Phase Design-Build Selection Procedures includes "(iii) The capability and experience of potential contractors" as a requirement.
Subpart 36.702 Forms for Use in Contracting for Architect-Engineer Services. (Discusses SF 252 to award fixed price contract for A/E services and SF330 Parts I and II requirements to evaluate firms before awarding a contract for architect-engineer services.) The SF330 submitted by the A/E Firm conveys the level of experience, education and registration details. The A/E is required to establish the level of experience gained that is relative to the new project being acquired. Note that the qualifications of the architect-engineer editor to make changes to criteria documents to ensure that the appropriate levels of quality and CPC solutions are required and ultimately incorporated into the construction is an important evaluation consideration.
Clause 52.236-5 Material and Workmanship. Material and Workmanship (Apr 1984) "(a) All equipment, material, and articles incorporated into the work covered by this contract shall be new and of the most suitable grade for the purpose intended, unless otherwise specifically provided in this contract. … The Contractor may, at its option, use any equipment, material, article, or process that, in the judgment of the Contracting Officer, is equal to that named in the specifications, unless otherwise specifically provided in this contract."
"(c) All work under this contract shall be performed in a skillful and workmanlike manner. The Contracting Officer may require, in writing, that the Contractor remove from the work any employee the Contracting Officer deems incompetent, careless, or otherwise objectionable."
Clause 52.246-12 Inspection of Construction (Aug 1996) "The Contractor shall maintain an adequate inspection system and perform such inspections as will ensure that the work performed under the contract conforms to contract requirements. The Contractor shall maintain complete inspection records and make them available to the Government. All work shall be conducted under the general direction of the Contracting Officer and is subject to Government inspection and test at all places and at all reasonable times before acceptance to ensure strict compliance with the terms of the contract." See clause for additional guidance.
Clause 52.246-21 Warranty of Construction (Mar 1994) "(a) In addition to any other warranties in this contract, the Contractor warrants, except as provided in paragraph (i) of this clause, that work performed under this contract conforms to the contract requirements and is free of any defect in equipment, material, or design furnished, or workmanship performed by the Contractor or any subcontractor or supplier at any tier." See clause for additional guidance and clarifications.

A good partnership between the acquisition team, design and project management professionals, and the owner/client/customer will ensure that the appropriate FAR clauses are utilized and leveraged with the criteria to achieve a successful procurement.

Criteria Process and Actions

The criteria listed in the WBDG is based on industry standards that are usually written and maintained by a standards organization, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASTM International, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers, and many others. The use of such industry standards ensures uniformity and consistency and cuts down on the cost and time it takes to create new criteria.

UFCs identify the consensus building codes and standards in addition to DoD unique design requirements. UFGS are used to develop the project specifications which delineate the requirements regarding the materials, products, installation procedures and quality aspects involved with execution of the work. It is the responsibility of the designer of record to develop the specification, select the criteria, and edit it to meet the specific acquisition requirement. In the case of corrosion, the desired level of detail associated with the building component (e.g., material selection and grade, protective coatings and paints, cathodic protection, etc.) should be identified. The UFC 1-300-02 Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS) Format Standard requires:

  • that the designer address corrosion related requirements
  • to ensure that the UFGS "Notes to Designers" are inclusive of these requirements
  • addresses inclusion of CPC requirements in the notes to designer when required

From a CPC perspective, the editable nature of the criteria is intended to provide the designer with the flexibility to match the appropriate material, coating, and installation procedure with the environmental conditions that cause corrosion or environmental severity of the project site (see Figure 3).

UFC 1-200-01 DoD Building Code requires the use of UFGS and corrosion prevention and control considerations to include complying with Environmental Severity Classification impacts. Designer notes are inset in bold text in the UFGS; the AE is allowed to edit the UFGS to make it consistent with the desired scope. For example:

NOTE: This specification is for an industry standard, 1 Coat Field Applied, 2 Coat Shop Applied,
thick film, coating system that is compliant with
EPA VOC regulations.

A good example that is very specific about required contractor expertise is delineated in the UFC 3-570-01 Cathodic Protection. The UFC provides general and specific design guidance for cathodic protection systems. It is intended to be used in the design and construction of cathodic protection systems for the purpose of mitigation of corrosion of buried or submerged metallic structures. The UFC requires NACE Cathodic Protection and Corrosion Specialist certifications and support. It addresses corrosion related Commissioning (Cx) support.

A good example of a UFGS that addresses qualifications and certifications is UFGS 09 97 13.16 Interior Coating of Welded Steel Water Tanks. Key words include Coating, Corrosion and Rust. The UFGS covers the requirements for polyamide epoxy coating system for interior of newly constructed Navy and Air force water tanks, potable and non-potable, where shop applied coatings are not being considered. It addresses Contractor qualifications and experience (e.g., SSPC QP-5, SSPC C-7, etc.). See the Facilities Corrosion Knowledge Track Summary  and the CPC Source Competencies page for additional insights.

A flowchart of The Criteria Process.  The center of the chart reads Design/RFP.  Then on the going around the center it reads: Requirements Core UFC's, Materials & Coating UFGS, UFGS Guide Specifications Format Standard 1-300-02.

Figure 3: The Criteria Process

When deemed appropriate, the UFGS should specifically identify the insertion of certifications, qualifications and experience, providing flexibility to the designer and should leverage the intent of the related UFC. Where corrosion related certifications, qualifications and experience are not mentioned in UFCs, especially for prime building areas (docks, pavements, fire protection, etc.) the risk of designing and constructing a facility that has not included the needed CPC experience and scrutiny that will extend its performance though the desired life cycle is increased. A significant concern related to requiring certifications relates to the perception that competition may be limited and or proprietary.

If additional experience, certifications and qualifications are deemed appropriate in criteria to achieve facility life cycle, durability and sustainability objectives, a possible decision tree might be (see Figure 4):

  • Is this CPC related?
  • Is this a design function or construction procedure?
  • Is there an industry certification?
  • Why is it necessary to require the certification?
    • Requires high degree of skill or experience
    • Quality at risk if done by uncertified personnel
    • Known sustainment problems such as frequent premature failures, high maintenance costs
    • High risk system
    • Life Safety or health concerns
  • What are the costs and impacts of requiring additional certifications and qualifications?
Figure 4: Contract(or) Qualifications, Certifications, Criteria & Standards for CPC

Figure 4: Contract(or) Qualifications, Certifications, Criteria & Standards for CPC

Milcon and SRM Design, Construction, and Quality Considerations

Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) and MILCON acquisition contracts include quality assurance (government) and quality control (contractor) to ensure that construction is consistent with the contract documents, and includes CPC aspects of project execution. Lack of CPC-trained personnel and available resources directly affects the quality of completed construction. Increased CPC awareness for contractors providing MILCON and SRM support at DoD installations provides a greater chance of extending the facilities' service life. The 2013 Facilities and Infrastructure Corrosion Evaluation Study team observed that the adherence to criteria in the UFGS and correct UFGS application usually results in CPC being included on projects. While design agents and design teams are knowledgeable of the UFGSs and UFCs, they may be marginally aware of CPC requirements and the benefits of appropriate material selection. Improving design agent CPC awareness will increase the knowledge base and improve corrosion-related decision making.

Including CPC Considerations In Design and Construction

Facility vulnerability and the potential effects of corrosion need to be fully evaluated and understood as a requirement and included as part of project planning, acquisition (RFP and SOW), design, construction, durability assessment and sustainment phases and activities. The Facilities Corrosion Impacts on Operations and Mission Table  provides insights related to facilities corrosion that should be considered and understood by acquisition professionals.

During turnover from the construction agent to the installation responsible for sustainment, key documents that include information on the built facility (e.g., as-built drawings, material types (coatings, cathodic protection), equipment descriptions and operations, manuals, warranties, etc.) along with commissioning information must be transferred to the SRM manager. This is typically referred to as Operations and Maintenance Support Information "OMSI" and is usually electronic (e-OMSI). This information is key to successful SRM management. UFC 1-300-02 paragraph on Operation and Maintenance Manuals discusses this requirement. Sustainment plans should include as-built conditions included in the electronic Operations and Maintenance Support Information (e-OMSI) UFGS 01 78 24.00 20 and Comprehensive Facility Operation and Maintenance Manual provided by the Construction Agent during facility turnover. SRM Managers should insist on receiving these essential documents along with systems training to best position the sustainment personnel to ensure that life-cycle expectations for the delivered facility is achieved.

Acquisition Best Practices and Lessons Learned

The following "Best Practices" were provided by the 30 installations that participated in the Facilities and Infrastructure Corrosion Evaluation Study (2013) to share their best corrosion prevention and control practices. The list provided below is not endorsed by OSD or the Military Departments, but it is representative of ideas that have worked for individual installation facilities professionals. It is important to note that these best practices may not be consistent with current criteria. It is also important to note that these facilities professionals are doing the best job they can with extremely limited resources. The best practices are location specific and take into consideration environmental severity at that locale.

  • Ensure that budgets and funding allow for appropriate CPC materials and coatings, such that the selected features are life cycle cost effective and the component(s) can reach the intended service life without extensive preventative or corrective maintenance.
  • Ensure that CPC features or requirements are included in project and construction documentation such as the request for proposal, associated designs and criteria documents, and Contractor Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Commissioning Plans regardless of the size and type of procurement
  • Ensure that personnel engaged in CPC decision-making activities, such as acquisition, design, inspection, maintenance, and repair, have appropriate training and qualifications
  • Inconsistencies in the use of the WBDG criteria for design and construction can result in a deficiency to contract for DoD-mandated levels of standardization and quality. This is a potential cost problem that includes questionable identification of and contracting for CPC requirements
  • Consistent with DoDD 4270.5 Military Construction, utilize the CPC criteria and information hosted on the Whole Building Design Guide including UFC, UFGS, Engineering and Construction Bulletins (ECB), and performance technical specifications. If necessary, mark-up guide specifications (e.g., UFGS) with prescriptive CPC requirements
  • Ensure that information on CPC features is included in the project as-built drawings, operation and maintenance documentation, and other related information
  • Use IDIQ contracts for painting, valve replacements, roofing with certified installers, etc. This allows quick contract award within hours
  • Utilize and leverage Contractor Performance Assessment System (CPARS)
  • Contract out water treatment for HVAC and boilers
  • Document lessons learned and incorporate them into specifications to make further improvements for mechanical systems in the areas of equipment selection and materials. This ensures that the best practices are followed in the next design
  • Installations prefer a centrally managed, multiple-use or multi-purpose contracting vehicle for expediency of project execution
  • Including lead abatement in painting contracts ensures workload will be accomplished more seamlessly
  • CPC requirements are often left to the assigned project manager after the project is approved for inclusion in the Request for Proposal (RFP). Good planning principles encourage planners to make certain that the appropriate CPC wording is included in project documentation and associated estimates along with mission impact statements.
  • Most constructability reviews are conducted by contract managers or public works staff members. The general opinion of installation representatives is that QA and QC is lacking. Specifically, it was noted that contractors do not have the incentive to ensure good QC, and the government does not always have adequately trained personnel to perform effective QA related to CPC
  • DB, DBB, and IDIQ contracts do not include CPC technical selection factors in contract source selection
  • Many installations feel the best value contractor is rarely selected; most contracts are being awarded as "lowest cost, technically acceptable." In addition, not all technical disciplines are represented during technical evaluation boards, so some key requirements are missed in the evaluation. Consequently, design solutions may drive higher CPC lifecycle costs
  • The contracts group must be familiar with facilities acquisition. Supply type functions (purchasing paper, parts, etc.) and the more sophisticated contract actions of DB, DBB, and IDIQ contracting are addressed by separate sections of the FAR; each requires the support of a contracting officer familiar with the specific process. Contract support on some bases was provided by supply contracting offices. Their lack of facilities contracting knowledge impeded SRM progress, drove up costs, and negatively affected mission support
  • Contract requirements of open competition do not allow intelligent buying for purposes of configuration control and standardization (e.g., multiple air conditioning units from different vendors)
  • Some installations indicated that mandatory contracting targets, such as contract laws and mandated small business set-aside programs (8[a], HUBZone, SDVOSB, etc.), hinder their ability to obtain the best-qualified CPC contractor and solution
  • For design-build projects, the contractor has greater flexibility in using newer, better technologies to meet the performance requirements of the contract. In many cases, however, the contractors shy away from offering CPC technologies that would exceed the minimum performance requirements even if the technologies would provide a lifecycle cost advantage. These technologies might cost more initially and increase project costs, putting the contractor at a competitive disadvantage.

Relevant Codes and Standards

Department of Defense

Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC)

Additional Resources



Federal Facility Criteria: