Acceptance means the receipt and retention of products delivered or services
rendered by a Supplier following inspection to ensure conformance with
contract specifications. Acceptance may take place before delivery, at
delivery, or after delivery, depending on the contract's provisions.
Acceptance constitutes acknowledgement that products or services conform
to quality, quantity, and packing requirements set forth in the contract.
Acceptance may be used for the start of the warranty period. After
acceptance, the product or service can then be used by the Postal Service
for its intended purpose.
After inspection, three possibilities exist for the received goods or services:
• Acceptance with limitations
Generally, the Postal Service accepts the Supplier's product or service when
it conforms to the contract specifications or criteria. At the time of
acceptance, no outstanding nonconformities remain. The Postal Service's
payment to the Supplier prior to a timely rejection of the Supplier's product or
service does not constitute acceptance.
Acceptance is the responsibility of the Contracting Officer or the Contracting
Officer's Representative (COR). However, acceptance can be performed by
the Client for direct delivery items. When this responsibility is assigned to a
COR or other party, acceptance by that person is binding on the Postal
Service. Contracting Officers may contract with third parties to perform
contract administration responsibilities related to acceptance.
Contracts should specify the place of acceptance. Products accepted at a
place other than destination may not be Inspected (inspection process
determines whether the purchase will be accepted or rejected) again for
acceptance at destination, but should be examined for quantity, damage in
transit, and possible substitution or fraud. Additional information on
Inspection can be found in the Receipt and Inspection topic of the Complete
Delivery task of Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive Requirements.
When purchasing commercial items, acceptance based on supplier
certification, Clause B-5: Certificate of Conformance, may be in the Postal
Service's interest when:
• Only small losses will be incurred by a defect.
• The Supplier's reputation or past performance suggests that the
products or services will be acceptable and that defective work
will be replaced, corrected, or repaired without contest.
• The Supplier's production processes and procedures are
demonstrated to provide quality products that meet or exceed
Postal Service requirements. International Standards
Organization (ISO) certification and maintenance of certification
may be an indicator of quality performance.
The Purchase/SCM Team, represented by the Contracting Officer, can revoke
acceptance of a nonconforming product or service if original acceptance:
• Resulted from the reasonable assumption that the
nonconformance would be corrected, but it is not corrected
• Took place because the nonconformance has not been
discovered before acceptance as a result of the difficulty of
discovery (e.g., hidden defects) or because of the Supplier's
The Postal Service has the same rights and duties upon revocation as upon
rejection. Revocation of acceptance must occur within a reasonable time
after the Contracting Officer discovers the deficiency. These issues are
addressed in paragraph a of 4-1: General Terms and Conditions and
Clause 2-1: Inspection and Acceptance.
The title to products passes to the Postal Service upon formal acceptance,
regardless of when or where the Postal Service takes physical possession,
unless the contract specifically provides for earlier transfer of title.
Unless the contract specifically provides otherwise, risk of loss or damage
remains with the Supplier until:
• Delivery of the products to a Carrier, if transportation is
free-on-board (f.o.b.) origin
• Acceptance by the Postal Service or delivery to the Postal
Service at the destination specified in the contract, whichever is
later, if transportation is f.o.b. destination
This does not apply to products that are rejected. The risk of loss of, or
damage to, rejected products remains with the Supplier until correction or
acceptance. Additional information on f.o.b. origin and destination can be
found in the Shipping topic of the Complete Delivery task of Process Step 4:
Deliver and Receive Requirements.
A surveillance plan is used to identify from the statement of work (SOW) the
specific tasks that require compliance with the identified standards. The
surveillance plan identifies standards by which the Supplier is expected to
perform in a continuous, satisfactory manner. The Supplier must be informed
immediately if there are issues of noncompliance with the contract
specifications so the required corrections can be made.
The costs to the Supplier for Postal Service time when the Supplier is not
compliant for an inspection requested by the Supplier and reinspections are
addressed in Clause 2-23: Reimbursement - Postal Service Testing.
The Purchase/SCM Team may consider using a special testing requirement
after delivery and before acceptance (such as a preacceptance test) for
purchases of complex equipment (e.g., mail-handling systems,
telecommunications equipment, computers, and building systems).
Requirements for delayed acceptance must be thoroughly described in the
contract. Clause 2-6: Delayed Acceptance addresses preacceptance tests
and the requirements of the Supplier associated with the tests.
The Purchase/SCM Team may reject any or all of the supplies or services not
conforming to contract requirements resulting from:
• Requirements not met
• Defined criteria or specifications not satisfied (e.g., pursuant to
Clause B-4: Variation in Quantity, variations in quantity will be
accepted only in certain conditions and/or in certain thresholds)
When determined that correction within the delivery schedule is not possible,
the Purchase/SCM Team must ordinarily reject products or services where
nonconformance adversely affects safety, health, reliability, durability,
performance, interchangeability of parts or assemblies, weight, appearance,
or any other basic objective of the contract. Suppliers must be given a notice
of rejection promptly, including the reasons for rejection. If prompt notice is
not given, acceptance may be implied as a matter of law. The Postal Service
will return rejected items for correction, substitution, refund, or credit.
All repair, replacement, and other correction and redelivery must be
completed within the time frame determined by the Postal Service. All costs
and expenses and loss of value incurred as a result of, or in connection with,
nonconformance and repair, replacement, or other correction will be
recovered from the Supplier (e.g., through equitable price reduction or credit
against any amounts that may be owed to Supplier).
Suppliers must be given an opportunity to correct or replace nonconforming
products or services when it can be accomplished within the delivery
schedule. If correction or replacement is feasible:
• There must be no additional cost to the Postal Service.
• The Postal Service reserves the right to charge the Supplier the
cost of reinspection and retesting needed because of a previous
rejection (rates charged and other expenses are in accordance
with Clause 2-23: Reimbursement - Postal Service Testing).
When replacement or correction is not possible within the performance period
and the Purchase/SCM Team has rejected performance, the Contracting
Officer may provide the Supplier an opportunity to provide acceptable
substitute performance if the Purchase/SCM Team decides that:
• Performance is still desired and
• Substitute performance will best mitigate the damage suffered by
the Postal Service.
When substitute performance is accepted, the Contracting Officer must
modify the contract to provide for appropriate consideration.
Under paragraph a of 4-1: General Terms and Conditions and Clause 2-1:
Inspection and Acceptance, if the Supplier fails or refuses to correct the
defects or nonconformance, the Postal Service may:
• Acquire replacement supplies or services from other sources at
the Supplier's expense
• Accept the supplies or services at a reduced price
Repeated delivery of nonconforming products or services must not be
allowed. In such cases, the Purchase/SCM Team should take appropriate
action, such as rejecting delivery and having the rejection documented in the
Supplier's performance record.
Acceptance with limitations occurs when products or services partially
conform to the contract specifications or criteria, nonconformities remain that
can be worked around, or part of the deliverable is accepted (or the whole
deliverable is conditionally accepted). If the Postal Service accepts with
limitations, the contract must be modified.
The Purchase/SCM Team may not accept products or services where
nonconformance adversely affects a basic contract objective unless
acceptance is clearly in the Postal Service's interest and acceptable to the
Client. The Purchase/SCM Team's decision to accept these products or
services must be put in writing by the Contracting Officer (who must also
modify the contract) and be based on:
• Information on the nature and extent of the nonconformance
• Advice of technical specialists that the material is safe to use and
will perform its intended purpose
• The Supplier's request for acceptance of the product or service
• A recommendation for acceptance by the intended user, with
• Appropriate monetary or other considerations
The Purchase/SCM Team may accept minor nonconformities (e.g., defects).
When minor nonconforming products or services are accepted, the
Contracting Officer need not modify the contract to provide for appropriate
• It appears that the savings to the Supplier in fabricating the
nonconforming products or performing the nonconforming
services exceed the cost to the Postal Service of processing and
enforcing a modification
• The Postal Service's interests otherwise require a contract
Clause 4-1: General Terms and Conditions and Clause 2-1: Inspection and
Acceptance address postacceptance Postal Service rights and Supplier
Shipping topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive
Receipt and Inspection topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4:
Deliver and Receive Requirements
Clause B-4: Variation in Quantity
Clause B-5: Certificate of Conformance
Clause 2-1: Inspection and Acceptance
Clause 2-6: Delayed Acceptance
Clause 2-23: Reimbursement - Postal Service Testing
Clause 4-1: General Terms and Conditions
Clause 4-5: Inspection of Professional Services