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Everything posted by Retreadfed

  1. NDAA for FY 2018

    H2H, maybe times have changed since I worked for DoD, but during my time, I served on three DAR committees. Each of the "lifetime bureaucrats" on those committees was a working member of the acquisition workforce. Thus, they would have to live and operate under each DFARS rule they passed. Sometimes our discretion was limited by the statutes or FAR rules that needed to be implemented. Also, our work needed to be reviewed and approved by political creatures at OMB who did not always agree with our results.
  2. There have been a couple of old ASBCA cases on this issue that I know of. The government won one and lost one. The take away from those decisions as I remember them was that there had to be change in circumstances so that the old allocation method resulted in an inequitable allocation of costs.
  3. H2H, I think you had a more reasonable class of auditors than those I had to deal with on a similar issue. DCAA wanted to put an arbitrary tie limit on how long an employee could wait for a clearance to come through. DCAA's time limit was less than half the average amount of time it was taking the government to grant clearances. If the clearance did not come through within that time period, the employees should be terminated. This may be theoretically true, but in practice in a great many cases it is not so. Many contracting offices are specifying the "goals" that contractors must include in their plans. If a contractor does not use those minimum goals, the contractor is thrown out of the competition. Thus, in effect, the goals become requirements. May is the operative word in your question. The test for how a cost is to be allocated to a non-CAS covered contract is stated in 31.201-4. The overarching test is what contract or contracts benefit from the cost. Similarly, the definition of "direct cost" in FAR 2.101 states that a cost "identified specifically with a contract [is a] direct cost[] of that contract." Thus, if a requirement is in only one contract, the cost of complying with that requirement should be charged to only that one contract because only that contract will benefit from the cost. For example, if a contract requires the contractor to have a facility within 30 miles of a government facility, but the contractor is located 200 miles away so that the contractor has to rent space near the facility, that rental cost would be a direct cost of that one contract while the contractor charges other rental costs as an indirect cost. On the other hand, if a cost benefits more than one contract, that cost should be allocated to the benefitted contracts as an indirect cost. An example of this is a contractor having several classified contracts each of which requires the contractor to have a secured facility. Although having a secured facility is a requirement of each of the classified contracts, the cost of maintaining and operating that facility benefits several contracts. Thus, those costs should be apportioned among all classified contracts as an indirect cost. I agree. If purchasing is required by the contract and there is no labor category specified in the contract for purchasing, that function should be considered as the rendition of incidental services. In that case, the cost principles from FAR Part 31 would be applicable if FAR 52.232-7 is the appropriate payment clause. However, the OP said that this work was under a GSA contract. It is not clear whether he meant a GSA schedule contract or otherwise. This opens the possibility that Alt I to FAR 52.212-4 is the appropriate payment clause which opens up a different line of inquiry.
  4. Michael11, is FAR 52.244-5 in your contract? It is required to be inserted in all negotiated contracts over the SAT.
  5. ji, I don't understand your answer. We are talking about a contractor allocating the cost of awarding subcontracts as a direct cost of a contract. While I misidentified FAR 52.219-14 as a relevant clause for this discussion, it seems clear to me that when the pertinent clauses, i.e., 52.219-8, 52.219-9, 52.219-16 and 52.244-5, are read together, it is clear that a prime contractor is required to make a good faith effort to meet the subcontracting goals expressed in the mandatory subcontracting plan which is a material term of the contract. That means that the expectation is that the contract requires the contractor to take certain steps listed in 52.219-9 to award subcontracts to small business concerns. The cost of doing so can be charged as a direct cost of the contract because they are a specific requirement of the contract.
  6. H2H, FAR 52.216-7, Allowable Cost and Payment, requires the government to reimburse the contractor for costs determined to be allowable in accordance with FAR Subpart 31.2. This includes the general cost principles as well as the enumerated cost principles. There are several cost principles that could be implicated starting with 31.203, 31.201-4 and 31.201-3. Also, if billing rates have been established, and the contractor starts billing using unapproved rates, the government could question the costs. Thus, what basis the government has for questioning the change would depend on the circumstances of the particular situation.
  7. For a specific FAR section that possibly addresses this situation see FAR 31.203(e) which says "The method of allocating indirect costs may require revision when there is a significant change in the nature of the business, the extent of subcontracting, fixed-asset improvement programs, inventories, the volume of sales and production, manufacturing processes, the contractor’s products, or other relevant circumstances." While H2H is technically correct that you do not need government approval to make a change described in this section, that does not mean that the government cannot challenge the change. The basic objective underlying such a change is that it results in a more equitable allocation of costs. You need to be prepared to make such a demonstration if the government challenges the change.
  8. ji, if the contract contains FAR 52.219-14, would you consider the subcontracting work required by the contract if it is directed toward meeting the small business goals in the required plan?
  9. FAR 52.215-12 reads in pertinent part "Before awarding any subcontract expected to exceed the threshold for submission of certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-4, . . . the Contractor shall require the subcontractor to submit certified cost or pricing data (actually or by specific identification in writing), in accordance with FAR 15.408, Table 15-2." The requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data depends on the value of the subcontract, not the individual items to be provided by the subcontractor.
  10. Are Payment Logs Required?

    To add to Vern's list of questions, what do you mean by invoice? That term is frequently used somewhat loosely to describe many types of payment requests and the FAR uses it to describe various types of payment requests.
  11. Using GSA in price analyses

    Market research and price analysis are different activities. Subconmgr, can you tell us what part of the Handbook you have in mind?
  12. Invoicing

    This seems to indicate that the direction was written instead of verbal.
  13. Thanks, ji, you beat me to the response. I might add, that in this scenario, the contractor will not be sending its employees to God knows where to perform the contract, but the contract will be performed in the contractor's location(s).
  14. Look at FAR 22.1009-4. That should help.
  15. Is FAR 52.222-49 in the RFP?
  16. Contractor CAS Segmentation

    Mayonaze, what is your real concern here? Have you looked at the CAS definition of segment?
  17. What is a GACO?

    I've never heard it either. Who used it and in what context?
  18. Vern, I would appreciate your views on whether the GAO rule, as you describe it, is something that is within the protest jurisdiction of the GAO. 31 U.S.C. 3554(b) says " With respect to a solicitation for a contract, or a proposed award or the award of a contract, protested under this subchapter, the Comptroller General may determine whether the solicitation, proposed award, or award complies with statute and regulation. If the Comptroller General determines that the solicitation, proposed award, or award does not comply with a statute or regulation, the Comptroller General shall recommend that the" agency take one or more of the actions listed in the statute. Thus, the basis for sustaining a protest is that government action did not comply with law or regulation. The GAO rule is predicated on contractor action, but does not mention any law or regulation that requires the contractor to do what the GAO thinks should be done. Moreover, the GAO rule is establishing a procurement rule that is within the power of the FAR Councils to write. I see nothing that gives the GAO the power to establish procurement rules that contractors must follow.
  19. el conejo, one thing you did not say is what the RFQ said about evaluating quotes. I suggest that you look again at the RFQ to make sure there is nothing there that would give the contractor a basis for a protest.
  20. DCAA Audit Backlog

    H2H identified the problem as one of productivity. DCAA was actually doing more with fewer auditors ten years ago. However, in 2008, GAO issued a report on DCAA compliance with GAGAS stating that DCAA audit files did not contain sufficient evidence to support the audit conclusions stated in audit reports. As a result, DCAA changed its approach and now demands more and more from contractors in the way of support for costs claimed and business systems. This leave no stone unturned approach has dramatically reduced productivity without an increase in the usefulness of audit reports to contracting officers. In fact, there have been later GAO reports that indicate that DCAA audit reports are not useful to contracting officers because they are issued too late or cause delay in recovering money owed to the government.
  21. Justice, your fact situation is not clear. You say you had an unexpected overrun on one order. This was based on DCAA audit adjustments. However, you have not said that you agree with those adjustments. Further, you have not stated whether you are entitled to recover the alleged overrun costs. In regard to the order on which you had an "under-spend", this indicates that you did not incur costs on that order so that you owe the government money. If you did not overbill the government, what is there for the contracting officer to set off on each order?
  22. 5 Year IDIQ Contract

    Mezut, your post is confusing. Can we try to clear it up a little. You say the contract is an IDIQ contract. Did it have a minimum value representing the government's obligation to issue orders against the contract? Has the government met its obligation to place orders for the minimum amount? What was the ordering period specified in the contract? Was it five years or one year coinciding with the option periods? Was the $5M the maximum amount of services the government could order? Was the $5M obligated if so, was it obligated against the contract or under an order? Is the contract subject to the SCA? If so, are revised wage determinations requested each time an option is exercised? Have any options been exercised?
  23. JAG, from what you have written why would you consider filing a status protest with GAO? What status are you talking about and why does GAO have jurisdiction to hear such a protest? Also, file a size protest with the SBA? You didn't say anything about the contractor not meeting any size standard.
  24. Deaner, what is the exception?
  25. MikeBP, did whoever told you this cite a regulation or law to support the statement? It is good to be leary of statements like this if they are not backed up with some authority to support the statement.