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Runner11

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  1. Thank you both for your helpful insight and perspectives from both sides of the fence.
  2. Can a contractor propose and charge (if awarded) less indirect costs than are allowable under their indirect rate agreement? For instance, not charging indirect costs on items they normally would (and their NICRA allows) like pass through subcontracts or various vendor costs or materials and supplies, etc. in order to reduce a proposal. If so, how would something like that get written into a contract, and how would one verify these costs are invoiced properly on a month to month basis i.e. without the indirect costs? On the other hand, how does the contractor account for not charging the indirects they normally would on these items? Wouldn't that have implications on how their rate agreement is negotiated? Doesn't the contractor need to be consistent with their practices for allocating indirect costs for these items? Does anyone have any experience with this, or know where I can find some discussions on this topic? Many thanks.
  3. Thank you all for your help and guidance. I have my work cut out for me and will concentrate on the FAR parts listed in the postings. I'm aware that I won't become a large business anytime soon, and should focus on the basics as a small business. A lot of consideration will be put into establishing my initial billing rates so as to cover my costs while reasonably making a profit. In the instance of loading my labor rates for a T & M, will my "estimated" overhead/ g&a be subject to a downward adjustment should an audit ever be completed and it's determined I overestimated my costs or vice versa? Even after contract performance? I know this is typically a principle of cost type contracts but didn't know if a similar procedure could be done for T&Ms.
  4. I've been operating a small business engineering firm for over a year soley through subcontracts. The contract types have primarily been Time and Materials and work has been ok. Some of the past efforts I've supported are going to be recompeted, and I want to pursue the opportunities as a prime contractor, but I'm hesitant to begin conducting business with the government directly. My major concerns are 1) am I unable to pursue a cost reimbursement contract without an indirect rate agreement? 2) My previous T & M rates have been based on salaries plus "estimates" of overhead and G & A versus actual audited data since I've really only been in business around a year. Would these rates be suitable for the govt? Obviously many of these loadings will be fluctuating as I pursue more business. And how would I determine a reasonable rate without abundant historical data to ensure I cover my cost and also don't unintentionally make too much profit? 3) do my company financials need to be audited regardless of the contract type I pursue? I really want to pursue this work if the opprortunity arises but I don't want to begin my federal contracting with the government without being fully prepared.
  5. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and insight. Part of my motivation to pursue a CO career is because I believe strongly in fiscal responsiblity, getting the government the best value for the $, trying to maximize efficiency, and feeling a sense of duty in helping the government achieve their goals. If this weren't the case, I believe staying in the private sector as a CA would ultimately leave you more career options by potentially making your way into a controller, finance role, etc. This is part of my apprehension of leaving the private sector- not constantly being exposed to the day to day business operations, many of which irrelevant in the federal government. I know everything is going to vary from agency to agency- but I've heard some horror stories of the lack of production in some acquisition shops. But I think with the growing need for acquisition pros in the relatively near future, I think you're bound to be dropped in a challenging environment, just on keeping up with the workload alone. Anyone else have any pros & cons for 1102 vs. private sector?
  6. Runner: Delete the entire information within the quotes. Then type your post. ---------------- Bob Antonio Owner, Wifcon.com LLC
  7. I'm interested in how folks would compare working as an 1102 series Contract specialist/CO versus a Contract Administrator for a Contractor. When I first joined the contracting industry roughly 3 years ago (presently work for this contractor), my ultimate goal was to do anything/everything possible to get into the federal government and make a career as a CO. I'm now questioning whether I would even accept a role as a Contract Specialist (let say GS 11), given the front page news the federal workforce has made, coupled with the incredible amount of clerical duties put upon COs, and the possible lack of ability to think outside the box. I'm asking because I really like my position now, lots of finance/accounting/cost reporting/Terms and Conditions, etc, but can't get the CO role out of my mind. What are the risks associated with joining the federal government? My take is that you can always transfer back to private industry if you're unhappy. Thanks!
  8. Hi all, The payment/billing mechanism was not explicitly stated in the award document, so I am considering at this time that it is still up for negotiation. Monthly invoicing is requested, but states that vouchers shall be submitted upon achivement of the billing milestones (which are not identified) in the Task Order. The Order was bid with 5 discrete tasks, but at this point I am at a loss for how to propose billing for a 12 month POP. While I would be satisfied with the mechanism napolik suggesets, I think the prime may be troubled by that approach. To avoid billing like a T & M, I see the following options 1) invoice 12 equal payments (but what happens if all LOE is not expended) 2) invoice upon completion of the tasks bid in the proposal (once we've expended the LOE) 3) use napolik's approach which would require calculating the % effort for multiple labor categories, or 4) mimic T & M billing because it's unclear at this point whether the prime truly understands the correct mechanism needed. Any help is greatly appreciated, this is time sensitive.
  9. Thank you everyone for the great insight. I'm torn whether to propose a FFP amount to include travel costs as anticipated, or a cost reimbursement CLIN as previously stated. I think proposing a FFP amount would be riskier, and less appealing as a contractor. Alternatively, if I propose a cost reimbursement CLIN, it really wouldn't be part of the FFP amount, correct? I would say, here's my FFPLOE amount, and anticipated travel costs for this effort are ____, which will all be reimbursed in accordance with FTR. I definitely want this to be crystal clear with the prime.
  10. Thank you for your valuable input Vern. I'm still having difficulty grasping the concept of how to reasonably price the estimated travel effort (and the invoicing procedures). My concern is if I have estimated that I will need to travel to city A for two weeks, and back and forth from city B 7 times, how should I propose these costs, when it's not totally clear the amount of travel that will be needed? If it turns out that I need to travel twice as much as I estimated, am I still tied to the FFP amount that I submit? If this is the case, how would I reasonably markup the estimated travel costs to leave room for unanticipated costs? Finally, is the invoicing process negotiable? I picture something like- I expended 20 of the 300 hours for labor category X in month 1, please facilitate payment for these hours? As such, how would the travel be billed, actual cost plus G & A? Or would the entire contract be reimbursed based on a milestone/percent complete schedule? For instance if I propose 1,000 for travel, but only actually incur 200, is this considered profit? Now I'm really second guessing myself! BTW- your FAR bootcamp sounds excellent. Any chance of scheduling a weekend session?
  11. In response to a prime contractor's RFQ, I've been requested to submit a Firm Fixed Price Level of Effort proposal (as a subcontractor). The scope of work is not well defined, and could be classified as ongoing engineering/diving services. I have limited experience with contracts, and I'm most familiar with Time and Materials type contracts. The FAR is very stingy on detail for FFP-LOE contracts. I comprehend that I'm responsible for providing services for X amount of hours at Y category rates. In this scenario, how, if at all, would you price ODCs (the project would require intermittent continental travel, and a small amount of material/supplies)? The prime is well aware that I would need to be reimbursed for my travel expenses. If I'm not able to include them in my FFP-LOE proposal, how else would I be able to have the prime certify payment for my travel reimbursement? Also, the FAR states that the contract price must be $150k or below. My bid exceeds this threshold. Should I be concerned about this, and should I request additional clarification? Finally, are there any additional risks I should be aware of before entering a FFP-LOE agreement? Any comments are greatly appreciated!
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