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Vern Edwards

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Everything posted by Vern Edwards

  1. Guardian, if you're going to lecture someone about usage and then cite statute in support, do your homework. Title 41 was recodified seven years ago. See FAR 1.110 and 6.302-1(a)(2)(ii)(B). 41 USC 253(d)(1)(b) is now 41 USC § 3304(b)(2). The old section was repealed as part of the new positive law codification. You have a lot of nerve asking me for citations. Candid admission? I haven't made any admission, candid or otherwise. What I did was call you out because you said: You then followed that statement with a lot of malarky. Your "larger point" is pointless. The OP did not misapply the term. His usage is not contrary to any official definition or established term of art, and you cannot prove differently. The GAO definition that Carl quoted has no official standing. The quote was just an expression of GAO's view of what it thought that the term should have meant in the DOD context discussed in the GAO report. DOD concurred, but that definition was never inserted into statute or the FAR. Since that report, GAO has used the term "follow-on contract" in exactly 200 protest decisions. In several, GAO has referred to the idea of a "competitive follow-on." See e.g., Worldwide Language Resources, Inc., B-299315.7, 2010 CPD ¶ 208: So GAO's own usage has not been consistent with its 1986 proposed definition. I know what I think the term ought to mean based on my own experience with usage. But I would not say that someone who uses it differently is necessarily using it wrongly. My view is as I put it in the thread to which Carl provided a link: "However, you can never be quite sure about what a person means when they use the term 'follow-on contract' or 'logical follow-on', so it's always a good idea to ask for clarification."
  2. The link you provided was to the 1994 code and a 2000 supplement. We're in 2018. Try again. Okay, so what is the meaning of that term of art? What are the numbers for FY 2016? You are not correct. I don't have any definite understanding of what the term means in actual usage. I suppose that different practitioners would define the term differently. I have made no affirmative statement about the meaning of follow-on contract. I am not aware of any overarching official definition of the term, and if the term is a rises to the status of a term of art we wouldn't cite a statute or a regulation. We would refer to instances of usage.
  3. @Guardian I don't know what you mean by "true sense" of follow-on contracts. Such contracts are not addressed in 41 USC 253(d)(1)(B), because there is no such place in the current Title 41. There is no statutory definition of the term in 10 USC 2304(d)(1)(B). That reference does nothing more than refer to a particular kind of follow-on contract in the context of sole source contracts. How do you know that follow-on contracts, whatever they are, are rare"?
  4. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Retread: Thanks for the detailed response. The response is very complicated, and I confess that I'm not sure that I understand it or what it's got to do with my disagreement with you, although I have read it several times. Truth to tell, I'm not interested enough in this topic to devote any more time to trying to figure out what you said. Let me ask you---how does it gel with FAR 31.201-6, Accounting for unallowable cost, paragraph (a), which states: The contract will state that the parties agree that, pursuant to the terms of the contract, any G&A allocable ( or allocated) to travel is expressly unallowable and will not be reimbursed. The parties will have to calculate that amount. To me, that seems pretty straightforward.
  5. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Retread, I don't see how the costs would be allowable under the contract if the contract says that the parties have agreed that they are expressly unallowable. Are you taking the Manos position that the parties should agree that the costs are allowable, but not billable?
  6. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Uh... no. I was saying see FAR 52.216-15. I said it because you were talking about predetermined rates and didn't mention it. I thought you might like to look at it. 😊
  7. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    See FAR 52.216-15.
  8. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    I see what Carl was talking about. What I should have said was "because the contract forbids the allowance of allocable G&A costs to travel costs...." The agreement cannot limit the allocability of it. Thanks, Carl.
  9. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Yes, reaching, and I disagree. By declaring G&A charged to travel to be unallowable (or unbillable), the parties would not be making it unallocable.
  10. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    My point was that the question about applying G&A to travel has come up before. I understand the differences in the situation.
  11. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Some questions come up again and again. Check out this thread from more than three years ago. Check out the names of the participants: http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php?/topic/2626-ga-and-profit-to-travel-costs/
  12. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    That's not true. The contractor will have incurred costs that, pursuant to the terms of the contract, are expressly unallowable, because the contract forbids the allocation of G&A to travel costs, a limitation to which the contractor assented. See the definition of "expressly unallowable cost" in FAR 31.001 and see FAR 31.201-2(a)(4).
  13. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    Thanks, Help. I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting. Vern
  14. Vern Edwards

    G&A not allowed on Travel

    H2H: The anti-G&A thing has fascinated me, but not enough to prompt me to investigate its origins. Do you know anything about the history of the movement to include contract terms that make G&A unallowable?
  15. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    No big deal. I'm sure I have written several articles in which I used the phrase "intrinsic value" meaning something, but God knows what. But in a current writing project I found myself typing "intrinsic value" and then thinking, "Wait a minute. What do I mean by that?" And after deciding that I was not even close to being sure what I meant I deleted the phrase and used something else. Since then I've been reading up on intrinsic and extrinsic value. I've read about 500 pages on the subject. I even stumbled on a 1969 article entitled, "The Fallacy of Intrinsic Value," by libertarian economist and historian Gary North at the website for Foundation for Economic Education. https://fee.org/articles/the-fallacy-of-intrinsic-value/ Writing about the intrinsic value of gold he said: What do I know?
  16. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Thanks, H2H, but you answered only one of my questions. My main concern is the idea of intrinsic value. You say frequent flyer miles have value, but you suggest (you don't explicitly say) that they don't have intrinsic value, and only have value when used to purchase a ticket. It appears that your "worthless" argument is that since an airline might want 30,000 miles and you have only 10,000, your 10,000 have no value, and thus the value of the miles is not intrinsic. But how's that different than wanting to buy a $30.00 book when you only have $10? Most airlines will let you supplement your miles with dollars, or vice versa, in which case 10,000 miles are not worth nothing. And some credit cards will let you use points to buy many kinds of things. And as for money, well, $10 sometimes goes further than at other times. Prices change. You say "A FF mile has no intrinsic value because it cannot be used in trade." So is that what intrinsic means? Can be used in trade? In other words, the only thing that has intrinsic value is something that can be used in trade? Like money---currency or coin. Anyway, if use in trade is the criterion for intrinsic value, then some credit cards let you use points in trade to buy all kinds of things, so why don't they have intrinsic value? I'm not sure what the IRS has to do with the issue, since we're talking about FAR cost principles, not taxes. While FAR some cost principles are sometimes based on or reflect IRS rules, that's not true of all. The term "intrinsic value" strikes me as fuzzy. I've spend a lot of time lately reading up on it for other research that I'm doing, and I'm still not sure what it means. That's why your comment caught my eye. It's the kind of term that one might use without thinking through all the issues of definition and implication. There is no reason to be embarrassed if you used "intrinsic value" without a clear idea of what you meant. In any case, I cannot find a basis in law or regulation for what you wrote. It could be that the people who wrote the cost principles and clauses simply did not think about frequent flyer miles or credit card points when they wrote 31.205-5, 31.205-26, etc., or couldn't figure out to take credit for them for the government, or didn't want to spend time trying to figure it out, or thought it would be too much too demand.
  17. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Emphasis added. @here_2_help That's quite a statement. So the key is "intrinsic value"? I have five questions: What do you mean by "intrinsic value"? Please see my notes, below. Why do you suggest that frequent flier miles have no intrinsic value (if the answer is not clear from your answer to Q.1)? How do I know that something has or does not have intrinsic value (if the answer is not clear from your answer to Q.1)? How do I measure it (if the answer is not clear from your answer to Q.1)? If bonus points (or frequent flyer miles) had intrinsic value, then would they have to be shared with the government? Note 1: The FAR mentions the term only in 15.404-1(f), pertaining to unit prices, and provides no explanation or clarification of the term. I could not find the term in the CAS. I found only one mention of intrinsic value in Manos, in a footnote to § 76:3, which pertains to stock options. I checked APB Opinion No. 25, to which Manos refers, and which has been superseded by SFAS No. 123 (Revised). Those, too, pertain to stock options. Note 2: I found this in an online accounting dictionary --- "Intrinsic value: Valuation determined by applying data inputs to a valuation theory or model." Is that what you mean? If so, what is your theory or model? Note 3: Black's Law Dictionary, 10th, defines it as follows: Did you mean one of those three definitions? I'm not challenging the truth of what you wrote. I just want to understand what you wrote.
  18. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Everything is contractual, and we have clauses that read parts of the FAR into the contract. So, read the regulation. Do you see any mention of "bonus points"? I didn't---not anywhere in the FAR System. So a contractor can do what it likes with bonus points, unless... Do we have any basis for interpreting "bonus point" to mean "rebate" or "refund"? I checked Manos, Government Contract Costs & Pricing (2017) and found no mention of bonus points. I also checked ASBCA and Court of Federal Claims decisions for "bonus point" in this context and found nothing.
  19. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Retread: Okay. BTW, your brief, clear post is a lesson in the complexities of FAR/contract interpretation and analysis. It knocked my socks off. I might use it as a case study. It really shows how complex the system of government contracting rules has become over the decades. A question in my mind is whether we as a country and as taxpayers are really better off as a result of all that complexity. Vern
  20. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Thanks, H2H, but I didn't miss it. I simply did not see a question in the opening post about how to handle rebates as an accounting matter, so I didn't mention DCAA or the Audit Manual. I found the first bullet point to be obscure. I do not know what "allocate the rebate proportionately over all charge numbers" means. All I can think of by way of reaction would be that the amount of any rebates to be credited to the government under a particular contract would be the amount of the credit card charges that were allocated to that contract multiplied by the rebate percentage. Is that wrong? Is there any other way to determine the amount of the credit?
  21. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    Actually, one of my references was wrong. Where I typed 31.232-7 it should have been 52.232-7. I will correct that entry.
  22. Vern Edwards

    Bonus Credit Card Points

    It seems to me that the most complete answer to those questions is that if a credit card charge is allocable to a fixed-price incentive, cost-reimbursement, or T&M contract pursuant to FAR 31.201-5, 31.205-26, FAR 52.212-4, 52.216-7, 52.216-16, 52.216-17, or 52.232-7, as applicable, then the contractor must credit the Government for any rebate from that charge. Joel, H2H, correct me if I'm wrong or if my answer is incomplete.
  23. Vern Edwards

    Acceptance

    By "acceptance", do you mean as defined in FAR 46.101? Are you asking whether you can accept without inspection or are you asking whether you can accept without verification of receipt?
  24. Vern Edwards

    Are we still on the hook?

    For one perception, here's a quote from https://www.americaninno.com/dc/5-pros-and-cons-of-being-a-government-contractor/ Not necessarily reality, but perceptions matter.
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