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About ry_lock

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  1. I began working at a Navy working capital fund agency 10 yrs ago. The way the R&D contracts were set up completely different than they are now. The contracts back then provided maximum flexibility to meet our customers requirements. Fast forward to today, most people here (new) state how multiple aspects of the old contracts were not right or legal. We are now setting up the contracts completely different and I believe is in a way an annually appropriated agency does which decreases flexibility for our R&D efforts. The more I research I conduct the more I think it was OK to do. To add to the confusion is section 2330 of title 10, United States Code, the definition of services specifically excludes research and development, while in 37.101 of the FAR and elsewhere, research and development is mentioned in the list of potential activities that could qualify as services. Service or not a service? Anyway, I have a couple questions I was hoping people could shed some light on: 1. Nonseverable, CPFF Completion development contracts >12 or >18 month PoPs: Our customers here are unable to fully fund practically anything considering they have to go pitch their ideas out and hope sponsors fund them so it comes in piece by piece. Currently its stated we are not to incrementally fund these types of contracts. I understand the bona fide needs rule; however, does GAO B-277165 provide an exception and allow for incrementally funded nonseverable contracts? 2. Severable CPFF-Term (LOE) R&D contracts: A. I'm directed to set up these up with a base year with options for the subsequent 4 years. I believe GAO B-322455 allows us to remove the options for these types and have a 5 year PoP. Do you agree? This would allow for the acceleration/deceleration of the burn rate (IAW LOE clause) over each of the 5 years without the administrative nightmare (One year the LOE is used up early, next year LOE isn't used up, which then if its on a year CLIN, we would lose the unused LOE). Also, B-277165 will allow us to fund it appropriately, correct? B. If options are used, options used to be set up IAW FAR 17.204(f)(2). They used to look like this: "Option 1: 100,000 LOE, $10M, 12 month PoP. If exercised, will increase CLIN 0001." Was told this isn't allowed for options and you SHALL use different CLIN numbers for options. This then required dates, and wouldn't allow them to be exercised "at any time (inserted in 217-9)". At the end it would look like this: "CLIN 0001, 500,000 LOE, 60 month PoP." This would be allowable, correct? C. Directed to have a "Cost Only" CLIN for Travel, another for Material, or any other ODC for each year. We give the vendor amounts to propose in the RFP as the requirement's travel, material, etc isn't defined and is unknown at time of RFP. I agree with one of Vern's post's in Wifcon saying: "what the heck is the deliverable under these type of CLIN's? There isn't one. It's consumed by labor to perform and deliver CLIN 0001. ODC's shouldn't be separate CLIN's. People do it but are not correct. ODC's should or shouldn't be separate CLIN's? Another day I'll go into how we are making our R&D contracts (PSC Axx1-Axx5) as PBSA. 😞 A lot of information. I'd appreciate anyone's feedback of what I got right or wrong. Thanks.
  2. I should have put this first: we fall under (ii)(A)
  3. No. We fall under (iii) When the use of multiple accounting classification citations is authorized for a single contract line item, establish informational subline items for each accounting classification citation in accordance with 204.7104-1(a).
  4. I think this is where Legal's concern is with a single CLIN that uses RDT&E and O&M funds.
  5. We've determined O&M money can be used to fund efforts in the SOW in support of R&D work (FMR Vol 2A, Chapter 1, Paragraph 010213). I found a great write up on this located here: http://www.strategicinstitute.org/other-transactions/appropriations-ots/. It talks about OT funding but the point they make is relevant to R&D contracts funding. My argument is if a single CLIN sites the whole SOW, which allows for R&D work that is capable of being funded with RDT&E, O&M, working capital funds, then breaking out a separate CLIN for O&M work seems pointless to me, hence the reasons we can't without causing an administrative nightmare. I'm trying to find somwhere that would state that O&M and RDT&E funding can be used to fund the same CLIN that sites the whole SOW. I guess a route forward could be to have my Comptroller provide approval.
  6. It sounds like this would cause for a lot of administration. How do you know exactly how much, for example, 10,000 LOE cost? Are these fixed price contracts? If you obligate $1,000,000 for 10,000 hours and price the SLIN in this way and the contractor comes back saying they expended the 10,000 LOE but it costed them $900,000, do you move $100,000 off that SLIN? OR if they say they completed the 10,000 LOE for $1,100,000, how do you move funding onto that SLIN? Seems you better hope you have additional funding that is the same FY and color to cover the increase considering you can't have SubCLIN's under SubCLIN's to establish different lines of accounting.
  7. I was trying to say that the SOW lists general, broad tasks. The general tasks allow for numerous tasks to be performed due to the fact they would all fall within scope of a task in the SOW due to its broad nature. If we further defined every possible task (to break out R&D and O&M) that could be required, there's high probability everything potential task required would be thought of. Hence why the SOW needs to be broad in nature. The tracking will be done by knowing all work that was funded via CLIN 0002: O&M Labor went to O&M work. My argument is that we can't estimate the amount of R&D vs O&M work at time of RFP to price the CLIN's. I guess the short question is whether or not a R&D contract CLIN can be funded by more than one type of funds (R&D and O&M)? If so, what can I provide as reasoning. Or is breaking out a separate CLIN for a specific type of funding violate any regulations?
  8. I currently work at a working capital DoD, R&D organization. Most of our funding comes from outside sponsors which comes in at a very unpredictable pace. I have CPFF R&D contracts that are funded mostly by RDT&E and Navy working capital funds. We also receive O&M funding for those contracts. We've determined O&M can be used on R&D contracts as stated in the FMR Vol 2A, Chapter 1, Paragraph 010213. The issue at hand is the CLIN structure of the contract. Some individuals in my contract’s office require if a R&D contract will use O&M funding, a separate O&M funded CLIN needs to be created that cites specific paragraphs in the SOW that are labeled as O&M work. There’s two problems with this: 1. The SOW’s for our R&D contracts are very broad in nature considering the tasks to be performed cannot be defined due to the unpredictability of performance (don’t want to paint ourselves in a corner by trying to define the tasks further due to the fact a new task required may be determined out of scope). Considering the SOW is broad, multiple, actual tasks performed can point back to one general task listed in the SOW, whether it be a R&D or O&M type task. Both would fall within scope of that one task. It would not be possible to define all tasks associated with an effort well enough to have each task labeled as either a R&D task or O&M task. So the CLIN that uses O&M funding can’t point to specific tasks considering the general tasks listed in the SOW can be further broken down to allow for R&D or O&M tasks. 2. If we create two labor CLIN’s: one for R&D tasks (70% of value) and one for O&M tasks (30% of value) under a CPFF contract, requirements can change which will then require 80% for R&D and 20% for O&M (by the way, it would be impossible for a contractor to price each separately as both CLIN’s site the whole SOW. We would have to give them an anticipated level of effort in which that would be just a guesstimate). If the funding comes in differently than expected (95% of the time) the administration ofmoving CPFF value from CLIN to CLIN would become burdensome. It would become such a burden that it could jeopardize expiring funding if values/LOE needs to be moved between CLIN’s first via a modification. Considering our R&D contract allows for RDT&E, working capital funds and O&M funding, is there a reason to track it at the CLIN level by establishing separate CLIN’s? I can’t seem to come up with any regulation supporting the argument of separate CLIN’s per funding type. The main concern is how do we know they are not using O&M funding for R&D tasks or vice versa. I believe this is tracked by the COR, sponsor, and their appropriate financial offices. And not the contracts office.
  9. One issue I can foresee is I would end up with a severable services contract with a POP that exceeds the RDTE’s period of availability. Example: Contract is 1/17-1/18 6/17 – option 1 exercised, bringing end date to 1/19. 11/17 – option 2 exercised, bringing end date to 1/20. 11/17 – obligate FY17 or 18 RDTE funds for a severable services contract with a PoP that extends until 1/20 – beyond the RDTE funds period of availability (9/19). FY19 or FY20 funds would be appropriate for work done in 1/20. I would be creating an obligation for money not yet appropriated. Would funding this with 2 year RDT&E funds be permissible?
  10. In R&D the work can be quite unpredictable and fairly undefined. Vendor's are not able to price the SOW's I attach to RFP's as they are very vague. In order to accommodate this, I usually attach an anticipated level-of-effort to the CPFF Term RFP so all vendors come in on the same playing field. The issue arises when we say, for example, "Agency anticipates 20,000 hours for the base year and each option for a total of 100,000 hours." Once the contract award has been made the work itself fluctuates: the level-of-effort can be accelerated or decelerated depending the way the R&D is being conducted (IAW a level-of-effort clause stating so). This causes issues because the work required in the base year may actually become 22,000 hours, and the next year the work required could become 17,000 hours, etc. Here's my scenario: The R&D contract would have one CLIN: CLIN 0001 for 20,000 labor hours (attached to a labor mix) with an estimated CPFF amount of $5M and a period of performance of 1/1/17 - 12/31/17. The contract would contain 4 options (that are not CLIN's). Each option would contain 20,000 hours, $5M estimated CPFF and will extend the base by 12 months (no set period of performance). The option clause would state "can exercise option anytime prior to expiration of the term." Once I exercise Opt 1, CLIN 0001 would be revised to: CLIN 0001: 40,000 hours, $10M estimated CPFF and a period of performance of 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2018. Same thing with Options 2-4. Each Option would (FAR 17.204(f)(2)) increase specific line items (CLIN 0001). In the end, the contract would be CLIN 0001: 100,000 hrs, $25M 1/1/17-12/31/2022. The reason for this is due to the fluctuating work requirements, uncertainty and unpredictability of the burn rate. If in Month 9 of the base contract year all hours are expended, I could then exercise the next option which will dump into CLIN 0001 and allow us more hours, $ and time. This is not to be confused with exercising an option early as the clause states they can be exercised at any time and the options themselves wouldn't have a start and end date, just an amount of time. Would this acceptable? For this scenario only 2 yr R&D funds and working capital funds would be used.
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