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Posts posted by lotus

  1. The Government typically wants the contractor to sign a release of claims and some certifications after work in done and paid for.

    Has anyone ever taken the position that they will do so, but only if and after the Government signs similar forms releasing the contractor from future claims and making similar certifications (e.g., the government has back all of its property)?

  2. On 9/5/2020 at 8:35 PM, here_2_help said:

    This is a very dangerous line of reasoning not supported by (or in direct conflict with) applicable FAR and/or CAS regulations. Contractors that follow this line of reasoning should expect, as a minimum, questioned costs. I wouldn't be surprised to see a CAS 402 noncompliance thrown in for good measure. In extreme cases it could imperil the adequacy of the accounting system.

    I would strongly urge readers to ignore this reasoning.

    To the contrary, it precisely relies recognizing the border between contract work and other than contract work.

  3. On 8/20/2020 at 7:08 AM, joel hoffman said:

    Unallowable direct costs can’t otherwise be charged to overhead or G&A for back door recovery. See, for instance 31.110   Indirect cost rate certification and penalties on unallowable costs. See also, 31.201-6   Accounting for unallowable costs. See also 31.202 Direct Costs, 31.203 indirect costs,  31.204   Application of principles and procedures.

    Is not a direct cost if it is for things outside of the contract.  If 1000 hours were in the contract, and 1100 delivered, the last 100 were outside the contract and hence not direct.  They were a type of business development or marketing costs.

  4. On 6/4/2020 at 5:51 PM, UseTheFARLuke said:

    Having a material handling pool won't increase G&A.  The purpose of having a material handling pool is to keep the costs out of the G&A pool.  You allocate the cost of the material handling pool to the subcontracts and procurements made by the folks in the pool.  Granted the material handling costs would be burdened with G&A in a TCI situation.  It all depends on how many contracts your company has and the size of those contracts.

    Actually, it probably will increase your G&A rate.   If materials costs are substantial, and they are or this would be a non-issue, then pulling them from the G&A base means the same G&A costs are allocated over a smaller base, meaning labor will carry a higher rate.

  5. Yes, you can cap the G&A rate that you charge the Government.  As part of your proposal state something along the line of we expect our G&A rate to be 25% but will cap the rate used to charge the Government at 15%.    No change to your accounting system is needed.  Your job cost reports from your accounting system likely will show a loss (no revenue for the 10% not charged and your fee is unlikely to fully cover those costs), but you can do that.

  6. Who decides if a position is filled?  Can one person fill two positions simultaneously?  If you are the decision maker on this matter, you should have little problem filling the positions.

    Is a fully burdened daily or hourly rate stated as part of the contract or solicitation response?  State it as $1 per hour or $1 per day in the proposal.  Hours times fully burdened rate per hour may be less than the firm fixed price.



  7. I've been handed a recently awarded GSA schedule contract, 00 CORP, which has some labor categories which are mapped to wage determination occupations.

    The documentation refers to to the wage determination 2015-4281, which is for Alexandria, Virginia.  It does not refer to a revision number.

    The revision number in place now is #16, and it was in place a few days ago at the start of the schedule contract.

    I'm wondering how to interpret this when revisions #17 and #18 come along.  Presumably they will have higher wages and H&W benefits.

    What will be the impact on the schedule labor rates?

    For example, Accounting Clerk I now has a wage of $19.10 and $4.22 in H&W.  If in revision #17 this goes to $20.00 and $5.00, what is the impact on the schedule rate?


  8. What happens if ....

    A contract's period of performance is over, and

    Invoices are submitted and paid, and

    a de-obligation mod is put into place and release of claims signed reflecting numbers on the de-obligation mod, and

    then it is discovered that the de-obligation mod was too aggressive in that it de-obligated money already invoiced and paid?


  9. Is this allowed by 52.203-5?

    Small company pays Big Company, the current prime contractor, to write a proposal with Small Company as the intended prime.  Small Company will pay a fee to Big Company contingent upon Small Company becoming the awardee, and will also have Big Company as a subcontractor.

    My interpretation is yes, it is allowed.

    I presume it makes no difference if Big Company hands the proposal to Small Company which then submits it, or if Big Company does the submitting for Small Company.

  10. On 12/23/2019 at 10:02 AM, joel hoffman said:

    Major changes to the PWS or MAJOR change to the payment terms might warrant cancellation.

    Also may depend upon the timing of the changes in the solicitation period.

    Also depends upon how many various types of changes, like described  above are collectively or simultaneously occurring. 

    Ah, but what is major?

       I would say anything that adds to the requirements placed on the contractor is major; anything that subtracts from the requirements placed on the contractor is also major; and anything that might adversely affect the contractor or contractor's rights is also major.

       Most modifications will fit in one of those categories.

  11. What changes should cause a solicitation to be cancelled and re-issued as a fresh solicitation instead of causing a modification to the solicitation?

    __ a change to the PWS other than an obvious typo correction?

    __ a change of contracting officer?

    __ a change to the CLIN structure?

    __ a change of to the CDRL's?

    __ a change of contract type on one or more CLIN's?

    __ change of payment terms (e.g., incentives, disincentives, or basis of payment?

    _ a change to the evaluation criteria?

    _ a change to the instructions to offerors?

    __ add your own cause.

  12. My little company has a FFP services contract with DoD. 

    The structure is CLIN's 1 thru 5 each corresponding to a year.  Prices are at the CLIN level, not per deliverable, or per day, or anything similar.

    Billing is in 12 equal monthly amounts, based on the full year price.

    DoD funded roughly 60% of the first year's price.  Insofar as I can tell, nothing compels DoD to fully fund it.

    Assuming DoD doesn't timely come up with funding, when should I tell the PM to pull the people from the work site?  What measure should I use to make that determination?  Would that be some cost based measure, or passage of days, or what?

  13. The cost of selling to the government is quite high.  In the end, I suspect the government pays those costs.  What systemic changes can be made to reduce the costs of selling to the government?

    A rule of thumb the Director of Business Development at my company cites is that a proposal will cost 2% to 3% of the revenue from the contract.

    If only 5 competent competitors are competing (i.e. the PWin is 1/5, or 20%), that would be 10% to 15% of revenue is spent on proposal costs.   

    Then there are other selling costs, too such as pre-RFP work.




    My understanding is that it is measured in a manner similar to this.  Please let me know if you know otherwise.

    Total Amount Invoiced (not contract value or funded value)

    minus direct costs of Travel, Materials, and Other Non-Labor Costs (e.g., ODC's), (including such costs passed thru from the sub along with the sub's invoiced indirect costs, which become direct costs to the prime),

    equals Cost of Personnel.

          Note that indirect costs on Travel, Materials, and ODC's as part of the Cost of Personnel.  Note also that costs are counted based on Contractor's cost, whether they are invoiced to the Government or not, versus cost to the Government, which would disregard any uninvoiced costs.

          When a sub or other service provider invoices on a lump sum basis that includes Travel, Materials, and ODC's, the whole lump sum is part of the Cost of Personnel.


  15. What is the date used for determining whether an offeror is an 8(a) company?  Which, if any, of the Offeers below would be eligible for award under an 8(a) set-aside solicitation?

    The situation:

    December 27, 2018 a pre-solicitation notice is published on FBO.

    January 2, 2019 Offeror #1 exits the 8(a) program

    January 10, 2019 the solicitation is published on FBO.

    January 20, 2019 the Offeror #2 exits the 8(a) program.

    February 20, 2019 responses to the solicitation are due.

    March 17, 2019 Offeror #3 exits the 8(a) program.

    April 20, 2019 BAFO's are requested.

    April 22, 2019 Offeror #4 exits the 8(a) program.

    April 27, 2019 BAFO's are submitted.

    May 17, 2019 Offeror #5 exits the 8(a) program.

    May 20, 2019 award is made.






  16. 8 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

    The writer is of the opinion that a shutdown is a sovereign act.  It is his opinion.  I disagree.


    9 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

    Asked and answered. 

    For example: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-recent-reminder-of-the-sovereign-acts-87475/

    the  CBCA acknowledged that a three day suspension due to government shutdown  was a “sovereign act”.

    "... one of the key inquiries is to determine whether the governmental action constitutes a sovereign act, determined by whether the government act is directed at only the contractor or at the public generally. " 

         This is a different test than the one that I think is appropriate.  It does seem to have some weight as the article says this rationale was used in a CBCA ruling.  Getting a ruling body to agree that a different test is appropriate (i.e., the test that I suggested) will be hard to do, even though a different test is appropriate.

         Any thoughts as to how to sway the judge?


  17. Is the current partial Government shutdown a sovereign act?  I suspect the instinctive reaction of most readers is yes, although I am now believing otherwise.

    The test for whether an act is a sovereign act is whether or only a sovereign could perform acts in the the same category. 

    The current partial shutdown is a reflection of a budget dispute.  Can non-sovereign entities have budget disputes?  Yes, they can, and yes they do, for similar reasons (powerful people with large egos squabble about priorities).

    Pick a big corporation.  Apple Corporation, for example.  Could Apple have a budget dispute and shut down part of it's operations pending resolution?  Obviously, yes it could.

    Therefore, the current shutdown is not a sovereign act.  Instead it is a management act.  And, the Government should not be able to avoid paying contractors saying the shutdown was a sovereign act.

    I seek your advice on overcoming the instinctive reactions that the partial shutdown is a sovereign act.

    I seek your comments and advice on how to be kept whole, to be paid for hours that my employees are locked out of their workplaces in Government buildings.

    (As you might expect, at the moment the contracting officers and COR's involved are furloughed.)


  18. Some agencies are probably shutting down.  One of my COR's has talked of furloughing contractor employees who work on Government site.

    Assuming the Govt does shut down, I'd like to keep my employees working billable hours, or otherwise recover the money that would be billed for billable hours worked.

    Any advice?

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