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Corduroy Frog

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Everything posted by Corduroy Frog

  1. Understand. There is a product sold by Deltek called WinGov or GovWin or some such. Claims to be the premiere search engine for new opportunities and captures them much in advance of release. It is quite expensive. Is there any other competitive product which is reliable and effective?
  2. Thanks for your response, and I understand the work involved prior to the release. My question has to do with which account to charge - I've always been told that prior to the release, such time should be charged to an indirect business development account, but not chargeable to B&P. Then after the release, Bid and Proposal must be charged. Do I understand this correctly? The difference is that a "business development" account is simply an indirect charge, whereas "B&P" must be fully loaded with allocated overhead and material handling. This question is purely accounting and incurred cost methodology, and if you are working on winning business and not working in accounting you don't really make the distinction.
  3. Formerfed and jibdca thank you for the feedback. Actually, I wonder about "70% of B&P costs before the solicitation was ever released." I don't disagree with the effort expended, but I was of the opinion that it was not proper to charge B&P until the solicitation was released. And it needs to be a "final" solicitation, not just a sources sought or presolicitation. Am I wrong about this??
  4. For government contractors. Developing business with DoD and other govt agencies.
  5. Rank, in order of effectiveness, the following elements of business development activities for small contractors: Meeting and shaking hands with influential people to convey the talent in your company. Having key personnel in your employ that the customer has to have. Giving gifts to potential customers. Developing relations with other contractors that can be partnered with. Canvassing for opportunities as soon as they are released. Selling growth in venues where you are already working. Writing proposals that indicate knowledge of scope of work. Discussion is welcomed.
  6. Mr. Roberts, I don't know enough about the answer to clarify anything. Sorry. Already on this thread there have been wide differences in opinions. I will admit to not having a firm grasp on the subject, which is why I asked the question. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond.
  7. Govt wishes contractor to purchase $4500 worth of equipment, and will accept the charge on a cost-reimbursable CLIN. When contractor "bills" the govt, they are effectively "selling" the ownership of the equipment to the govt. However, govt indicates they will not wish for the equipment to be theirs at the end of the contract. How is best way for the contractor to handle this: Charge the govt $4500 on a cost-reimbursable invoice and be done with it. Charge the govt $4500 as above, but however, retain the equipment as a fixed asset on the books of the corporation and depreciate accordingly. Retain the equipment but only charge the govt the depreciation as it occurs on the equipment.
  8. Whatever happened to Pepe? When I joined this forum he said he was delighted to have another Frog with whom comradery could be shared. Y'know, like how to avoid frog giggers and the like. After reading a few of my posts, later he posted I was so stupid he didn't want anything else to do with me and maybe I wasn't a real frog after all...
  9. Yes, but one of the things given to me in the way of advice is to change the disclosure such that travel is reduced from the G&A Base. A small contractor is not going to be prevented from changing the disclosure as they are not subject to CAS. If they are not going to get G&A on travel anyway, then why leave it in the base and have the allocated amount just go over the cliff and not be recovered? The FAR Clause with the Alt I is written for T&M contracts but govt agencies have gone so ga-ga over this that they just won't allow G&A on anything anymore under any circumstances. I'm wondering if COs and CORs are getting told from above to not allow it.
  10. Thank you for the accurate depiction of FAR 52.212-4 Alt I. Small contractors are not in a position to bargain for anything but $0, so the widespread bulldozing of this trend continues. I appreciate your taking the time to respond, but the abuse of small contractors continues with no apparent remedy.
  11. Disallowance of G&A on Travel has been around for awhile. Most govt people will tell you that it is negotiable, but in the real world, small contractors have no negotiating power with aggressive COs who have found out they can get away with it. Perhaps the Boeings, Lockheeds, and SAICs can negotiate, but none of the small contractors that I know. The authority, I am told, is a FAR Clause with an "Alt I" attached. Now I'm finding out that the govt COs are so deliriously happy with their success, that they have started disallowing G&A on ODCs, Materials, and Other costs - even with companies who are disclosed as "Total Cost Input". The best defense is to remove Travel, etc. from the G&A base when applying for a provisional rate, thus raising the rate applied to Labor (perhaps the last bastion to survive the G&A onslaught). This can recover some lost application of G&A, but small contractors usually place a ceiling on G&A when bidding in order to be competitive. So the $$$ is not really recovered. Comments? Suggestions?
  12. Thanks for the responses. Previous history with here_2_help and C Culham have been helpful indeed. I don't want to be unappreciative of their help. This was my first thread since buying a new computer, and Bob had to help me with the logistics so I could post. The Sick Leave question for the above was a simple trial post and I was 98% sure I was correct. Forums such as this often get responses with links rather than plain English. And they are better than nothing. But many times lazy people (such as myself) would rather entertain a simple yes or no with minimal discussion, as opposed to reading 50 pages of detail - and detail presented by govt sources and lawyers undoubtedly is in stilted language difficult for the layman to understand. Just to focus on the problem: In the last few days I have worked on a large proposal where the RFP was very clear: "Do not enter links as part of your response." In other words, no one wants to deal with going to some other website when they are expecting verbage. Many of the topics do not have simple answers such as this one. Contributors here are generous with their time, and none of them should be expected to issue long responses that take hours to explain. So people as ignorant as myself come to the forum with questions, "beggars can't be choosers" is a fair assessment. But readers would also enjoy one-line or simple paraphrased answers rather than a link with several pages of stilted language. Hope this is taken well.
  13. I have mis-stated the question. Does sick leave enter the calculation of meeting the H&W hourly rate benefit in a WD? In other words, if the H&W is specified at $4.22, does sick pay become part of the calculation to meet the $4.22.
  14. I just had a Claws-out Fangs-out with a customer of mine. He insists Sick Leave is a part of Health & Welfare. I say no. Is he right?? (This is a trial post - logistics have been difficult)
  15. Why doesn't the customer simply issue a mod changing the PoP? Am I missing something here??
  16. Thanks to the respondents. It appears that the E.O. only applies to certain contracts, not all contracts. My assumption was wrong.
  17. On Labor Day, 2016, President Obama issued E.O. 13706, outlining a requirement for all federal contracts to observe/allow 7 days of annual sick leave per year. There were differences between sick leave and vacation, for example non-recognition of liability and inability to carry unused balances from one year to another. Most companies had amalgamated Vacation and Sick Leave into a single benefit - called "Personal Time Off." The Executive Order completely unraveled that concept by requiring separate recordkeeping for Vacation and Sick Leave. Emphasis all in the first line. Don't think it's happening. I don't believe government agencies really wanted to step up and pay this elusive, extra benefit. I've noticed some contracts are being issued with E.O. 13706 in place and a reduced requirement of $4.22 for Health & Welfare. Other contracts appear to be wiggling out of the 13706 requirement and are requiring $4.54 in H&W benefits. What's going on?? I thought "all" meant "all." What's the difference, and what allows some contracts to ignore the E.O.?
  18. Most emphasis is being placed on Sections 1102 & 1106. But from deep in the bowels of this thing comes Section 3610. I don't understand it and I can't seem to get a plain English version. DoD has hopped on this thing and issued a memorandum. If DoD does it, I don't know what's stopping other agencies. The general perception on my part is that contractors must credit the costs resulting from loan forgiveness and pass on: the cost benefit to the govt for cost-plus contracts. the recovery benefit in terms of hours to the govt for T&M contracts. No pass through of the benefit for fixed-price contracts, however, there's nothing stopping a force majuere equity adjustment reduction due to changed legislation. Due I have a clue what's going on with this section 3610? Comments invited. I am aware there is another thread going on that is more comprehensive. But I see a different picture than COs riding a white horse to help contractors via 3610. More like the above...
  19. Now I'm being told that for companies sufficiently small, their entire payroll costs can be forgiven, even for employees who are working on a contract. To reward the company for "not laying off anyone" even if they wouldn't be laid off anyway. I can't believe that a company can get loan forgiveness plus bill the govt for a contract already in place. Double-dipping. If this is true, contracting officers would have the right to insist that contractors reduce their billings for amounts that correspond to loan forgiveness. Comments??
  20. A Communique from a contract officer stated that the charging of an indirect account could not be used to increase rates for purposes of cost reimbursement. Anyone heard the latest on this? I think the contracting officer was just passing down what she had been sent.
  21. Whether the fee can be added to the cardholder depends on state law. IOW where you live or operate. However, states that prohibit adding the fee to the payer somehow exempt themselves, and will not hesitate to add a "convenience" fee to someone's tax bill if they pay by credit card. IRS accepts credit cards, but will add 2% to any payment agreement involving a credit or debit card. Just yet another case of governments exempting themselves from unfair legislation forced upon its constituents.
  22. Thank you Mr. Culham. Joel, I don't know whether a contractor can insist on payment terms or not. Small contractors do not have that much bargaining power. Payments from Gov't credit cards bring heavy fees - like 4% which can eat into a fee big time if unexpected.
  23. Sometimes the govt chooses to pay the contractor with a govt credit card. Suppose the gov't pays $3000 to a contractor on a credit card. The credit card charges 3% to the contractor, or $90. Question: Since the fee is based on a percentage, is it the same as a commission (selling expense). If so, does this make the $90 unallowable cost? It is a necessary cost of doing business but it is still a form of commission.
  24. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. From the standpoint of the contractor, few COs are as consistently fair-minded as ji20874. Most of them see nothing but dollar signs and are adamant that the government is going to save money by denying G&A on travel, not considering that the contractor will make up the loss somewhere else. I have to take issue with Here-2-Help, normally a reliable source of good information. Administration of travel is indeed a time-consuming tar baby, and to assert otherwise makes me think one has never had to deal with it. We now have "accountable plans" from the IRS - more important than ever under the new tax law - which eliminates job expenses for employees. The accountable plan requires a trip report from the employee, even if the travel is charged to indirect. Accounting for advances, per diem, extra airline charges, restitution of money to employee or the company, etc. All of this sucks up ridiculous amounts of time and administrative effort. And any time the JTR is exceeded without permission subjects the company to an uncompensated loss.
  25. Thanks ji. You may not have been on the other side (contractor), and should be aware of some real world (but unwritten) factors: The negotiating power in most cases are overwhelmingly in favor of the government. The contractor is chosen out of several competing contractors and cannot negotiate with an agency who insists. Only in cases where the contractor has clear, attractive and unique capabilities can a contractor be on level ground with the government. If a contractor files a claim, or sometimes even when they lodge a protest, many agencies become infuriated with the contractor. We all know the govt is not supposed to respond with bias if a contractor does this, but most of us know those in the agency will hold a grudge.
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