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About hinemand

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  1. Those are great questions. Let's see if I can frame it completely and accurately. In regards to CPSR, assume that a prime contractor for T&M (through a Task Order) is awarded non-competitive contract. The prime obtains commercial T&M rates for some of the proposed rates. I believe those T&M subcontract rates are subject to FAR 52.212-4, Alternate I, requirements, even though it is commercial, the Government would have the authority to ascertain the primes compliance with subcontracting (purchasing) practices so far as the clauses stipulates. I probably should not have used the phrase "acceptable accounting system" because that would be beyond the scope of the "Contract Terms and Conditions -- Commercial Items" clause although it does contain limited scope evaluation criteria in FAR 52-212-4, Alternate I, (a) & (i). It appears to me that commercial items are not as hands-off as intended. As you referenced FAR 44.000(, it reads that consent and advance notice requirements are not applicable for commercial items according to part 12, but part 12 requires the subcontractor to open their facilities and personnel, timekeeping, invoicing and crediting to the Government (i.e. limited scope evaluation). My reference to "subcontractor system" refers to the billing and accounting systems. Even if a prime is awarded a competitive T&M contract for commercial items, would the FAR 52.212-4, Alternate I, clause be past down? Does it matter? I believe DCAA wants all commercial T&M contracts reported through incurred cost submission; thus, it falls under FAR 52.216-7? Also, recent FR suggested changes under FAR Case 2011-003; Payments Under Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts incorporate the idea.
  2. If a prime contractor plans to award (or wishes to award) T&M subcontracts for commercial services under FAR 12.207(, what responsibility (if any) does the prime have in verifying that the subcontractor's system meets clause FAR 52.212-4, Alternative I (I) requirement, where qualifications, timesheets, and invoices. Let?s assume that the prime contractor grants the subcontractors the option to use the prime's system to perform qualification checks, record and approve time, and labor distribution. Essentially, the prime is doing all the administrative documentation required under FAR 52.212-4 for the subk. Is there a FAR reference or other authoritative pronouncement that specifically states entities selling commercial items do not need acceptable accounting and billing systems? What is the risk of CPSR failing if a prime cannot demonstrate adequate invoicing of the subk although the prime is doing all the administrative work?
  3. I am looking for someone that can enlighten me on the clause 52.216-31 purpose and use since commercial rates would necessitate a single prime schedule. What am I missing? My limited research has provided me with little comfort on its use. I?m struggle with the way it?s worded in connection with commercial ideology. Why doesn?t it mention the use of blended rates like 52.216-29? Maybe there is no need to spell it out because any commercial item implies market controlled factors.
  4. hinemand

    Experiments in Service Contracting?

    Vern - your argument no-doubt has merit drawn from the biases associated with any such test. However, even well methodically performed and statistically sound testing techniques contain judgment (e.g. precision, error acceptance, etc.), resulting from the inherent risks. Could some of these factors/elements of risk be mitigated to an acceptable level? For example, use a qualified third party to conduct the test and develop the control (i.e. independent coefficients) and provide proven (howbeit difficult as you pointed out) results. Essentially, what I?m saying is that there is enough similarity to provide an acceptable analysis. Such dynamic features (containing many variables) are faced by many disciplines, other than contracting, who have overcome them, not eliminating the variability entirely. Maybe a system that determines the risk of cost-reimbursable that generates a general level of required resources at an optimal level may provide a solution. Identifying independent variables leveraged from actual data (assuming the data is good) with highly correlated data to draw conclusions. It?s hard not to believe that no econometric model could be developed to depict this condition with all the required documentation that the Government and Contractors already posses. At the end, however, it may just prove your point -- it's not possible. Yes -- Steve overly simplified the testing. Your solution of qualified (in all its forms) personnel offers a utopian picture, so worthy of more time to discuss, but so would honesty and forthcoming on both contractor's and government's part. Until such a world comes about, we must traverse the valleys and hills of the multispeed treadmill of contracting.
  5. As stated in FAR 12.207(b') T&M/LH contracts may be awarded under commercial services (of course, meeting all the stipulations); however, it appears the offeror must still propose strait rates (i.e. separately identified rates to the entity or affiliate performing the services) as required in soliciting services, under FAR 52.216-31, "the offeror to specify whether the fixed hourly rate for each labor category that applies to labor performed by-- (1) The Offeror; (2) Subcontractors; and/or (3) Divisions, subsidiaries, or affiliates of the offeror under a common control." Now, with that nonsense said, 71 FR 74672 explains the intent of the FAR council's conformity with commerciality when the council stated there is to be single schedule "...without listing the subcontracts when the contractor's established catalog or market price includes the price of its subcontracts..." (My attempt to simplify the term "single schedule" for blended or non-blended catalog price/rate.) To what extent is this clause used for if the market factors already constrain unreasonable prices; thus, there is no need to identify it separately. The use in which the clause (i.e. FAR 52.216-31) reads, it conveys the need for separate rates. First, when is this clause applicable? Second, what protection if any does it offer the Government in identifying who is performing the work and if blended or non-blended (i.e. strait) rates are proposed? To answer my own question, maybe the Government wants to know specifics for repricing future orders under indefinite delivery contract through FFP rather than T&M/LH. Maybe I'm missing the point and the "and/or" allows for identifying the players participating or associated with the rates and not specifically identify the entities or affiliates strait rates. I find myself in circles on this matter, so if you have wisdom to share, please expound. You may dispute my use of the word "strait" in this context, but I was only playing on words to mean strait at cost from the entity or affiliate performing the task/job.