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About here_2_help

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  • Birthday 12/17/1960

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    No special interests, really. Kind of a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none kind of person.

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  1. Vern, I know you mean well but you are coming across like that guy in the brainstorming session who keeps criticizing other people's ideas. We seem to have differing ideas regarding the point of the thought experiment. In related news, your notion to roll-back CAS applicability is a great idea, except to implement it you will have to substantially rewrite FAR Part 31. Approximately 10 of the 19 Standards are invoked by the cost principles as a condition of cost allowability. If you have a contract with 52.216-7 then you are subject to a lot of the CAS requirements, including some of the more onerous Standards, even if you are a small business. Just sayin'
  2. PepetheFrog, From my (outsider) perspective there are a number of problems with the Federal personnel system. Would some of them be fixed if it were easier to hire and fire? Absolutely. But to my way of thinking the real problem is a lack of leadership with respect to a "human capital" strategy at each department/agency. Taxpayers and Congress should demand that Secretaries and other leaders testify regarding their plans to attract and hire the right people, develop and retain the right people, and rightsize the staff as necessary. Then the leaders should be held accountable for the results against their plans. Accountable how? As in, no budget increases for non-personnel activities until personnel management improves. While we are dreaming ....
  3. PepetheFrog, "It is very well to say that those who deal with the Government should turn square corners. But there is no reason why the square corners should constitute a one-way street." -- Justice Jackson, writing for the four Justices who dissented in Federal Crop Insurance Corp v. Merrill in 1947. I would ask SCOTUS to rehear a similar case and reverse its prior holding. I know I'm just a dreamer....
  4. Vern if the Constitution were so clear we wouldn't need an implementing statute, enacted 100 years after the country's founding. So obviously there's something other than Congress' "power of the purse" going on. In my view, the ADA acts to give the government an "out" with respect to fulfilling its obligations under a contract to which it is a party. It permits the Federal government to enter into a contract and then welsh on the deal, using the excuse that Congress hasn't appropriated sufficient funds. As we all know and as you noted, the additional problem is that Congress has over the past decade or so proven unable to execute with any consistency its Constitutional duty in that regard. Rather than accept the status quo I advocated the position that a contract is a contract, and that doing away with the ADA would return the parties to a more equal footing. You don't like my position? Fine. Doesn't mean my point isn't valid. (Though I accept my suggestion would be rather difficult to implement.) Go now and enjoy Paris. Hoist a glass to von Steuben and to Koscuisko.
  5. sdgovacct, As far as I know, there is no statute that requires a US-based travel agency to be used. The key point would be whether your company is able to show that the price paid -- the service fee plus whatever else -- is fair and reasonable. That being said, do you have any contracts that impose additional requirements? I wouldn't think you would, but you need to check. Hope this helps
  6. Because compliance contributes to the creation of a myriad of additional rules and procedures and processes, and because it creates funding uncertainty for contractors. Funding uncertainty is one of the top contributors to suboptimal program/contract outcomes and impacts military readiness. That's not my opinion, it's the opinion of contractors and military leadership. "Eight years of continuing resolutions — and a year of sequestration — have caused budget uncertainty that has resulted in additional cost and time requirements for 'just about everything we do,' Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing on long-term budget challenges... " Yes, it's not just about the ADA, but the ADA is my starting point because I can't repeal Congress.
  7. Let's eliminate the Anti-Deficiency Act, for starters
  8. Joel. Yes. But I think you missed my point. Let me iterate my thoughts. We fought a war against a sovereign ruler. Good men died so that we could create a government by the people instead of by a hereditary ruler. Our founders created a new and improved operating system, including elected representatives to replace a king. And yet, despite the innovation that went into our constitution, the judicial system rebooted as English Common Law 2.0, with many of the bugs from the previous system left intact. Among the bugs was that notion that when the people consented to their new Federal government, they somehow waived some of the rights they had just won from King George. To my way of thinking the place for Sovereign Immunity is when one actually has a Sovereign, especially when the "Sovereign" is a party to a contract. Sigh. I know. Getting off the soapbox now.
  9. Funny, I've read Article III, Section 2 several times and I don't see the phrase "sovereign immunity" anywhere. I must have picked up a bad copy of the Constitution. I see the phrase used in the 11th Amendment, but only with respect to States and not to the Federal government. So where did the concept -- also known as "crown immunity" come from? What does the Latin phrase "rex non potest peccare" mean? Just an issue I think about from time to time....
  10. Here_2_help's General Rule #1 for Contract Negotiations: Whenever one party uses the "Christian Doctrine" to justify their position or proposed action, they have already lost. Hope this helps.
  11. 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. If the billed subcontractor costs show up on the 2016 ICA then I assume I'll have to wait until 2016 ICA audit is complete to close out the Prime Contract, correct? There is no way around that I suppose. Yes, there is. You can close out your subcontract at any time based on your negotiation with the subcontractor and agreement of the final rates to be billed. Neither your company nor the subcontractor need government approval to reach agreement on rates to be used to close-out the subcontract.
  12. Retreadfed, This weekend I went through the decision in some detail, and it occurred to me that your position offers the greatest hope to overturn the FAR Council's ill-advised 2005 FAR Part 30 and CAS clause revisions. In other words, I hope you are right that somebody, somewhere, some time, will make a decision that will lead to an appeal that will overturn the 2005 revisions, based on an impermissible conflict between statute and regulation. That would be awesome! Paul Pompeo (Arnold & Porter), who litigated the matter for Raytheon, wrote that the materiality criteria themselves offered an avenue to consider offsetting impacts from concurrent changes, even though the FAR Council prohibited such in the 2005 revisions. (See (e)(1) in PepetheFrog's post, above.) I'm okay with that, too. But I also like your scenario. H2H
  13. MrJP, Honestly, "everyone else's experience" is not going to convince your CACO to scale back the review. It's your turn and you are going to get what you get. Might as well stop complaining about it. And I'm not convinced that the planned review is going to disrupt your work all that much. 1. You provide the files. DCMA looks at them. If you are lucky, you get immediate questions that you can quickly answer. If unlucky, questions are saved for the weekly meetings. 2. You have weekly meetings to discuss questions and concerns. You address those questions/concerns. The meeting ends. 3. Repeat for three months. I get it's a distraction but I'm not seeing the overwhelming disruption. Is your procurement staff not prepared to defend their files? Hope this helps.
  14. Actually the better approach is to tell the CACO "bring it on" and dare them to perform the full-up CPSR with the review team. That way you get an approved purchasing system and the CACO learns bullying doesn't work. But that approach also assumes you have a top-notch purchasing system and are prepared to pass with flying colors. (Vern noted this in an earlier post but I'm emphasizing it.) If you have upset the CACO you will have an uphill battle; but if you pass you shouldn't ever be bothered again. To Vern's later point ("if you let a bully bully you once") I will offer the observation that, in my personal view, there is a reason that we are seeing a lot of CoFC and ASBCA decisions involving Raytheon, CACI, Excelis, and other contractors that have, historically, been reluctant to litigate. They seem to have decided that they are not going to accept flawed (in their view) COFDs based on flawed (in their view) DCAA audit reports. They are litigating very small dollar amounts and they seem to be winning more often than not. I think there's a reason for litigating small dollar amounts and it involves an acknowledgement of Vern's aphorism. On the other hand, I might be a tad biased.