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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. Yes. Something like that. But, you know, with meaningful topics intended to be applied to situations that acquisition personnel are likely to encounter. Not "Frank Kendall discusses acquisition workforce development".
  2. This has been one of the better discussion threads in a while; not because of the topic but because of the thoughts it sparked. As Vern was posting I was asking myself how DoD (or civilian agencies) handle the concept of "just in time" training. Many years ago we tried to help organizations develop into a "culture of learning" and one of the key attributes was availability of JIT training. For example, if a contracting specialist needed (or wanted) to learn about differing site conditions, there would be a short (~10 minute to ~30 minute) video that they could access that would give them the basics. That video would reference other topics for a deeper dive, if warranted. The point was (and still is!) to marry OJT with learning that was immediately applicable to the circumstances the individual was trying to deal with. Of course, almost nobody bought into the notion. Too different, too much work, too expensive. Still, I was wondering if DAU or other training entities had looked in that direction?
  3. This is a cost reimbursement contract. You will end up paying for the contractor's actual, allowable, allocated, indirect costs regardless of your estimated cost at award, unless you and the contractor agree to an indirect rate ceiling agreement. In point of fact, the contractor's indirect rates in its FPRP are simply estimates of future costs (and allocation bases) to be incurred. Exactly like every other aspect of the contractor's cost proposal. If you are truly concerned about differences between the indirect rates used in the contractor's proposal as compared to its FPRP rates, then you can try to negotiate a rate ceiling. But before you do that, ask yourself how much money is at stake on this contract.
  4. Funny, the contractor where I had this experience was a "Top 5" defense contractor....
  5. Vern, you are correct but not all contractors have your perspicacity.
  6. I have some familiarity with this situation from the contractor's side. In our case the customer wanted actuals in order to develop its internal estimate for a future solicitation (so TINA requirements didn't play into the discussions). In each and every case, we ended up providing the actuals. At the end of the day, it was a relationship decision and the relationship trumped other considerations. The only remaining issue was that, since the prior award was FFP, the actuals were not structured/organized as the customer wanted to see them, making the customer's analysis more difficult than it had anticipated. To be very clear, that was not intentional; it was the natural consequence of the original contract type. But the end result was a frustrated customer, which was the result we had wanted to avoid.
  7. If the prior buy was on an FFP basis, then the contractor may be trying to argue that its actual costs under that FFP award are protected since the contracting officer doesn't have audit rights to examine data and records regarding actual costs in such circumstances. (See 52.215-2(b).) I'm fairly sure that restriction does not affect the contractor's requirements to provide accurate, complete, and current "cost or pricing data" as invoked by other solicitation or contract clauses.
  8. Restating the question to check my understanding: Does anybody know a case decided by the Court of Federal Claims, where the actual costs incurred by the contractor on prior acquisitions of the same goods were found to fall under the definition of "cost or pricing data" (or "certified cost or pricing data") for purposes of complying with the requirements of 52.215-20? Do I have it correct?
  9. Excellent use of a strawman argument! I congratulate you for successfully arguing against something I did not post. Please, proceed.
  10. I'm not in government service but I work at a contractor that hires quite a few veterans. (I should note that the vets are some of the best people to work with.) In addition to Vern's sage advice, let me add that you seem to be doing all the right things to prepare for the transition, whenever it may happen. Regardless of your perceptions about experience and responsibilities, a veteran with contracting experience plus CFCM plus MBA will be desirable to many contractors. Based on your resume, you should have few problems getting interviews, especially if you are willing to relocate to where the jobs are. Hope this helps
  11. The ceiling on executive compensation found in 31.205-6 only pertains to the calculation of allowable compensation for purposes of determining total contract costs. Since we've already established that the distribution of profit occurs after total contract costs have been determined, that limitation is not relevant. As the FAR Council (and DCAA) is fond of saying, "We are not telling you how much to pay your executives. That's entirely up to you. We're only telling you how much of that compensation will be reimbursed by USG." Hope this helps
  12. Retreadfed, Thanks for the reference. I'm familar with that MRD. It was required because DCAA didn't perform its MAAR audits consistently when it stopped performing its audits of contractor proposals to establish final billing rates. It's tough to interview employees who left the company (or passed away) years ago. As you probably know, GAGAS 6.04b requires audit conclusions to be based on adequate ("sufficient and appropriate") evidence, and there were some concerns that maybe DCAA was taking so long to perform its audits, once it got around to performing them, that the information it was relying on was no longer adequate. (See DoD OIG audit report number D-2011-6-011, Sept. 21, 2011.) Thus, to address the concerns raised by the IG, the MRD was issued to give auditors additional procedures that would help to make the old information more adequate. To my knowledge, nobody has yet opined on whether or not the additional procedures correct the basic problem documented by the IG. (I should note that it was a DCAA auditor that first raised the issue by calling the IG Hotline.) To your point, yes. I see that "existence" is still an audit test. In my recent experience, though, the "existence" part of the audit is of lesser importance than the "interview" part of the audit.
  13. We do love to go down these semantic rabbit holes here, don't we. According to the court's decision, quoted above, facts = information. What is information? My entire point is that the contractor has fulfilled its duty when it discloses its facts in accordance with the requirements of FAR Table 15-2, unless the CO requests additional information necessary to support the determination of price reasonableness. If I have told you that Employee Number 1 makes $100,000 in annual salary, that is a factual disclosure, and I have met by disclosure obligation. Pieces of paper may be facts, but the contractor has flexibility to disclose those facts in the manner it chooses, consistent with FAR requirements. Once facts/information have been disclosed, any further inquiries about those facts fall into "verification" (at least in my mind). The verification activity would appear to have the purpose of confirming or refuting the contractor's assertion regarding the veracity of the facts/information it disclosed. I think it used to be called "fact finding" but I'm not sure if that term is used anymore. In any case, if you want paystubs to be certified cost or pricing data, then fine with me. I've already agreed that the government has audit rights with respect to certified cost or pricing data. Please do not take the next step of stating that the contractor has violated its disclosure requirements if it has failed to submit paystubs as part of its disclosure package.
  14. Vern, I'm not claiming to be a lawyer, but is it possible that the statutes and regulations are incorrectly using the term "fact" when the more precise term should be "factual evidence"? From my layperson reading, a Trier of Fact determines the facts of a case based on evidence presented. The facts are conclusions based on evidence, and are not evidence themselves. If facts exist outside of evidence in support of them, wouldn't they be beliefs instead of facts? In any case, when I prepare a cost estimate I use as many facts as possible. In order to determine those facts, I rely on documents (evidence). Sometimes I use judgment. When I submit a cost estimate subject to Truthful Cost or Pricing Data requirements, I tell the contracting officer how I developed my costing and price, and I tell them what evidence I relied on and when I used judgment. When DCAA comes in to audit my cost estimate, they ask for evidence to support my assertions--my "facts". They decide whether or not the evidence supports my assertions regarding the "facts". If I told the contracting officer I was using judgment, they will ask for technical assistance to express an opinion regarding the reasonableness of my judgment. I may be wrong but that's the way it's worked for more than 30 years. In my view, it would be unfortunate if the Trier of Fact were to henceforth be known as the Trier of Paystubs.
  15. I'm a bit confused here. Let's start with this statement about one of the contractor's executive officers: "... he receive 15% of the profit on the contract, after all other profit obligations have been taken care of." What are "profit obligations"? What are "other profit obligations"? As you recognized, in order to calculate the "profit of the contract" one would subtract contract total costs (which is a term defined at 31.201-1) from total revenue. At the end of the day, total revenue = total billings. So "profit of the contract" means what's left over after the contractor has billed (and presumably received) all payments. Therefore, it is not a contract cost. You noted that and you are correct. Therefore, you are also correct that there is nothing you can do about it. More to the point, why should the government care how a contractor distributes its profit? Raytheon and Northrop and Lockheed and many other publicly traded contractors distribute their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. Many publicly traded contractors pay dividends in excess of 50% of their annual profits. That's just business. If this contractor is not publicly traded and owned by a few individuals, there is nothing wrong with 15% (or 50%) of the profits going to one individual. That's just business. Hope this helps.