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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. No-Cost Settlement and Unsatisfactory CPARS?

    I don't think there is necessarily a relationship between a no-cost settlement and CPARS ratings. I agree that a no-cost settlement is much better than a T4D. If the government T4D'd you, do you think it would be justified? If so, the settlement sounds like a very nice alternative. If you strongly disagree with your CPARS ratings, you can request a contracting officer final decision and then appeal it. However, if you think a T4D might be justified, I would have a hard time seeing how you could, at the same time, think you should have a good CPARS rating.
  2. Don, thanks for the education. I was recalling the DIVAD case -- admittedly an outlier -- where the contractor had a FFP "best efforts" contract. That turned out to be a cost-type contract by another name. H2H
  3. Well, not really, Don. Best effort contracts permit the contractor to abandon work without delivery, once the funding has been spent, whereas completion contracts require actual completion. At least, that's the lesson I took away from the DIVAD case. Am I mistaken? That said, I'll grant you that a LOE contract would absolutely be subject to a strict period of performance cost limitation. Given that we are discussing "parts" I assumed this was for a product not a service. We'll see what the OP says. Another question for the OP: How did you deliver a product without all the necessary parts?
  4. What is the contract type? What is being acquired? Is this a "best effort" or "completion" task order?
  5. UCA - Required Contract Clauses

    The order references the BOA -- it states "Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) XXXX, this order is being awarded for ...." Is there really a BOA? Yes. Is this a DPAS rated order? Yes.
  6. UCA - Required Contract Clauses

    Thanks all. The sequence of events went like this: Me: I want to see the contract, especially Sections H and I, to see what it says. Client: Here's the contract (Form 1155). There is no Section H or Section I. Me: ?? Client: That's what we received. Me: WIFCON help me. WIFCON: Read the BOA Me: Thank you.
  7. UCA - Required Contract Clauses

    Vern, Good question. Block 17 of the 1155 says "delivery/call" and references a BOA. I guess I'll go read the BOA to see if there are more contract clauses that should be read into the UCA. Thanks
  8. Client received a UCA with funding in excess of $750,000 from a DOD component via Form 1155. The UCA contained only the following clauses: 52.230-20, 52.216-24, 52.216-64, and DFARS 252.217-7027. There were no other contract clauses in the UCA. Am I supposed to read-in required clauses via Christian Doctrine? For instance, should the CAS clauses be read into the contract? If not, why not? If yes, which clauses are assumed to be part of the contract and which ones were intentionally omitted? Thanks
  9. Cost Monitoring Plans

    Yeah, DCMA thought so, as well. They were wrong, though. To my knowledge there were NO "cost saving projects". Period. There were, however, many upon many process improvement and production efficiency initiatives.
  10. Cost Monitoring Plans

    I have first hand experience with DOD "should-cost" audits where this has been a topic of discussion (2 for 2) and the team was disappointed to learn that the contractor had nothing to report. To be very clear, the contractor was relentlessly focused on performance improvement and manufacturing efficiency and technical excellence; the company simply didn't measure the resulting savings and thus there were no results to report. There were no spare heads to dedicate to the effort of measuring results. I'm reminded of the Toyota production philosophy that the most efficient production system is also the cheapest. But Toyota didn't need bean-counters to measure the amount of savings generated from process improvements. It was intuitively obvious to those running the plant. I just thought I would explore the topic. I would be happy to hear from active ACOs if they would care to chime in.
  11. Cost Monitoring Plans

    Vern, I suspect you're arguing with a point I didn't make, though I admit I'm having trouble articulating what my point may be. I'm not arguing that Facebook and Google and Apple aren't concerned with their products' costs. Of course they are. What I'm trying to say is that Apple and Google and other tech companies do not, to my knowledge, hire people whose job it is to go around and monitor cost-reduction efforts and then collate the information and then report it to a DCMA ACO. Perhaps I'm wrong. But I've worked for Top 5 defense contractors as well as mid-tier contractors as well as tech-focused companies, and I've consulted to many more in diverse industries including bio-pharma and telecomm. All I can say is that some of those companies had such a focus and such a reporting bureaucracy and, for the others, it would be a head-scratching moment. Defense contractors are happy to establish that function and add it to their overhead rates because their customer is happy to pay for it. The others do not embrace the need. Of course you are correct that companies that don't focus on cost reduction don't last. Except for those companies that are sole source providers to the DOD.
  12. Cost Monitoring Plans

    Thanks for the replies so far ... I hope to hear from others as well. A recent GAO report pointed to barriers that impede "non-traditional" defense contractors from entering the defense marketplace. You know the companies: Apple, Google, etc. My thought -- or half-formed assertion, if you will -- is that these types of companies aren't focused on "cost reduction." Instead, they are focused on innovation and delivering product to market. Assuming they were contracting with DOD, and an ACO requested information regarding cost-reduction initiatives, I strongly doubt the companies would (1) have anybody who could answer knowingly for the company, (2) would have anything to report, or (3) would consider developing a cost-reduction reporting bureaucracy a prudent use of company resources. To my way of thinking, the requirement stems from a foundational assumption that contractor's products cost too much. That may well be true for mature, established defense contractors who have been in the market for decades. I strongly doubt the assumption is true for start-ups or for companies trying to enter the defense market. Those companies aren't (necessarily) focused on reducing costs, but on developing products that work. In other words, I'm thinking that the one-size-fits-all approach isn't consistent with reality. Since I'm not feeling as if I'm necessarily on solid footing on this issue, I'm looking for input. The three replies so far have helped. As noted, I hope for more, especially from active ACOs who may have to deal with this issue.
  13. Cost Monitoring Plans

    FAR 16-301-3(a)(4) requires that, in order to award a cost-reimbursement type contract, adequate government resources must be available to implement "appropriate government surveillance during performance ... to provide reasonable assurance that efficient methods and effective cost controls are used." I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that DCMA Instruction 123 "Cost Monitoring Plans" tells DOD CO's how to do that. DCMA Instruction 123 (at specifies a review of contractor cost reduction or savings initiatives. It states "The CMS shall review the contractor’s strategy for influencing and monitoring cost reductions or savings initiatives to ensure that associated cost reductions or savings are included in the forward pricing rates." If I've missed something, please let me know. But if I've gotten it right, then here are my questions. (1) What solicitation provision or contract clause requires the contractor to have a strategy for executing savings initiatives or cost reduction efforts? If the contractor does not have a strategy, what would prevent a contractor from simply telling the government "N/A"? (2) Other than TINA requirements, what solicitation provision or contract clause requires a contractor to provide any information regarding its savings initiatives or cost reduction efforts to the government? In other words, assume the contractor is compliant with TINA -- i.e., accurate, complete and current information is being provided -- then what requirement compels a contractor to make an additional report to its ACO regarding such programs?
  14. The Problem of Proposal-Based Competition

    But if the government takes this advice and eliminates the essay-writing competitions, what jobs will be left for the people who graduate college with degrees in creative writing?
  15. Contract Closeout under 752.245-71

    My reading of the clause, based on the parts I bolded above, leads me to think that the Cooperating Government and the contractor work together to decide property disposition. Subsequently (after disposition), the inventory schedule (showing disposition) is submitted to the CO. I have a hard time seeing how the COR and CO would have authority to pre-review the disposition, since the property is titled to the Cooperating Government. Where's the privity?