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here_2_help

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Everything posted by here_2_help

  1. Warning To Proposal Writers (and Agency Evaluators)

    Yep. I too get very upset when the trash truck doesn't arrive on Thursday morning. So do my neighbors. That usually happens when there's a Federal holiday earlier in the week so the trucks get behind a day. They pick up Friday morning instead of Thursday morning. I was considering sending the trash company a cure notice, but then I decided that a poor CPARS rating was sufficient.
  2. Warning To Proposal Writers (and Agency Evaluators)

    "integrated solid waste management services" -- i.e., trash hauling
  3. Warning To Proposal Writers (and Agency Evaluators)

    All this for acquisition of a commercial item? Are you kidding me? How about no?
  4. Where/ How to start learning?

    I actually encountered that situation. It was expensive for the prime.
  5. DFARS Business Systems

    None. While it has forced many contractors to enhance policies and procedures, and do more training, which are not bad things, the primary result of the rule is to create a new layer of government oversight and a new cottage industry of consultants who support contractors. The amount of fraud and waste deterred by the rule, to the extent it can be quantified at all, is effectively zero. Instead, contractors have ramped-up their overhead spending in order to assure compliance. Thus, my assertion is that there has been a negative ROI, to the extent an ROI can be calculated.
  6. DCAA Audit Backlog

    Vern, I'm fairly sure they are calendar days but it doesn't really matter, does it? DCAA productivity, as measured by the agency's own published statistics, is abysmally lower than it was a decade or more ago. To me, the interesting aspect of the GAO report was the discussion of "low-risk" audits. Those are audits that are not performed, but claimed as being completed audits. DCAA stated that performing audits on small dollar-value submissions isn't a good use of taxpayer funds. DCAA is "completing" such assignments at a 2-for-1 rate against full-scope, GAGAS-compliant, incurred cost audits. In other words, for every full-scope audit the agency completes, it issues two non-audit completion memoranda. That's why the backlog drops even though it takes nearly three years to audit one year.
  7. IDIQ Decision

    You are right. I don't understand them. All I have to go on is the FAR. I accept that's limited knowledge but what else can I go on, since I'm not a government employee? "The contracting officer is responsible for evaluating the reasonableness of the offered prices. ... The contracting officer may request the advice and assistance of other experts to ensure that an appropriate analysis is performed. ... The contracting officer should request field pricing assistance when the information available at the buying activity is inadequate to determine a fair and reasonable price." I don't see any imperatives in the quote above. In my opinion, the FAR language gives the CO discretion. If agency policy takes away that discretion, then that's a problem. If the CO has discretion but uses it poorly, that's a problem Further, I accept my modest proposals in this thread may seem absurd to contracting professionals ... but we have to start somewhere. I would start by empowering the CO and then holding the CO accountable. I realize the PM has a critical role to play, so I would hold the PM accountable as well. We have to start somewhere. Saying that we need to start with Congress, all 535 of the legislators, is just as absurd as anything I've posted. Vern, I accept that you are done debating these points. Honestly, I never expected to gain any serious traction. Acquisition reform is too hard because the system is too complex and the practitioners are too entrenched in the way it's always been done.
  8. IDIQ Decision

    In the 20 year-old anecdote that you put forward to justify the status quo, the fault was the CO. Instead of negotiating the CO relied like a crutch on DCAA to tell them what to do. ("... C&P data required some level of DCAA blessing before we could conclude negotiations.") No, it didn't. The CO was under no obligation to request field pricing assistance. That was a choice. And it was obviously a poor one.
  9. IDIQ Decision

    You know how contractors have to certify things like accurate, current & complete cost or pricing data? Or that the indirect costs in the final billing rate proposal are free of expressly unallowable costs? I'm proposing that every UCA issued from now on must contain a certification, signed by the CO and one level higher, that the UCA is NOT being issued because of concerns about expiring funds, and that the signatories agree that they will use best efforts to definitize the contract within the statutory limits. Under penalty of perjury. Would that be too overwhelming of a step? Or is the status quo just fine with everybody?
  10. IDIQ Decision

    So since everybody is responsible, then nobody is responsible. I'm not buying it for a second. Who has the Certificate of Appointment? The statute says what the statute says. If the CO and PM are not willing to comply then they shouldn't issue a UCA. If they do so then it's on them to comply with the statute. And please do not give me that hoary line about how somehow the contractor didn't do something and now everybody gets to blame the contractor for not doing their jobs. If the contractor submits a definitization proposal then it's fulfilled its responsibility and everything else is on the government team. *** Hey, look at that reservation way over there!
  11. IDIQ Decision

    No problem. As soon as you hold COs and PMs personally liable for failing to definitize in accordance with statute. Otherwise, I'm not going to burn that bandwagon.
  12. IDIQ Decision

    Anybody willing to jump on the bandwagon of prohibiting use of UCAS in the fourth quarter of the government fiscal year?
  13. So now I've been doing this long enough to notice the swings of the pendulum. Today Bob published (on the main page) a link to recent SECDEF comments. With respect to reforming defense business practices, the DoD press release quoted SECDEF as follows: "Transforming the enterprise, the secretary said, 'will require delegating decision authority in many cases to the outer edges of the enterprises to unleash the great ideas we find among our bright and committed airmen. It's also important to integrate this across the joint force, because the real strength we've exhibited over 16 years of war is jointness.'" I seem to recall that DCAA blamed a focus on decentralization in the 1990's (the Kelman approach) as the root cause for many of its problems, and thus has been moving toward a more central control since the early 2000's. Now, perhaps, we'll see the pendulum swing back to empowering COs without the need for Boards of Review....
  14. I'm glad to see that time has not diminished your sense of cynicism, Bob. Further, I suspect you missed the role of the FAR Councils, whose job it is to focus and aim all that hot air so that it hits the wrong island. And then to blame the contracting folks for being on the wrong island. And perhaps you missed the role of Fort Lee, whose job it is to build bridges between the islands where there are no contracting folks.
  15. IDIQ Decision

    I have a theory in search of evidence that more bad contracting decisions are made in September than in all the rest of the months of the year, combined.
  16. Commercial Subcontract

    I don't understand what you mean by "Commercial Template"? Are you referring to a subcontract issued under the Uniform Commercial Code? Are you referring to a subcontract for a commercial item/service issued under a prime contract that has FAR clauses? You are being quite opaque.
  17. There is no right or wrong answer. The company chooses its cost accounting practices and then follows them. I will add that, according to CAS 410, G&A expenses are those that benefit the business as a whole. Any expense that does not meet that test likely should not be part of the G&A expense pool. On the other hand, CAS gives contractors a pass for immaterial costs that are included in the pool.
  18. I suggest you read this recent decision at the Court of Federal Claims https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2015cv0582-70-0
  19. At the risk of giving lotus more help that s/he was looking for .... there is no "but for" test for direct charge allocations. The "but for" test is used for identifying directly associated unallowable costs.
  20. Great point. Changing compensation practices by making sales commissions direct versus indirect (G&A) might well be viewed as a change in cost accounting practice.
  21. If you are going to charge as a direct cost, will the commissions be included in cost proposals? If so, what will the BOE be? Will the commissions be burdened? If so, how? Will you add profit to the burdened costs? Do you think the customer(s) will be okay paying for sales commissions + burden + profit?
  22. 5 Year IDIQ Contract

    Does the contract contain a Termination for Convenience clause? Has it been exercised?
  23. First on my list is FAR Part 30. I'm not saying eliminate CAS Administration, but the FAR Councils shouldn't be implementing CAS Board regulations. Just provide cross-references to the applicable CASB regulations, which are already located in FAR Part 99, for topics in FAR Part 30.
  24. Waiver of Amounts Due the Government

    Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't the CO have to enforce the clauses in the contract? Are you saying that the CO has a duty to object to the inclusion of an official agency clause when the agency directs that clause to be incorporated into a contract, or that the CO must refuse to enforce the contract as agreed-to by the parties? If that's what your position is, I'm thinking it's a tad bid unrealistic. My position is that the contract must be enforced as written and agreed-to. Whether the clause is sound policy or not is above the CO's pay grade. Whether the agency obtained a FAR Deviation or not is above the CO's pay grade. So the beef, if any, is with the agency not the CO. What am I missing, please?
  25. Speaking for myself here, industry has learned through many years of futile effort that the FAR Councils, and especially the DAR Council, don't really give a darn about what industry thinks. Members are primarily focused on following the policy agenda established by their supervisors, and then doing what Congress tells them to do via implementing public laws in the regulations. (The latter is a distant second.) I would strongly suspect that any innovations that made sense to the people in the trenches, actually trying to accomplish projects, would be either (a) ignored or (b) killed in an ad hoc committee. I support my assertion by reference to the regulatory history of DOD's attempts to kill Performance-Based Payments or DOD's attempts to kill commercial pricing or the DAR Council's embarrassing response to recommendations contained in http://www.acq.osd.mil/fo/docs/Eliminating-Requirements-Imposed-on-Industry-Study-Report-2015.pdf
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