Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

My company has a time and materials contract for which we are a first tier subcontractor.  The prime contract is not a FAR 12 procurement.  The prime contractor wanted to include a requirement in the contract that travel would be subject to the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR).  My company pushed back.  We are a subcontractor supplying commercial products and services under the T & M contract.  The prime tells us that their contract requires that their travel doesn't exceed the JTR.  However, it's my understanding that the JTR is only for military personnel.  I suggested to my team that we agree to a clause that commits us to compliance with 31.205-46 which I interpret as requiring that we will use the govt regulations as guidelines but ultimately adhere to our company's internal travel policy which follows the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) guidelines and requires a Travel Exception Approval be submitted for any thing in excess of those per diem rates.  My co-worker doesn't interpret 31.205-46 in the same manner and in fact insists that we should have requested 52.212-4 alt 1.  I don't believe 52.212-4 to be appropriate as the prime contract is a FAR 15 procurement.  I'm now doubting if we should even mention 31.205-46 since we offer commercial supplies and services, saying only that we would adhere to our company's travel guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you look at your subcontract, do you see clause 52.216-7 (Allowable Cost and Payment). If so, you are already subject to 31.205-46, the requirements of which I don't believe you are interpreting correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Refining H2H's request a little, is FAR 52.232-7 in your subcontract?  If it is, that clause makes 52.216-7 applicable to the material part of a T&M contract.  Travel is considered material for T&M contracts.

I agree with your co-worker that it would have been better for your company to have negotiated for inclusion of 52.212-4 Alt I in your subcontract.  The fact that the prime contract was negotiated under FAR Part 15 is irrelevant to that question if you are providing commercial items.  In this regard, you should check to see if the government complied with FAR 52.244-6 in regard to your subcontract.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Retreadfed The only FAR flow downs we accepted in our subcontract were those listed under 52.244-6.  However, your response brings up another question.  I'm fairly new to the company and most of my background is non-commercial so the FAR 12 procurement process is really new to me.  My supervisor has stressed to me that if the order at the prime was not a FAR 12 procurement then none of the 52.212 provisions would be applicable even though at the subcontract level we are providing commercial products/services - is that not the case? 

Also, @here_2_help, please explain the requirements of 31.205-46 to me with regards to travel limitations and the exception under (a)(2)(i), (ii)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

siwilliams, you wrote "The prime tells us that their contract requires that their travel doesn't exceed the JTR.  However, it's my understanding that the JTR is only for military personnel.  I suggested to my team that we agree to a clause that commits us to compliance with 31.205-46 which I interpret as requiring that we will use the govt regulations as guidelines but ultimately adhere to our company's internal travel policy which follows the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) guidelines and requires a Travel Exception Approval be submitted for any thing in excess of those per diem rates."

1. Your understanding regarding the JTR is incorrect.

2. Your notion that 31.205-46 constitutes "guidelines" for allowable travel costs, which can be superseded by "our company's internal travel policy" is incorrect.

3. Your company can claim travel costs in excess of FTR/JTR limits but only when justified under those regulations. Your company cannot create its own exceptions and justifications and claim the resulting travel costs as being allowable.

You ask me to "explain the requirements of 31.205-46" but I'm not obligated to do so. As I noted in points 1 through 3 above, you are misinterpreting your compliance situation and that's the end of my comment on that topic.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SI, the only FAR clauses that the FAR requires to be included in subcontracts for commercial items are those listed in 52.244-6.  However, note that other clauses can be included in the subcontract that are necessary to carry out the prime contract.  Notice that there is no termination, inspection or changes clause listed in 52.244-6.  Certainly, a prime contractor generally would want to include such clauses in subcontracts even those for commercial items.  The subcontractor should not accept clauses of that nature that are not designed for commercial items.  That is why I suggest using provisions based on 52.212-4 Alt I in T&M subcontracts for commercial items, particularly if the prime contract is not for commercial items.

As for your understanding concerning the travel regulations, the JTR is for use by DoD personnel, both military and civilian.  The FAR makes the portions of the JTR relating to travel and per diem (lodging, meals and incidental expenses) costs applicable to contractors whose personnel will travel to specified locations in performance of a contract.  It does not matter who awarded the contract.  The limits on travel and  per diem costs are not guidelines, but contractual limits that contractors must observe except in limited circumstances stated in 31.205-46.  While a contractor can impose stricter conditions for application of the exceptions, it cannot establish a more liberal or lenient policy and have costs that exceed the regulatory limits on travel and per diem be considered allowable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @Retreadfed, I appreciate your helpfulness and willingness to explain.  As a contracts professional, I've found this site incredibly useful, especially when more seasoned professionals like yourself are willing to provide guidance.  I must say, however, that I'm somewhat baffled by @here_2_help's seemingly antagonistic response.  As far as I'm aware, no one on this site is ever "obligated" to explain, comment, or provide feedback.  Everyone is volunteer.  "Helping" involves a bit more that blanket statements.  i.e. that you don't believe I'm interpreting the clause correctly.  Specifics on HOW my interpretation is incorrect as was provided in your last post and expounded on by @Retreadfed  are much more useful.  Thank you for your statements 1, 2, and 3.  As for your last sentence @here_2_help, nothing in any of my communications above would imply that you are obligated to do ANYTHING.  I simply requested your help and guidance as a more seasoned (platinum member) on a topic I'm trying to better understand.  I'm definitely ok with that being the end of your comments on that or any other question I may present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

siwilliams:

I don't think H2H was antagonistic. Maybe he was just flabbergasted. You asked:

Quote

[P]lease explain the requirements of 31.205-46 to me with regards to travel limitations and the exception under (a)(2)(i), (ii)?

That was quite a request! Have you given any thought to what that might entail in terms of H2H's time and effort? It was quite a thing to ask someone you don't know to do that for you. I saw that request earlier today and I was frankly astonished by it. Some persons, myself included, would consider it reasonable to insist that you read FAR 31.205-46 and think it through on your own or pay someone to do it for you. It's one thing to ask a question about something specific. It's another thing entirely to ask someone to explain an entire cost principle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, siwilliams said:

I'm definitely ok with that being the end of your comments on that or any other question I may present.

Deal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again I did read 31.205-46. Because the responder mentioned that I'd misinterpreted the clause, I was hoping for HELP in better understanding it - not requesting extensive consultant services.  I read it.  I thought on my own.  I expressed my thoughts.  I was told I was wrong.  I wanted to know why I was wrong.  So I asked someone to explain HOW I was wrong.  Thought that was the purpose of this forum.  Apparently I was wrong again.  I guess asking about the exception under (a)(2)(i), and (ii) wasn't specific enough.  So again my thoughts were wrong.  Perhaps a statement saying that it would be "too much to explain the entire cost principle" would have been better received than I will not explain "because I'm not obligated to do so".  It's unnecessarily rude.  I obviously didn't realize how involved that response would have been. 

I have never posted anything here with the intent to be offensive or get free assistance in performing my job duties.  But I also don't come here to be beat up and/or condescended to - I come here because there are knowledgeable people who have helped me throughout the years.  I hope to be able to provide that same level of feedback to those people new to contracts management as well.  I don't post here with unrealistic expectations.  I certainly did not expect a person to dedicate extensive time and effort to my situation.  I use this site as one of many resources.  Usually the answers I get are based on the responders experiences and knowledge - not an effort in research.  Communication is important.  Snide remarks, and rude responses are not effective means of communication.  A referral to another resource; a simple "no I can't, the explanation would be too involved"; or simply, ignoring my request all would have been better that the response I received.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PepeTheFrog is not obligated to think anything here_to_help said was offensive, rude, snide, or condescending. To the contrary, PepeTheFrog thinks that here_to_help provided free advice, very respectfully, which he was not obligated to do.

PepeTheFrog has learned quite a bit from here_to_help. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

siwilliams: Are you a Millenial by any chance?

32 minutes ago, siwilliams said:

But I also don't come here to be beat up and/or condescended to

PepeTheFrog is worried. If what you read in this thread was too harsh, the rest of the Internet will be a very, very scary place for you. To avoid getting "triggered," you might want to log off, find a "safe space," and peruse some printed books like Cost-Reimbursement Contracting (Cibinic, Nash), which has a section on travel costs. 

42 minutes ago, siwilliams said:

I have never posted anything here with the intent to be offensive or get free assistance in performing my job duties.

 

43 minutes ago, siwilliams said:

I come here because there are knowledgeable people who have helped me throughout the years.

siwilliams, how much did you pay these knowledgeable people?

PepeTheFrog thinks some people should lighten up and grow a pair of gills! Wifcon has some extremely knowledgeable professionals who provide sage, free advice-- several in this thread. Every time someone gets the vapors and bleats about it, PepeTheFrog fears the experts are less likely to contribute. Be respectful to the VIPs or maybe they won't come to the next party!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest that it would be good for everyone to take a deep breath and remember that written communications in emails and forums aren't as effective as direct communications. Even telephonic conversations are sometimes less effective than face to face, where you can "see" the nonverbal expressions. 

It's easy to quickly escalate a written debate in a forum.  I remember a thread a couple years ago (but fortunately not which thread it was) where Someone and I were debating something and I decided to stop following it, because I fully expected a really hot, ass chewing response meant to offend me, that would have provoked me to bark something right back. I never went back to that thread. As Dr. Laura points out,  what ultimate good results from such bickering, anyway?  It's better to cool off and just walk away sometimes.  Some folks here have a strong desire (need?) to have the last word, so I have decided to let it be that way.  In the long run, it really won't matter. 

 Word bites are often cryptic and acerbic and we might not have fully and calmly thought through how our post might be interpreted by others or what good will result from it.  

I freely admit that I am frequently guilty of such behavior and apologize for it  😳

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PepeTheFrog  - Not that it matters but no I'm not a Millennial.  Thank you for your referral to the Cibinic/Nash book although also enveloped in condescension.  Just so you are aware, I'm perfectly fine in this world and don't find too many scary places.  However, those who are truly here to help should be careful not to make this resource a scary place.  As far as looking a gift horse in the mouth, I am very grateful for any advice I receive while at the same time finding the superfluous negative commentary disdainful as is your entire post.  "Free assistance in performing my job duties" has never been provided to me via this forum...advice yes, but no one has performed my job, i.e. researched topics for me - at least to my knowledge.  I have and will continue to pay it forward.  I agree with PepeTheFrog that I would hate for the experts to stop contributing.  I am always respectful and I welcome the VIPs to my party.  I hope that the VIPS realize that everyone is at different levels in the learning process and those of us who are not quite at VIP level are more apt to seek/ can benefit more from the free advice when it doesn't come with a lashing.  Respect shouldn't be at the VIP level only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, joel hoffman said:

I suggest that it would be good for everyone to take a deep breath and remember that written communications in emails and forums aren't as effective as direct communications. Even telephonic conversations are sometimes less effective than face to face, where you can "see" the nonverbal expressions. 

It's easy to quickly escalate a written debate in a forum.  I remember a thread a couple years ago (but fortunately not which thread it was) where Someone and I were debating something and I decided to stop following it, because I fully expected a really hot, ass chewing response meant to offend me, that would have provoked me to bark something right back. I never went back to that thread. As Dr. Laura points out,  what ultimate good results from such bickering, anyway?  It's better to cool off and just walk away sometimes.  Some folks here have a strong desire (need?) to have the last word, so I have decided to let it be that way.  In the long run, it really won't matter. 

 Word bites are often cryptic and acerbic and we might not have fully and calmly thought through how our post might be interpreted by others or what good will result from it.  

I freely admit that I am frequently guilty of such behavior and apologize for it  😳

 

Agreed.  Thanks for your input

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, joel hoffman said:

I freely admit that I am frequently guilty of such behavior and apologize for it  😳

"Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." John Wayne as Captain Nathan Cutting Brittles, U.S. Cavalry, in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon."

“Does Hallmark make a “Sorry I tried to drink your blood and touched you in a vaguely inappropriate manner” card? I settled for “How much do you remember?” Molly Harper, author, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs.

“When your only regret is if anyone thinks you regret anything - that is the definition of conviction.” Criss Jami, author, Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality.

“I am so sorry. I wish you knew even one tenth of one percent of how sorry I am. ...It was my fault. Can I kill myself here, or should I do it outside, so the mess on your carpet doesn't upset your mother?” Laurie Halse Anderson, author, Twisted.

“People apologize too much, everyone's afraid of giving offence and it leads to literature being written for babies. Low-brow rubbish. That's not the way to become an adult.” Sophie Divry, author, The Library of Unrequited Love.

"Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl." Nellie L. McClung, Canadian feminist.

"Nothing says you're sorry like a dead bunny." Patricia Brigss, author, River Marked.

 

Here's another book recommendation: Government Contract Costs and Pricing 2d, by Karen Manos. It's pricey.

No condescension intended.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love ya, Vern. But if my choices are between following John Wayne and the other earthly references cited above or in following the Lord, I choose to follow the Lord (Joshua 24: 15). 

Pride is one of the deadliest of the "big seven" sins. I choose not to be too proud to apologize for offending someone. 

Actually, I had developed a list of other references in "another Book"  of Jesus Christ's teachings on seeking forgiveness and forgiving,  as well as The Word of "I Am" in the Old Testament and the Tanakh. But they got wiped out before I could post. I guess the evil one is trying to thwart me this morning.

Probably the most succinct prayer instruction might be found in Luke 4:12 and Matthew 6:12 (paraphrasing "Forgive us our sins (trespasses, debts) as we (must) forgive those who sin (those who trespass, our debtors) against us").

❤️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I wasn't suggesting that you follow the Duke (actually, John Ford's screenwriter). There was a method to my madness. There's the Duke, and then there are the other sources. Read the names of the other sources and think on them for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×