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Brief Background:

Our DCMA/CACO requested hard-copy of 45 PO files (initially requested 70) in preparation for a surveillance review.  We have an approved purchasing system that is 100% electronic/paperless.  We've had a paperless SAP system since 2011.

Question:

Is there a regulation or guidance that supports the DCMA/CACO request?   If, No... how would you suggest we respond to our CACO without upsetting him? 
He has threaten to recommend a full CPSR if we do not provide the hard-copy PO files.  
 

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9 minutes ago, MrJP said:

He has threaten to recommend a full CPSR if we do not provide the hard-copy PO files.   

The CACO said that? Not one of his minions? He made it clear that if you didn't provide the paper files he would retaliate with a full CPSR?

Write him a letter saying that you want to verify that if you don't provide hardcopies of the files he will retaliate by recommending a full CSPR. Alternatively, say that you want to verify that if you provide hardcopies he will not recommend a full CSPR. Tell him that you would like a written response. Have a VP sign the letter.

I assume that you could pass a full CSPR.

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Thank you, Vern, for your quick response, and for your excellent recommendation.

I just verified the information and it was The DACAO (not one of his minions) that stated in an e-mail to our Compliance manager that he will ask the CPSR team to perform the surveillance review if we do not make the hard-copy PO files available for him to conduct the review.  Apparently he wants to take the PO files back to his office because he doesn't have time to sit in our designated audit office to review the files on our laptop. 

This has been our process for years and every other agency (including DCAA) complies with this process.  In fact, the last 2 CPSR teams reviewed all the e-PO files from the designated laptop in a conference room without a problem. 

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I tend to be very formal and strict in contractual relations. Based on what you've written, the DACAO is out of line. If a full CSPR is warranted on the basis of DCMA standards, then it is warranted. But the DACAO should not threaten it in order to coerce you into doing things his way.

If he put that in an email, you might consider sending it up the DCMA chain of command and asking if that's that way they normally do business.

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Sorry, it was the CACO (Corporate Administrative Contracting Officer), not the DACO (Divisional Administrative Contracting Officer) who wrote the e-mail.  However, your recommendation is still valid and I will recommend same to my management. 

I agree with you that the best course of action in our business is to be formal and to strictly adhere to contractual relationships.  Once parties begin to 'drop their guard,' things (sometimes) tend to  get messy with blurred roles and responsibilities.  Thanks, again, for your help!

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I wonder how much of a hardship it would be to print out the electronic SAP files? I realize that in SAP they are just fields, but is it possible to generate a "report" via T-Code or similar, or to download to a Business Warehouse for reporting, and then give the CACO what they want? Sure it's a pain, but then again so is supporting a CPSR.

Hope this helps.

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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. :P

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H2H:

I think you're right. I think that some companies have decided that being the accommodating businessperson doesn't work with government and that the best approach is to be hard-nosed. I'm with you on the "bring it on" approach to the CACO.

A contractor who gives in to threats that if you don't accommodate me I'm going to be hard on you is asking to be beaten up.

 

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I’d support “the bring it on approach”. I had a dealing with a contractor once that was being ridiculously unreasonable and difficult regarding a certain issue. While I didn’t necessarily bully the guy, I found myself in turn being unjustifiably difficult as a result. In the end the contractor stood his ground and I took a walk of shame… wasn’t my finest hour.

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On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2016 at 11:15 AM, MrJP said:

Brief Background:

Our DCMA/CACO requested hard-copy of 45 PO files (initially requested 70) in preparation for a surveillance review.  We have an approved purchasing system that is 100% electronic/paperless.  We've had a paperless SAP system since 2011.

Question:

Is there a regulation or guidance that supports the DCMA/CACO request?   If, No... how would you suggest we respond to our CACO without upsetting him? 
He has threaten to recommend a full CPSR if we do not provide the hard-copy PO files.  
 

On the previous audits you mentioned. what did they keep as audit evidence? Good notes?  Print screen?  Thank you.

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The previous CPSR teams did not share any evidence of records reviewed, but we noticed they were taking lots of notes on their laptops.  Yes, they may have taken print screen shots, but can't confirm that information.  Also, in my experience of CPSRs prior to the Business Systems Rule, when we had hard-copy PO files, I don't recall ever providing them with copies of the entire PO files, just individual documents; and they took copious notes.  

 

 

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H2H, maybe the government teams in some of those examples you referred to are tired of being cooerced, bullied and/or what comes close to "extortion", thus are reacting like hard asses. I had the unfortunate opportunity to deal with some of them and it adversely affected my health.  It ended up backfiring on them in the end  

 I am no way implying anyone here is acting that way. 

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