Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs
lawyergirl

SBIR Program and Flowdowns to Subcontractors

Recommended Posts

Hello!  Does anyone know what flow-downs must be included in subcontracts under the SBIR program?  In particular, I am trying to find out whether subcontractors can offer fixed price contracting to a prime, or whether subcontractors must provide the prime with COST+ pricing.  It is my understanding that SBIR prime contracts are all COST+, so I am wondering if that flows down or whether it's in the prime's discretion as to how it obtains rates from a subcontractor.  Hope this makes sense.  Thank you in advance for any guidance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not true that all SBIR prime contracts are cost reimbursement ("COST+"). Some are firm fixed price, for example.

The question of what clauses a prime needs to flow down to subcontractors cannot be adequately answered as you state it.

It depends on the clauses in the prime contract (regarding mandatory flow-downs) and also on the business decisions of the prime contractors. Do you know what a prescription clause means? Or what a flow-down prescription clause means?

The SBIR program is one thing, the specific contract is another thing. You need to examine the specific contract instead of trying to find general advice about "subcontracts under the SBIR program." However, there is a recent article in NCMA's Contract Management newsletter by Keith Baker, "How to Award a Noncompetitive SBIR Phase III Subcontract." That might be helpful, but again, think in terms of the actual contract itself, and the flow-down clause prescriptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, PepeTheFrog, your answer is extremely helpful.  It sounds like much of this will be up to the contract itself and the prime.  I was looking at FAR 52.215-12 Subcontractor Certified Cost or Pricing Data and wondering if that is a mandatory flow-down in SBIR contracts -- do you happen to know?

Share this post


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

I was looking at FAR 52.215-12 Subcontractor Certified Cost or Pricing Data and wondering if that is a mandatory flow-down in SBIR contracts -- do you happen to know?

As Pepe was pointing out, you need to get away from focusing on the SBIR program or contracts and focus on the contract itself regardless of the program under which it was awarded.  You need to read 52.215-12 and the prime contract and determine if the clause needs to be included in certain subcontracts.  Right away we know it will not be included in a subcontract for commercial items.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If FAR 52.215-12 is included in the prime contract, you can read it and see that in (c), it is required to be flowed by the prime contractor to subcontracts that exceed the dollar threshold for certified cost or pricing data. You may wish to review FAR 52.301 to understand the complexities relating to when the Government prime contract should or should not include various clauses and provisions.

DOD SBIR program contracts will also include DOD Supplement clauses and provisions. If you wish to just peruse SBIR model contracts just to get a flavor for it, you may find them at https://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/sb/reso

If you are a subcontractor, there is a fair chance that the prime contractor will not share the prime contract with you. You need to focus on the terms and conditions included in the prime contractor RFP/ITQ. Some FAR/Supplement clauses and provisions will be flowed by the prime because they are madatory, some will be flowed because they are required in order for the prime contractor to comply with its prime contract and some will be flowed for other business reasons.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/8/2019 at 2:50 PM, lawyergirl said:

52.215-12 Subcontractor Certified Cost or Pricing Data and wondering if that is a mandatory flow-down in SBIR contracts -- do you happen to know?

lawyergirl, do you have a lawyer you could ask? If you are a lawyer, this is a question that you, personally, must be able to answer with confidence. If you cannot, you are doing your client(s) a great disservice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...