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Everything posted by here_2_help

  1. My first question is: have the parties reached price agreement? If so, how was the R&R cost treated in the agreed-upon price? If no agreement then I would then ask what the contractor's normal practices are for the cost. I assume the contractor will follow its policies consistently. If this is the first time occurrence and precedent is being established, then my opinion is that leave costs are leave costs and should be treated as the contractor's other leave costs are treated, which I assume would be indirect. (But not always.) You could argue that the R&R costs are distinguishable from other "normal" leave costs because of the circumstances. In normal TDY travel, the employee returns home, but not in this case. So, it depends. There is no bright line answer here that I can think of.
  2. Joel, with respect, I think you miss the thrust of the conversation. When the government enters the commercial marketplace to acquire commercial goods and services, it should be prepared to accept costs that are customary in relation to what is being acquired. That is why I worded my response the way I did. If the contractor's policies permit business class travel and business class travel is provided to all employees in similar circumstances--regardless of customer and/or contract type--then it is, almost by definition, reasonable.
  3. In other words, if the technician travels business class--and assuming the contractor's policies permit that--then that would be a reimbursable expense, since there is no applicable limitation.
  4. My superpower is to kill conversations, I guess
  5. I have unfortunate experience with these types of contracts. From what I've seen, they are proposed, priced, budgeted, managed, billed, and paid as if they are T&M contracts. But then the auditors come in and it turns out they are cost-type contracts. Painful. In this case, the parties seemed to have reached early agreement that the original labor rates would be used to price future Task Orders, and to establish the basis for the fixed fee in each new TO. Now the contractor is pointing out that the original labor rates are too low. The contractor wants to update the labor rates for more accurate pricing. The contractor's position makes some sense to me, notwithstanding the prior agreement. Use of labor rates--rates that both parties know are too low--to price future work seems incorrect. The program is obligating insufficient funds and it knows that. Not good, in my view. At a minimum, additional contract mods will be required to bring the funding up to where it needs to be once performance starts. With respect to the fixed fee, is there some reason that value can't be negotiated? From the government's point of view, the pre-negotiation objective would be based on the original labor rates. From the contractor's perspective, the fixed fee would be based on more current rates. This distance between the positions, it seems, could be negotiated.
  6. I'll add a word or two in support of Don's position. You have a project ETC and EAC now with the part(s) being purchased. The customer wants to provide the part(s) as CFM. Great. Now redo the ETC and EAC (excluding profit), assuming no purchase of the part(s). What's the difference? Don't forget to look at ripple effects that may offset the cost decrease. One I can think of is the labor cost associated with handling the CFP and preventing it from being commingled with other parts.
  7. My read of the OP is that the contract has not yet been awarded and the parties are negotiating price. If I'm correct, then I believe the contractor has a valid reason for trying to obtain a higher profit that the government initially established in the pre-negotiation objective. The tax costs are unallowable and the contract is going to pay them on behalf of its employees (similar to a relocation tax gross-up). The unallowable costs will come out of expected profit. Seems reasonable to me. Alternate approach: the contractor rotates staff to avoid paying taxes, which will require a larger staff from which to draw on. Further, the transitions between employees may cause inefficiencies. Suboptimal. So: pay the higher profit rate.
  8. Incisive article but not really telling us anything new. Essentially an example of just how bad things really are. The government (in general) doesn't like to acquire commercial services. Period.
  9. CFO, The FAR only applies if there is a contract term in your contract (or RFP) that invokes it. Are you asking whether the government is permitted by the FAR to reduce the contract price based on a contractor's failure to deliver (for whatever reason) the contractually required labor hours?
  10. No. The rates must be trued-up for all contracts but whether the customer sees the impact of the true-up depends on the individual contract terms
  11. Let me see if I understand. The government provided the contractor with equipment or some other item of government-furnished property (GFP). The GFP is currently in used but serviceable condition. The contractor would like the government to abandon the GFP "in place" so that the contractor can then take title, then use the (now former) GFP for a trade-in credit to reduce the cost of acquiring new equipment, which it would then own. Is that right? If so, your question "should the government allow this?" is hard to answer without knowing the circumstances. For example, can the current contract or future contracts be performed without the need for new equipment? Are there cost savings associated with using new (versus used) equipment, and will the government see those cost savings (if any) reflected in current and/or future contract prices? I would also like to know why the government felt the need to provide the original items of GFP to the contractor. Was the contractor unable to perform without the GFP? What happens if the GFP is taken away by the government? What does the contractor do then? Also, is the GFP capable of being used on any other contract or just on this contract (or series of contracts) for just this one particular government customer? In other words, if the government gives the contractor title, does that lead to the contractor using the GFP on commercial contracts? Lots of questions over here, with no way to give you a good answer until some clarity is provided.
  12. CFO, have you read your contract to see if there is a contract clause that answers your question?
  13. Yes, that's what CAS 418 says at 418-50(g)(3). I have rarely seen that provision put into practice.
  14. From what I gather, there are two processes in play here: (1) annual "true-up" between budgeted (or "target") and actual G&A rate to clear any over/under variance (which may be carried on the balance sheet); and (2) whether the impact of the true-up (either debit or credit) can or should be passed on to a customer. With respect to (1), if the contractor has any contract that includes 52.216-7 or any CAS-covered contract, then this process must be executed at least annually. With respect to (2), contract terms and conditions will govern whether any resulting impacts from the true-up process may (or must be) passed on to the customer.
  15. The ability to negotiate such a payment clause out of a subcontract depends on several factors. One important factor is prime contract type. If the prime contract contains 52.216-7, then the prime's ability to enforce a "pay when paid" clause may run afoul of-- In other words, the clause requires the prime contractor to pay its suppliers within 30 days after submitting its invoice to the Government.
  16. Thought I would post to let people know that the original author of the LinkedIn post has now resigned from the NCMA Board of Advisors. As I posted earlier, I know the guy. I think it's a shame that NCMA lost a resource because some people didn't like either the message or the delivery.
  17. I have personal relationships with several people who served on the Section 809 Panel. The Panel did some good work and some changes were made as the result of the Panel's reports. That said, there were not enough changes. No substantive changes resulted. A lot of work by some very smart people for ... not very much, in my view. The truth is that when you touch the budget process you are also touching the political process. You are in essence asking the same people who use the current process to their advantage to also spearhead reforms that might tend to reduce the influence they currently have. Not something many individuals will be eager to champion. Again, all my opinion.
  18. Sorry for being late to this party: I just wanted to address the above question. The answer is provided (in detail) in CAS, not the FAR. See CAS 418. However, there is also a higher-level answer in FAR Part 31, at 31.203-3 ("Indirect Costs"). So, yes. The contractors' indirect cost pool allocation bases should--and must--contain all contracts being performed, if those contracts receive benefit from the activities in the pool. Being provided three hours to learn FAR Part 31 is like me being provided three hours to learn FAR Part 15.
  19. An incisive article. Opinion backed by research and fact, as I've come to expect from Vern. I would add my opinion that revising the acquisition process without revising the budgetary process at the same time seems doomed to failure. Unlike Vern, I don't have any research and facts to support my opinion. Yet it remains my opinion, based on working in this government contracting world for 40 years now.
  20. I read Mark's LinkedIn OP. He's a smart guy. But he's also very opinionated and not at all shy about sharing his opinions. (I routinely receive similar feedback but, then again, I didn't post what he did on LinkedIn.) My take on his assertion was "meh." I don't think it really matters all that much, nor does knowing the "acquisition chronological order" of the FAR Parts aid in finding what one might need to find. In that vein, I agree with dacaan regarding the "so what". I teach the FAR (using Vern's amazing hands-on method) and we have never, ever, needed to map the various FAR Parts to the acquisition lifecycle. If that's important info for somebody, then good for them. The entire assertion strikes me as "interesting, if correct, but I have better things to think about."
  21. Dang, but that was a helpful thread! I miss Vern's input so much ... and trust that he's doing well (physically) these days.
  22. A nice article! It's been awhile since I've read CM, but this article seems meatier than the ones I remember.
  23. Hmmm. If I interpreted the allegations correctly, the Hon. Senators are saying that DOD is conspiring with Transdigm to make only small (less than $2 Million) orders for spare parts, rather than buy in quantities that would require submission of certified cost or pricing data. Seems to me that decision would be within the discretion of the KO. And as for Boeing, they seem to allege that the company is using subsidiaries in some fashion to avoid providing cost or pricing data. I'm not sure how -- maybe by claiming commercial item status? In any case, the letter then says Boeing IS providing the data upon request, so I'm not really sure what the issue is. Looking forward to receiving enlightenment.
  24. 1. Evaluate each account for risk of incurring unallowable costs. The scrub approach depends on (a) likelihood of incurrence, (b) how much risk the company is willing to take and (c) effort to review. 2. Document your risk analysis. Determine which accounts will be scrubbed -- and how. 3. If you are doing less than 100% transaction reviews and projecting the results, ensure your approach is statistically valid (see FAR 31.201-6(c)). EZ-Quant is the "go to" stat sample program but there are others. In all other circumstances, assume that if DCAA finds anything, they will question the cost they find. 4. After-the-fact scrubs are not a good substitute for 100% allowability reviews at the point of entry into the accounting system. Good luck!
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