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Everything posted by here_2_help

  1. You have several options available to you. Off the top of my head, you can -- 1. Call the possible subcontractors and see if they are interested in submitting a proposal in response to your RFP. If yes, obtain a point of contact. Send the RFP to that PoC. 2. Send an email to the CEO or President or whatever PoC you have for each potential subcontractor, inviting a show of interest in bidding. Upon receipt of a show of interest, send the RFP. Reminder: you're not the government. You don't need to solicit all sources - you only need to solicit more than one. But the better practice is to solicit as many potentially responsive bidders as you can.
  2. I don't understand how receipts for expenses in excess of $75 relate to the application of G&A on travel expenses. Receipts are support for claimed expenses, while G&A is an indirect rate that is billed on invoices. Can you please help me to understand how the two things are connected in your mind?
  3. It's hard to hire people with the specialized knowledge I need (contracts + accounting + FAR + CAS, essentially). A couple of years ago, we stopped worrying about specialized knowledge and started hiring for certain mental attributes--foremost among them: curiosity. One candidate, while walking to the office for her interview, noticed the unusual carpeting in the hallway (it was truly unusual and there's an interesting story behind it). She asked, "What's the deal with this carpeting? Was is specially ordered? Why?" After a brief interview to confirm her experience and that she was willing to read in order to fill her knowledge gaps, she received a job offer that same day. Since we started the practice of hiring curious people, we have been astounded at how the department has changed!
  4. I've always found that the best approach is to make my work product as close to perfect as I can get it, prior to review by another. Do I always meet expectations in that regard? No. But I strive for it.
  5. Luke, I don't especially want to pick a fight with you. But you have at least two errors in your post, quoted above. 1. Billing rates are defined in the FAR at 52.216-7, as others have already pointed out. The clause does not permit contractors to bill at a single rate. If you're thinking T&M contract type, then maybe. But never cost-type contracts. You can also use a wrap rate for ROM estimates, but not for FAR 15 proposals where cost analysis will be performed. 2. In manufacturing, it has been traditional to use a DL $ base. But in the 21st century, automation is taking over and the percentage of touch labor in the average factory is declining. Thus, the connection between touch labor hours/dollars and indirect factory expenses is becoming more tenuous by the year. At this point, it makes as much sense (if not more sense) to use a machine usage hour base. Continuing to use a DL $ base tends to result in Manufacturing Overhead rates that are well north of 100%; I saw a 400% rate once. It's not wrong, but it's not right either. A decent Activity Cost analysis should be performed to figure out what costs are driving factory activity. At many places it is no longer touch labor costs.
  6. I saw this! Lesson to be Learned: When low-balling FFP or FPI contracts, don't misestimate the amount of your investment in the program.
  7. Don't know the agency but the following pertains to DOD. Normally, when the DCAA does not perform an audit because it deems the contractor's final billing rate proposal to be low risk, it generates a Memo which is sent to the Contracting Officer and retained in DCAA files. At that point, it is up to the CO to establish final billing rates, which may be done either by accepting the contractor's proposed rates as submitted, or by negotiating with the contractor. (Typically, it's the former.) If the contractor submitted its proposed final billing rates timely and -- for whatever reason -- no audit was performed and no Memo to File generated by DCAA then, as Neil pointed out, there is an opportunity to negotiate final billing rates. If the amount of "unsettled" indirect dollars is judged to be low (either within FAR limits or within limits established by the DCMA Class Deviation to those FAR limits), then the CO can close out the contract at either provisional billing rates or the contractor's submitted/certified final billing rates. Edited to add that recent NDAA language requires DCAA to issue its audit report within one year of the contractor's submission. If that doesn't happen, the contractor's rates should be accepted as proposed.
  8. LuketheNuke -- per the OP, provisional [billing] rates have already been established. That's not what the OP wants to know.
  9. Vern pulls no punches. One of the problems is that the "system" rewards adherence to the sub-optimal status quo, while at the same time punishing those few creative thinkers who seek to break the paradigm. There are few, if any, consequences for incompetence ... except those consequences felt by the citizens. Thanks for writing this and giving Bob permission to post it here, Vern.
  10. I honestly believe you have just described most of what is wrong with government acquisition in one post.
  11. Yes to all your points. So ... initiating Information Collection to assess the industry burden (at least with respect to CAS) is just creating one more burden for industry. That was kind of my original point. It's a pointless task that creates work but does not lead to any significant work reductions. Somehow I'm not sure that was the original intent.
  12. Thanks! So if industry responds that weapon system prices are increased by x% because of the burden of Cost Accounting Standards administration, OIRA will recommend that the statute and implementing regulations be revised or eliminated? Because if not, what's the point?
  13. I'm going to take that as a reference to Monty Python.
  14. Vern, thank you but I don't believe you were responsive to my question. I'm not looking for what the statute says should be done with the info ... I'm looking for what is really done with the info. sdvr, my impression is that official information collection notices are not connected with final rules but, instead, exist in and of themselves. Am I mistaken about that?
  15. I see frequent Federal Register notices asking for public input on various regulations. For example: Apparently, such public input is required by statute (Paperwork Reduction Act). My question is: what does the government do with the information it receives? Does anybody ever say, "This is a ridiculous burden for almost no benefit; let's eliminate the requirement!" Does anybody even analyze the responses ... or do "they" just collate the responses and file them away? In other words, do these information collection opportunities even matter? If they don't matter, and don't result in any changes, then why should anybody bother to respond? It would seem to be a big waste of everybody's time. I'm also open to the notion that the public's input is studied thoroughly and a cost/benefit analysis is performed, and is then used to drive regulatory roll-backs. That would be nice .... So what's really going on here?
  16. If that transpires, would you say that the contractor would be justified in stopping work at the point at which authorized funds have been spent?
  17. Okay -- so two more thoughts. 1. You don't pay your people any differently based on the contract maximums. You pay what you pay. The max rate limits the amount of labor costs that will be reimbursed. To be clear, if you are paying over the max rate, then what's in excess is unallowable, by contract terms. 2. You may have a "course of dealing" argument because you and the customer agreed on application of the ceilings with respect to the Base Year and Option Year 1. That is a legal argument. You should really consider consulting with a sharp, experienced, government contracts attorney. I don't know how many dollars are at stake here, but consider the cost of a legal consultation to be an investment in a possible recovery of what's at stake. And, so long as you haven't filed a claim, that consultation is allowable because you're talking about contract administration matters. At least, that's how I would code the legal expense.
  18. Okay. You have not said, but I will assume, that you have max unburdened labor rates that are specified in either the ID/IQ or else in the TTO. The contract limits the amount of labor cost that is reimbursable by your customer. There is one maximum for OY1 and another maximum for OY2. The TTOs awarded in OY1 are subject to OY1 rates for the life of the TTO (i.e., the Period of Performance). That's the interpretation your customer seems to have. And, if the contract specifies the max rate, then I tend to agree with your customer's interpretation. The max rate is the one that the parties agreed to when they priced and executed the TTO, regardless of when the work is performed. Now if the contract is actually silent on the max rates, then I would disagree with your customer. Hope this helps.
  19. You say the TTOs are each CPFF, but have contractual limits on the (unburdened) labor costs (per labor hour, I assume) that may be billed. You say that all (unburdened) labor rates at which you want to bill are below the ceilings (whether OY1 or OY2). I don't see how the customer CO can disallow labor costs if that's the case ... but now is the time to consult a good attorney because it looks like you may have a dispute developing. Best of luck
  20. You are misrepresenting my point. My initial post was diametrically opposite of what you represent that I represented. I literally said it was not a normal occurrence.
  21. Interesting point of view. You should take it up with Judge Dyk of the Federal Circuit, because I'm fairly sure he would disagree with your position, based on language in his decision reversing the ASBCA decision I quoted.
  22. Thought I would add that there is a case that may be on point regarding what is "normal" in this context. See ASBCA Nos. 47416, 50453, 50888, United Technologies Corporation, Pratt & Whitney, July 30, 2001. (Subsequently reversed on appeal.) The following is from a recitation of the facts. Emphasis added. Citations omitted. Redaction in the original.
  23. "Is it normal?" No. But it happens. When it happens, the prime needs to be very careful, because contract clause 52.203-7 is in play. Have you read that clause?
  24. You're not Atlas Telemon. You're not required to fix what's wrong with contracting today. Nobody can. The best most of us can do is to help our colleagues with their individual challenges. Your writings influence judges. That makes you a Titan, but you still can't fix what's wrong with contracting today. That's an unreasonable aspiration. I'm not going to respond anymore. You wanna talk further, we both have each other's email addresses and phone numbers.
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