2016 Defense Authorization Act Section 893

Requirement for Improved Auditing of Contracts

In late November, President Obama signed the 2016 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act, S.1356)) which includes a number of sections related to Acquisition Policy or Acquisition Management.  Of particular note for those subject to DCAA contract audits, a requirement for improved auditing which is focused on the so-called incurred cost audit backlog (contractor indirect cost rate proposals (ICPs), submitted annually as required by FAR 52.216-7(d)).   Section 893 prohibits DCAA from performing any audits for non-defense agencies (e.g. NASA) unless DOD certifies that DCAA is current on the ICP backlog.  “Current” is defined as 18 months of incurred cost inventory, further defined as “the level of contractor incurred cost proposals in inventory from prior years that are currently being audited by DCAA”.  As a point of clarification, the inventory should include ICPs currently being audited or those in the queue awaiting audit.  Based upon DCAA’s 2014 report to Congress, DCAA had approximately 18,185 ICPs valued at $822 billion (on hand as of 9/30/2014).  Based upon May 2015 public comments made by DCAA’s Deputy Director, the annual inventory is approximately 7,500 ICPs which would implicate an approximate annual value of $339 billion.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DCAA Audit Support

Are You Ready for Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR)?

“Help! We received a letter from our ACO informing us that they will be conducting a Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) three months from now – can you help us?” This is a scenario we hear all too frequently these days. As promised, DCMA has ramped-up their efforts to ensure contractors purchasing systems are being reviewed and assessed for adequacy.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR)

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits payments made directly or through intermediaries to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining business, retaining business, or directing business to any person.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) continues to be a high priority of enforcement for the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The U.S. Government’s aggressive approach to transactional bribery of foreign government officials will be anything but relaxed as companies and business people can expect a continued prioritization of FCPA cases. The DOJ has added more prosecutors and more resources than ever before. Additionally, U.S. regulators have stated that penalty amounts are not going down.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, DCAA Audit Support

Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Computer Hack(s)

On June 18, 2015, as a retired “civil servant” whose personnel records now reside with OPM, I was notified by OPM that OPM had “recently become aware of a cybersecurity incident that may have exposed my personal information”.

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Topics: Redstone GCI, Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting

DCAA’s 2014 Annual Report to Congress

In its report dated March 25, 2015, DCAA issued its fourth Annual Report to Congress including a number of self-accolades for numerous accomplishments in spite of a huge disconnect between DCAA’s audits and its statutorily required audits.  DCAA provides an overview wherein it reports that its “cost-effective” approach examined $182.6 billion, issued 5,688 audit reports, identified $4.5 billion in savings with a 6.9 to 1 return on investment (ROI).   DCAA now represents that its ROI is based upon a “conservative approach” because the savings only include realized savings and not future potential savings if DCAA recommendations are implemented.   However, DCAA fails to mention that future potential savings will be reported when realized; hence, if in any given year DCAA did report future savings as well as realized savings, DCAA would be duplicating reported net savings (coincidentally an issue reported in a 2014 DOD-IG report because two different DCAA audit offices reporting the same net savings for the same audit exceptions).

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Defense Contractors, DCAA Audit Support

Legislative Proposal for “Model Employer” Government Activity

A Prospective View of Model Employer (Government Contractor)

executive-compensation-DCAA-redstone-government-consulting

On April 15, 2015, members of the self-proclaimed Congressional Progressive Caucus called for an Executive Order (EO) which would define a model employer and provide model employers with preferences in terms of government contract awards.  The Progressive Caucus envisions an EO which would define a model employer to include a minimum wage of $15/hour, other benefits including paid time off, full-time hours and predictable schedules.  As noted by this Caucus, the 2014 EO which raised the minimum wage to $10.10/hour for employees of government contractors was simply not enough to eliminate stagnant wages which tether jobs to poverty and government assistance. 

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contractor Employee Compensation, Contracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Implementing Executive Order 13672 Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Though multiple legislative efforts have failed in amending Title VII to include sexual orientation and gender-identity to the list of protected classes which cannot be discriminated against, President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13672, signed on July 21, 2014, and the subsequent guidance issued by various government agencies leaves government contractors with changes to make in this arena.  Like EO 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, issued in 1965, it impacts virtually all government contracts with a very low threshold of $10,000 or more in federal contracts or subcontracts.  Exclusions are few and unaltered as currently stated in the regulations, 41 CFR 60-1.5.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Small Business Compliance, Defense Contractors, Government Compliance Training

Government Activity on April 1, 2015

In honor of today’s date and what it represents, a special blog concerning government actions and reactions.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Government Compliance Training, DFARS Business Systems

DFARS Business System Proposed Rule Closed with No Further Action….But what remains?

As a follow-up to a brief article in our February Newsletter which noted the February 4, 2015 disposition of a business systems proposed rule, “closed without further action”, it’s critical for government contractors to recognize that the proposal would have just added to an existing rule; however, what remains is far more substantial than the proposed changes.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Contracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems

DOJ Media Release: False Claims Act Cases in FY14

The Continuing Trend of Relatively Few Involving Defense Contractors

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the alleged misdeeds of companies doing business with the government made it possible for the U.S. Department of Justice to recover a record amount of $5.69 billion in civil settlements and judgments for the government for this past fiscal year.  Notably a trend continues where relatively few actions involve defense contractors, albeit this group continues to be miscast as the bad players in government contracting.  In FY2014, the true bad players continued to be those involved with federal health care programs ($2.3 billion) and the new kid on the block, bank and other financial institutions fraud ($3.1 billion).

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Litigation Consulting Support