You now understand a little bit more about provisional billing rates from our first of this two-part series. In this second part of our coverage of provisional billing rates, we delve a little deeper into the purpose behind provisional billing rates as well as how to prepare them and the differences between provisional billing rates and proposal bid rates. Knowing these details will enable you to prepare an accurate DCAA submission.
For our 12/31 year-end contractors, this is a busy time of year. Year-end books are ending and 2019 budgets are being formed. This is also the time of year for submitting provisional billing rates or PBRs for contractors that have cost reimbursable type contracts such as cost-type and time and material contracts.
The competition for that big contract you have been dying to win is underway. This is a great business opportunity for you. So, you begin the process of putting together the perfect proposal. As you go through that process, there are several pitfalls that could prevent you from having the best proposal. As a government attorney, I saw many of those pitfalls in every source selection I worked. So as one gift as you enter this new year, I want to go over some of the main pitfalls I have seen from the government’s perspective.
In its report dated November 27, 2018 (DODIG-2019-029), the IG reviewed 12 of 540 task orders (issued between September 2014 to October 2017) to determine if contractor employees met the contract schedule labor qualifications. The contract vehicle is the OASIS (One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services), administered by the GSA, but used by multiple DoD (and other Government) agencies. The good news is that the IG reported 1,175 of 1,287 contractor employees met the labor category qualifications; the bad news is the remaining 112 employees did not meet the labor qualifications, and/or the DoD agency could not document that contractor employees met the labor qualifications. Thus, DoD agencies authorized $28 million of potentially improper payments (based on the IG’s statistical projection), authorized $574K of potential improper payments for employees who did not have qualification documentation, and did not consider the potential impact on contract performance and price before authorizing $6.8 million for employees without relevant education and work experience.
We’re almost through October and 2019 will be here before we know it. This is a great time to review your company’s year-end and new year checklists for compliance. Want to be sure those frightful DOL ghosts and OFCCP goblins don’t come after you? Keep these checklist items in mind:
On August 14, 2018 the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) released the Fiscal Year 2019 travel per diem rates, taking effect October 1, 2018. These represent the maximum reimbursable amounts allowed for expenses incurred by federal employees. Making adjustments based on the current economy is important, as well as taking into consideration local price variations in what is termed “Non-Standard Areas.”
The GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) is actively investigating alleged fraudulent third-party activity in GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM). At this time, a limited number of entities registered in SAM are suspected of being impacted by this illegal activity. GSA has taken proactive steps to address this issue and has notified the affected entities.
As incurred cost audits are becoming more prevalent and voucher audits are taking off like wildfire, there is emphasis placed on the use of work authorizations by government contractors. There is no specific regulatory authority that can be cited which requires work authorizations as a part of a contractor’s Labor/Timekeeping System. This argument, although accurate, is not the rationale which will be used by a DCAA auditor when “disclosing” deficiencies in a contractor’s labor system and ultimately rendering an inadequate opinion with respect to the accounting system, when the work authorization process is absent.
Topics: DCAA Audit Support
As we near the end of calendar year 2017, many will be thinking of some resolutions for the upcoming “Year of the Dog” (the 2018 animal per the Chinese Calendar). In fact, we’ve discovered that Government agencies sometimes consider similar resolutions, and in the case of DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency), we’ve accidentally been copied on one of the unofficial versions of its 2018 New Year’s resolutions (which are three months late, given the government fiscal year started October 1, 2017).
It seems like there are a lot of agencies being audited on what they are doing with DCAA audit findings. In September, the DoD-IG announced an audit of 26 contracts issued from FY 2014-2017 by Navy, DLA, Army and Air Force contracting officers. It’s stated objective is “to determine whether contracting officer actions during contract negotiations complied with acquisition regulations when contractor proposals were deemed inadequate by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).” At the same time, they announced an audit of DCMA with an audit objective “to determine the appropriateness of contracting officer actions to resolve and disposition compensation costs that the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) has questioned in audits of DoD contractor incurred cost claims submitted to the Government.