In 2020 Congress directed through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that contracting officers be prohibited from determining that the price of a contract or subcontract is fair and reasonable based solely on historical prices paid by the Government. Congress goes on to provide that if the contractor fails to provide data supporting the proposed price, the contractor is ineligible for award, unless the head of the contracting activity (HCA) determines that it is in the best interest of the Government to make the award. Let’s face it they are saying contracting officer should be asking for “cost data.”
Topics: Government Shutdown, Business Systems Review, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors
On July 9th, 2021, the Department of Defense (DoD)issued a final rule in the Federal Register to implement 10 U.S.C. 2330a which requires the DoD to establish a data collection system to provide certain management information about an awarded contract or task order that is valued in excess of $3 million. This new rule is applicable for the following service acquisition portfolio groups:
- logistics management services
- equipment-related services
- knowledge-based services
- electronics and communications services
You may read the entire rule here.
Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, Government Compliance Training, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Accounting & Billing System, System Award Management (SAM), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors
ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, had an impact on the way many contractors recognized revenue related to contracts with the Federal Government. Redstone has covered this topic a couple of times (January 26, 2021 Government Contractor Challenges in 2021 Webinar and May 6, 2021 MossAdam/Redstone Webinar Compliance Changes for Government Contractors). ASC 606 also impacts the recognition of sales commissions. The overarching GAAP matching principle requires that the expense of sales be matched to the recognition of the related revenue.
Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Incurred Cost Submission, Defense Contractors, Incurred Cost Proposals, DCAA Audit Support, Accounting & Billing System, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Recent Northrop Appeal
Northrop attempted to open up a dialog with Government as to the allowability of litigation settlement costs it planned to include in its 2019-2023 Sector Home Office Allocation Submission. Of course, Northrop believed the cost was allowable, and the Corporate Administrative Contracting Officer (CACO) believed the costs to be unallowable.
Topics: Non-US government contractor, Litigation Consulting Support, Incurred Cost Submission, Defense Contractors, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
The National Institutes of Health Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) released its long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP4) program on May 25, 2021. Phase I of the evaluation of offeror proposals will consist of validation of the offeror’s completed self-scoring sheet and ranking the offerors based on this scoring. Only the highest rated offerors will advance to phase 2 of the evaluation. Accordingly, every point counts!
DoD-IG goes after DCMA for not supporting DCAA Findings
On February 26, 2021, the DoD-IG issued an audit report raising significant concern about the actions taken by DCMA Administrative Contracting Officers (ACOs) in relation to DCAA audit findings. The Finding section of the DoD-IG report found that out of 30 DCAA audit reports at two of the largest DoD contractors, 14 were not properly addressed per Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements by the cognizant ACO. Our guess and POGO believes the large DoD contractors are Lockheed Martin and Boeing – but this is only our guess. The DoD-IG report goes on to state that: “As a result, DCMA contracting officer actions on the eight audit reports may have resulted in improperly reimbursing DoD contractors up to $97 million in unallowable costs on Government contracts. In addition, because DCMA contracting officers did not take timely action on six audit reports, they delayed the correction of CAS noncompliances and the recovery of any increased costs due to the Government.” The report goes on to state that: “The Defense Contract Management Agency Director agreed with all five recommendations,” including reviewing ACO decisions to “Disallow and recoup any unallowable costs not previously disallowed.” (Evaluation of Defense Contract Management Agency Actions Taken on Defense Contract Audit Agency Report Findings Involving Two of the Largest Department of Defense Contractors – DoD-IG-2021-056, Dated February 26, 2021)
Topics: Litigation Consulting Support, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DOD IG, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Where does DCAA’s View of the Contractor and their Role in Acquisition Come From?
DCAA Auditor Training
DCAA website provides that new auditors receive in-depth professional training from DCAA’s Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI), along with on-the-job training at their assigned field audit office. DCAI is located in Atlanta, GA and provides auditors with an excellent basis on which to start their careers in contract audit. Many at Redstone GCI can speak from personal experience that, once you get past the exciting MARTA ride from the airport, the instructors at DCAI provide a good hands-on learning environment. However, we are not sure if it is a subliminal message piped into the classroom or local indoctrination at assigned field offices, but the auditors are coming away with the impression that no contractors can be trusted, and a good audit opinion has to include questioned cost.
Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Litigation Consulting Support, Incurred Cost Submission, Defense Contractors, DOD IG, Government Compliance Training, DFARS Business Systems, Incurred Cost Proposals, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Let’s Set the Stage
So as a contractor you have received several cost-based contracts (i.e., subject to FAR part 31), however they have all been less than $7.5M. You are flying under the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) radar. You get a $9M cost-based contract that does not meet any of the exceptions to CAS covered listed at 9903.201-1(b) – categories of contracts and subcontracts exempt from all CAS requirements. The dreaded “trigger contract.”
If you look through the DCAA audit guidance and the DCMA Contractor Purchasing System Review guidance, you would think that the Government is only concerned with a Commercial Item Determination when the purchase value exceeds $2M. This is all based on commerciality being an exception to the requirement for certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-1(b)(3) & (c)(3).
Topics: Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
What’s new in this long-standing area?
The FAR Council at long last issues final rule to implement the Trump Executive Order 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials. Only a few days later a Biden Executive Order 14005, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by all of America’s Workers, hit the streets.
Topics: Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Incurred Cost Submission, Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Incurred Cost Proposals, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)