So, the Defense Contract Agency Audit (DCAA) auditor comes into your office, performs an audit, and…they have findings. What do you do? Wait…is there something that I should not do?
Whether you call it “defective pricing” (DP) or Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) or even the current labeling of Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Act (TCoPD - 41 USC Ch. 35) there is not much new about the impact to Federal Government contractors. The law supporting this goes back to 1962 in an environment where Congress believed contractors were overcharging the Government for negotiated goods or services. My how times have not changed. This could also describe our current Congress and may create worry among government prime and subcontractors.
Yes, the door just opened for potential relief from unanticipated inflation on fixed-priced contracts, but what’s beyond the door is still unclear. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes Section 822, Modification of Contracts to Provide Extraordinary Relief Due to Inflation Impacts, which builds upon DoD’s September 9, 2022, inflation guidance through use of FAR Part 50, Extraordinary Contractual Actions and the Safety Act, requests submitted to your contracting officer to provide an upward adjustment (increase contract value) and this can be done for prime and subcontractors. Note that this NDAA section does not create an obligation for the Government to pay for unanticipated inflation, but it is a “discretionary” expenditure where the Government may pay for the effects of unanticipated inflation. What remains to be seen is exactly how and how much will be provided to your contract(s).
The Department of Defense (DoD) released new final rulings on October 28, 2022, but what are they and are they really important? Let’s look at significant ones and what’s important:
You pride yourself on working well and getting along with everyone, at least professionally. However, there is an auditor that seems to get under your skin. What do you do? Well, although there may not be a “magic bullet” to all make it better. I propose the following to get you through the situation at hand:
Yes, they are! Did your company make it through its year-end and closing of last year’s books? If so, hooray! But is it really over for those that have Government cost-type contract billings? Not really. OK, as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 42.704, Billing rates, allows interim payments through contract performance with the intent of making the contracting officer or contract auditor approved provisional billings rates as close as possible to the expected final indirect rates. This allows you to bill your costs throughout the year of your cost-type Government contract billings. Now that you know what the year-end indirect rates really are, there is one more thing to do: adjust the provisional indirect billing rates to actual rates in a Public Voucher (Standard Form 1034). Those year-end indirect rates should be net of any unallowable costs in FAR Part 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Sounds easy. It really should not be that difficult.