RGCI - The Hidden Competitor in Federal Construction and A&E Contracting

FAR 36.203, Government estimate of construction costs, and FAR 36.605, Government cost estimate for architect-engineer work, require the development of an independent Government estimate of the cost of construction costs and architect-engineer services when the value is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold ($250,000). The estimate shall be prepared in as much detail as though the Government were competing for award or on the basis of a detailed analysis of the required work as though the Government were submitting a proposal. Access to the Government estimate is limited to Government personnel unless during negotiations the contracting officer identifies a specialized task and discloser is deemed necessary to arrive at a fair and reasonable price.

The Increased Risk to Your Proposal

The Government employees responsible for the development of these independent estimates are not likely to be as experienced or up to date on industry trends and practices as your estimators, which significantly increase your risk. Additionally, while the FAR does allow the contracting officer to release some specific task-related information, it is not likely that most contracting officer will do so. Most contracting officers are conditioned to utilize an exception if the FAR requires extensive higher-level review (i.e., explaining to their supervisor why) and opens them up to second guessing by oversight organizations such as their agency Inspector General (IG).

Our Recommended Approach

If you encounter a contracting officer that simply states a specific task is overpriced and they cannot pay that amount, we recommend breaking the task down into as much detail as possible. Then request the contracting officer and his/her technical representative have discussions on each element. It is much more likely the contracting officer and technical representative will be open-to discussing the labor hours, yards of concrete, etc. as they will not feel they are giving away the price in the Government’s independent estimate. Additionally, if you initiate the discussions on the basis of understanding contractual requirements, it is hard for them to not engage.

Redstone GCI assists contractors throughout the U.S. and internationally with understanding the Government’s expectations and supporting contractors from contract award to contract closeout. We would be happy to be part of your team.

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Written by John C. Shire, CPA

John C. Shire, CPA John is a Director with Redstone Government Consulting, Inc. providing government contract consulting services to our clients primarily related to the DFARS business systems, CAS Disclosure Statements, and DCAA/DCMA compliance preparation, advisory, and defense. Prior to joining Redstone Government Consulting, John served in a number of capacities with DCAA/DCMA for more than 30 years. Upon his retirement, he was based in Texas as an SES-level Corporate Audit Director for DCAA, managing a staff of 300 auditors at one of the largest DOD programs. Professional Experience John began his career in the late 80s working in the Clearwater, FL audit office and over the next three decades he progressed through a number of positions within both DCAA and DCMA with career highlights as DCAA Program Manager at Ft. Belvoir, Chief of Technical Programs Division, Deputy Assistant Director-Policy, Director of the DCMA Cost and Pricing Center, the SES-level Lockheed Martin Corporate Audit Director, and Director of Integrity and Quality Assurance. John’s three decades of experience in performing and leading DCAA auditors and DCMA reviewers provides a wealth of expertise to our clients. John’s role, not only in the performance of audits, but also in the development of audit policy affords him unique insights into the defense of audit findings and the linkage of audit program steps to the underlying regulatory framework. He is an expert in FAR, DFARS, and other agency acquisition regulation, as well as a subject matter expert in the Cost Accounting Standards having reviewed and provided audit feedback on many of the largest and most complex cost accounting practices during his tenure with the DCAA. John’s tenure with DCAA and DCMA came at a critical time during each agency’s history where a number of changes were occurring such as the response to the ICS backlog, development of audit approaches to the DFARS Business Systems and implementation of new audit initiatives as a result of Congressional oversight through the NDAA process. John’s leadership at the DCMA Cost & Pricing center saw oversight of all major DOD pricing actions, leadership of should cost review teams, the Commercial Pricing group and many other areas of strategic value to our clients. His involvement in these and other Agency initiatives is of great value to our clients due to his in depth understanding of DCAA and DCMA’s internal policy directives. Education John holds a Master of Business Administration and a B.A. in Accounting from the University of South Florida. Certifications Certified Information Systems Auditor State of Alabama Certified Public Accountant

About Redstone GCI

Redstone GCI is a consulting firm focused on fulfilling the needs of government contractors in all areas of compliance. With a singular mission to help contractors through the multiple layers of “red tape,” we allow contractors to focus on what they do best – support their mission with the U.S. Government. We are home to a group of consultants made up of GovCon industry professionals, CPAs, attorneys, and retired government audit and acquisition professionals.

Our focus and knowledge of audit and compliance functions administered by DCAA and DCMA will always be at the heart of what we do. However, for the past decade, we’ve strategically grown to support other areas of the government contractor back-office with that same level of focus and expertise. We’ve added expertise in contracts management, subcontract administration, proposal pricing, various software systems, HR and employment law, property administration, manufacturing, data analytics/reporting, Grant specialists, M&A, and many other areas. When we see a trend in the needs of contractors, we act to ensure we can provide the best expertise in the market to fulfill those needs.

One thing our clients can be certain of is that with the Redstone GCI Team in your corner, there is no problem too big and no issue too technical for our team to tackle.

Topics: Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Federal Construction Contracting