Whistleblower claims are on the rise with alleged violations of health and safety laws as well as fraud and abuse under the CARES Act due to the pandemic. Employers need to ensure they are familiar with the whistleblower laws and their responsibilities under government contracts.
What is FAR 52.204-10 – Reporting Executive Compensation and First-Tier Subcontract Awards?
FAR 52.204-10 requires the contractor to report executive compensation of first-tier subcontracts with a value of $30,000 unless an exemption applies. Contracting Officers are required to include the FAR clause 52.204-10, Reporting Executive Compensation and First-Tier Subcontract Awards, in all solicitations and contracts of $30,000 or more. A first-tier subcontract is a subcontract awarded directly by the contractor for the purpose of acquiring supplies or services for performance of a prime contract. This does not include long term arrangements between the prime and first-tier subcontractors for material or supplies that benefit multiple contracts.
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).
DCAA’s Authority for Interim Vouchers
DCAA is given the authority under DFARS 242.803(b) to approve interim vouchers for DoD. DFARS 242.803(b) states DCAA will approve interim vouchers using sampling methodology for provisional payment after a prepayment review. This also includes reviewing completion/final vouchers and issuing a DCAA Form 1, Notice of Contracts Costs Suspended and/or Disapproved when DCAA questions the allowability of costs.
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, FAR, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, DOD Contractors
Where Did This Come From?
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2019, required the implementation of a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rule barring federal contractors from using telecommunications products or services or video surveillance equipment from certain foreign companies – The People’s Republic of China. As a result, a new contract clause came into place – FAR 52.204-25, Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment – effective August 13, 2020.
Topics: Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, FAR, Accounting & Billing System, DOD Contractors, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)
We have recently had to deal with issues related to DCAA applying DFARS business system rules in DFARS 252.242-7006 Accounting System Administration in its evaluation of small business client accounting systems. The DFARS business system rules were never intended to be applied to small businesses. Further, the limited resources of a small business make it very difficult for a small business to fully comply with all 18 of the specific criteria contained in the business system rules. DFARS 252.242-7005 regarding the applicability of the business system rules states:
With a Presidential Memorandum halting all proposed federal regulations that have not yet taken effect and pausing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) appeal of the nationwide injunction on the overtime rule which would double the minimum salary for exempt status, we are curious how the new administration will impact employer responsibilities, particularly those of federal contractors. While we certainly hope for some respite, we won’t speculate on what might happen, and we continue to encourage employers to be diligent in compliance with those regulations which have recently taken effect as well as those that employers have been slow to tackle.
On July 6, 2016, the DOE (Department of Energy) quietly withdrew its April 1, 2014 proposed rule, “Contractor Business Systems—Definition and Administration. The April 2014 proposed rule which defined five business systems was modeled after similar business systems requirements imposed upon DOD Contractors (DFARS 252.242-7005 along with six interrelated regulations pertaining to each of the six business systems noting that the five DOE systems excluded MMAS). Also in common with DOD, the statement or mantra, that “Contractor business systems and internal controls are the first line in defense against fraud, waste and abuse. That statement was excessively used by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, a Bi-Partisan Commission whose August 2011 248-page report concluded that at least $31 billion and possibly as much as $60 billion was wasted in Iraq & Afghanistan from 2002-2008 ($4.4B to $8.6B annually; by comparison, Government agencies estimate annual improper payments exceeding $100 billion in each year 2009-2015). If one bothers to read the 248-page report, one would also surmise that most of the waste resulted from government failures which notably includes one singular failure, the lack of any accountability for $6.6B of a $9.1B cash shipment.
Topics: Business Systems Review