Are Adjusting Billings to Final Year-End Rates Really That Important?


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.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Limitation on Pass-Through Charges in Government Contracts


Does the Total of All Proposed Subcontract Costs Exceed 70% of the Total Contract Costs?

Is your company submitting a proposal to the government/prime contractor that includes a total of all subcontract costs exceeding 70 percent of the total costs proposed? If so, you must identify “added value” in your proposal so the government/auditor does not classify the indirect cost applied to the total subcontract cost as “excessive pass-through charges.”  The government considers indirect costs and profit/fee that a contractor applies to subcontract costs that exceed 70 percent of the contract to be “pass through costs.” This applies to lower tier subcontract costs also. If there is no negligible value added by the contractor, the government or auditor will question the indirect costs and profit/fee applied to the subcontract costs as unallowable excessive pass through under FAR 31.203(i).

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations

Does Micro-Purchase Threshold Apply to Government Contractors?


Government Contractor Purchases below the Micro-Purchase Threshold Require NO Documentation

This is a common misconception within the GOVCON community. While the expectations are clearly less documentation and effort are required than that of a larger dollar value purchase, there is not a magic threshold at which NO documentation of the fair and reasonable price is allowed.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The Government Plays Gingerbread Man - You Can't Catch Me


The Government runs away to fight another day and another day.

What is this Groundhog Day?

L3 Technologies, Inc. (L3) takes the Government to task[1] for “challenging both indirect and direct costs paid to L3 on several government contracts for certain years.” During the long-drawn-out process of the litigation, “the government apparently thought better of its claims and withdrew them in toto[2] and represented it would make no further claims on the contract years in question.” L3 opposed, the dismissal seeking either summary judgment in its favor or that the Board “keep the appeals live so that it can obtain a victory that, it believes, would preclude its suffering similar government claims in other contract years.” No such luck, the Board granted the government’s motion and dismissed the appeals.

All we can hope is that someday the fox will get the gingerbread man (aka the Government) and this Groundhog Day nightmare will stop.

[1] Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) Case Nos. 61811, 61813, and 61814

[2] Fancy Latin word for completely.

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Topics: Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The Impact of Fly American Act


Lockheed Martin raised a great question to the ASBCA as to “whether the Fly America Act, 49 U.S.C. § 40118 (FAA) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.247-63 only apply to direct personnel performing direct work on covered contracts, or also applies to indirect personnel or indirect travel.”[1] The Board declined to hear the case as there was no “live dispute” at hand.

[1] Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals Case No. 62377

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

DCAA Trying to Stretch FAR Yet Again


At the end of each of the DCAA audit programs for contractor business systems, DCAA discusses what it refers to as “Less Severe Significant Deficiencies.” These are clearly deficiencies which do not meet the DFARS definition of a “Significant deficiency.”[1] As a result, the withhold requirement provided for in DFARS 252.242-7005 cannot be applied.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

What's New with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness


DCAA issued some guidance on PPP forgiveness treatment in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to its auditors. The FAQs were not front and center on DCAA’s website but search on “PPP” did find them at: COVID FAQ for PWS 07142021 (dcaa.mil).

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), Government Regulations, COVID-19, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

A Spooky Story for Government Contractors – Know Your Contract Clauses

Wage Determination Clauses Can Bite You

What is the spookiest and scariest story for a government contractor? How about a story where the government imposes an expense on a contractor, but doesn’t allow for consideration of this expense in the contract value? So, in layman’s terms, losing money (profit) on government contracts. In a recent ASBCA decision, this is exactly what happened.

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Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

DFARS Case 2017-D018 – Changes to DFARS Requirements for Independent Research and Development

In 2017 Congress directed through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that changes be made to the treatment of independent research and development (IR&D) costs and required the Defense Contract Audit Agency to provide as part of its annual report to Congress both independent research and development and bid and proposal (B&P) costs expended by DoD contractors. Congress intended this change to apply to indirect costs incurred on or after October 1, 2017. The Defense Acquisition Regulation (DAR) Council must have read over that part.

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Topics: Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, Government Regulations

DFARS Case 2020-D008 – Prohibition on Pricing based on Historical Prices

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.”

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Topics: Government Shutdown, Defense Contractors, DFARS Business Systems, Cost-Type Contracts, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations