Recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) cases have rejected contractor requests for equitable adjustments (REAs) related to the impact of COVID-19 on contract performance under firm fixed price (FFP) contracts. In both cases, discussed below, the ASBCA turned to the Connor Bros. Federal Circuit decision (550 F.3d 1368 (2008)). In that decision the Federal Circuit found the act of the Sovereign Government does not result in an act of the Government as a contracting party. Therefore, under the “Changes” clause (FAR 52.243-1, Changes-Fixed-Price) that was in Connor’s contract this did not give rise to an equitable adjustment in the contract price. The basis of the Connor Bros. decision and the two recent cases is the “Sovereign Acts Doctrine.”
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).
Topics: Incurred Cost Submission, Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Incurred Cost Proposals, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), Accounting & Billing System, Government Regulations, COVID-19, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
DFARS Class Deviation 2020-O0021 Revision
On January 15, 2021, the Principal Director at Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) issued a memorandum on the CARES Act Section 3610 Reimbursement Requests, DFARS Class Deviation 2020-O0021, Revision 2. This memorandum revises and supersedes the DFARS Class Deviation 2020-O0021 Revision 1 issued on October 14, 2020. The only revision is to extend the period for which paid leave must be taken from March 27, 2020 through December 11, 2020 to March 27, 2020 through March 31, 2021. The remainder of the memorandum remains unchanged and details are included in Redstone GCI’s blog.
Let us Set the Stage
On June 11, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) put out a Notice (2020-46) that allowed employees to donate unused leave to charitable groups supporting the COVID-19 National Emergency. Under the leave-based donation program, employees can elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for cash payments that the employer makes to charitable organizations. The notice provides that employee’s donation of leave will not be taxable income to the employee, however the employer will still treat the cost of the leave granted to the employee as either ordinary and necessary business expense or a charitable contribution. This applies to donations made before the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Apportioning the Costs of Buildings
The SBA and Treasury have made it clear that if you own or lease a building that you sublet to another company, the portion of the lease or mortgage expense that can be used as nonpayroll costs for PPP loan forgiveness is limited to the share of the expense applied to the business who’s PPP loan is being forgiven. The simple example is, you lease an office building for $10,000 per month and sublease part of the space to another company for $2,500 per month. Only $7,500 would be used toward your nonpayroll cost for loan forgiveness. This proration applies to utility and other shared costs of the tenants.
On August 17, 2020; Acting Principal Director for Defense Pricing and Contracting issued two memos providing guidance in support of DFARS Class Deviation 2020-O0013 and 2020-O0021 – CARES Act Section 3610 Implementation. There is also a memo providing contracting officers with a template for a Memorandum for Record to document the file for the issuance of the Section 3610 related contract modification.
Topics: Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), Accounting & Billing System, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), COVID-19
We Lifted the Vail
A few months back we submitted a request to DCAA under Freedom of Information Act. Based on the DPC guidance referencing both DCAA and DCMA as playing a key role in support of the rest of the DoD Acquisition Community, we expected DCAA would have a significant number of documents disclosing this key role. Turns out, not so much. All we got was a single document listing 13 frequently asked questions (FAQs) DCAA has been fielding from their auditors, dated July 31, 2020.
Topics: Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), COVID-19
For the past 10+ weeks, we have focused on how to work remotely, compensate employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, and how to interpret and implement the new laws applicable to the pandemic, such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, and CARES. As many states begin to loosen the “shelter at home/social distancing” guidelines, it is time to consider – how do we return to work safely?
SBA Extends the Repayment Date Again – May 18, 2020
On May 13th the Small Business Administration (SBA) updated its Frequently Asked Questioned (FAQs) – adding Questions 46 and 47. Question 47 extends the safe harbor (repayment) date to May 18th. Question 46 is very interesting; it lays out the SBA and Department of Treasury plan to review certifications of the necessity of the loans.
For those of you who may have thought there could be a silver lining to coronavirus restrictions from reduced audit effort, think again! Actual postponement of audits will be rare.