Contractors Beware: Don’t get caught with a Material Breach of Contract Terms


Contractor compliance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 is back in the news. The Principal Director, Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC), issued a memorandum dated June 16, 2022, to the Department of Defense Departments, Subject: Contractual Remedies to Ensure Contractor Compliance with Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement Clause 252.204-7012, for contracts and orders not subject to Clause 252.204-7020; and Additional Considerations Regarding National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-171 Department of Defense Assessments.

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Topics: DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Cybersecurity

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

Department of Justice Initiative on Cyber Security Incident Reporting


The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in October 2021 that they are following through on the launch of the DOJ’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative. This initiative is being used to pursue cybersecurity related fraud when Government contractors and subcontractors knowingly fail to comply with cybersecurity requirements, through the use of the False Claims Act (FCA). The DOJ is asking individuals (yes that means your employees) to focus their attention on potential cyber security noncompliance under the False Claims Act. It only takes one upset employee to report that you are not complying with your reported cybersecurity practices or have an unreported cyber-attack affecting covered defense information. Contractor employees who file a qui tam suit can receive a government payment incentive of 15 to 30 percent of the recovery. There has already been one reported contractor settlement resolving a qui tam suit for a company failing to meet federal cybersecurity standards.

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Topics: DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Cybersecurity

Bye-Bye Foreign, Buy American


The FAR Council published a final rule on March 7, 2022, implementing revisions to the Buy American Act. The final rule strengthens the impact of Federal procurement preferences for products and construction materials domestically manufactured from substantially all domestic content and is effective October 25, 2022.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR)

It is Time for a CPSR Review – Is Your Universe Up-To-Date?


What is a CPSR Review?

A CPSR Review is a Contractor Purchasing System Review. This review is performed by the Government on a contractor, in order to:

  • assess the overall health of the purchasing organization,
  • evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the contractor’s practices in expending Government funds,
  • perform an independent review of the contractor’s system to optimize its effectiveness in compliance with Government policy, and
  • identify risk to provide the Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) a basis for approving or disapproving the purchasing system.
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Topics: Business Systems Review, DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR)

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: Business Systems Review, Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Incurred Cost Submission, DFARS Business Systems, Incurred Cost Proposals, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Accounting & Billing System, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations

Cyber Incident Reporting For GovCon


Due to the recent Russian invasion in Ukraine, there has been a significant increase in cyber-attacks reported across the world. While the U.S. Government has concerns related to attacks on U.S. companies including banks, power companies, fuel suppliers, they are also concerned with defense contractors. President Biden has issued multiple warnings to companies including defense contractors about looming cyber-attacks.

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Topics: DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Cybersecurity

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

Is Your Estimate at Completion on a Progress Payment Higher than the Contract Price?


This is the third blog in a three-part series on progress payments for Government contractors. In this blog we will discuss the estimate to complete, and the adjustments needed when there is a projected loss on a contract.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, Contracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems, Accounting & Billing System, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Progress Payments