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)

Government Contractor Inflation Risk: What Have You Considered and Are You Prepared?

The recent memo from the Defense Pricing Center (DPC) has created quite the stir around the current economic uncertainties in the government contractor community tied to inflation. The unfortunate reality is that for many years, economically speaking, the risk of inflation has been a steady 2-3% and so both contractors and the acquisition professionals on the other side have not had to realistically consider this factor in pricing/negotiating contracts. History has shown us that the threat is all too real and can cause significant hurdles for contractors to weather an inflationary period like we saw in the 80s, early nineties and as recently as 2009. The question of is it transitory or are we headed toward a recession is best left to our friend the magic 8-ball, but I do think there are a few things that all contractors should be aware of during this time.

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Topics: Cost and Pricing and Budgeting, Defense Contractors, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The Future Does Not Look Good For COVID Related REAs

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.”

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Topics: Defense Contractors, Government Regulations, COVID-19, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

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)

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 Submission, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Incurred Cost Proposals, 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: Incurred Cost Submission, Contracts Administration, Defense Contractors, Incurred Cost Proposals, Cost-Type Contracts, DCAA Audit Support, Accounting & Billing System, 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)

Intercompany Transaction Cost Restrictions and Allowability for Government Contractors


As more and more companies are acquiring companies or being acquired, a predominant question that arises is can I do work with my new or existing affiliates. The simple answer is yes, but there are specific requirements in the FAR on how transactions are performed between affiliates. The requirements of intercompany transactions are found in two primary cost principles FAR 31.205-26 – Materials Costs and FAR 31.205-36 Rental Costs.

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Topics: Business Systems Review, DCAA Audit Support, Accounting & Billing System, 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

Aren’t All Incurred Cost on My Contract Eligible for Reimbursement on My Progress Payment?


This is the second blog in a three-part series on progress payments. This blog addresses Line 5, Contract Price and Line 11, Total eligible costs on the SF1443 Contractor’s Request for Progress Payment Form.

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