Yes, the door just opened for potential relief from unanticipated inflation on fixed-priced contracts, but what’s beyond the door is still unclear. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes Section 822, Modification of Contracts to Provide Extraordinary Relief Due to Inflation Impacts, which builds upon DoD’s September 9, 2022, inflation guidance through use of FAR Part 50, Extraordinary Contractual Actions and the Safety Act, requests submitted to your contracting officer to provide an upward adjustment (increase contract value) and this can be done for prime and subcontractors. Note that this NDAA section does not create an obligation for the Government to pay for unanticipated inflation, but it is a “discretionary” expenditure where the Government may pay for the effects of unanticipated inflation. What remains to be seen is exactly how and how much will be provided to your contract(s).
Apparently, nothing the Board found was to the liking of the judges at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Case Number 21-2304, Secretary of Defense v. Raytheon Company, Raytheon Missile Systems, decided January 3, 2023. This was the appeal from the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in Nos. 59435, 59436, 59437, 59438, 60056, 60057, 60058, 60059, 60060, and 60061.
The Department of Defense (DoD) released new final rulings on October 28, 2022, but what are they and are they really important? Let’s look at significant ones and what’s important:
You pride yourself on working well and getting along with everyone, at least professionally. However, there is an auditor that seems to get under your skin. What do you do? Well, although there may not be a “magic bullet” to all make it better. I propose the following to get you through the situation at hand:
In the Lockheed Martin ASCBA Case 62209 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company April 13, 2022 Decision, the Board found that when there is a Congressionally established statute of limitation the “theory of laches” does not apply.
In the ASCBA Case 61691 Doubleshot, Inc. July 19, 2022 Decision, the Board supported what we believe is the correct reading of the records retention requirement under the FAR related to Cost-Reimbursable contracts. FAR 52.215-2, Audit and Records, requires contractors to make available until 3 years after final payment or any shorter period specified in Subpart 4.7. FAR 4.705-2(b) limits the required retention period to 2 years from the end of fiscal year for pay related records (e.g., timesheet or cards). So provided you submit your Incurred Cost Submission (required by FAR 52.216-7, Allowable Cost and Payment Clause) on time, you only need to maintain any of the records listed in FAR Subpart 4.7 for the time period set forth in that section of the FAR.
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.
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.”
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).
Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), DFARS Business Systems, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations