Writing a Convincing Labor Basis of Estimate

Oftentimes when supporting the production of cost volumes and pricing exercises for clients, we’re given a basis of estimate (BOE) that has been written by someone on the technical team. Even being a group of accounting and compliance professionals who know little in areas such as cyber, engineering, or other technical areas of the scope of work, we’re left scratching our heads. This usually leads to several back-and-forth discussions centered around gleaning enough information from the technical team to pass the proverbial government “sniff test”.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Small Business Compliance, Human Resources, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

What Does the DCAA Auditor Want in a Basis of Estimate (BOE)?

Importance of Basis of Estimate

The proposal is often the procurement parties’ first introduction to a company. It is important to remember that different readers are looking for different types of content from the proposal. From an auditor’s viewpoint, an important part of a contractor’s cost estimating process is preparing the basis of estimate (BOE).

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing

FAR Final Rule: Small Business Opportunities Overseas – Don't Pack Your Bags Yet

DoD issued a final rule on April 26, 2022, amending the FAR to support the Small Business Administration regulation of including overseas contracts in agency small business contracting goals. The final rule is effective May 26, 2022.

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Small Business Compliance, Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems

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: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, 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, Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Incurred Cost Proposal Submission (ICP/ICE), DFARS Business Systems, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations

Expectation vs Reality - Government Proposals Part 2

This video is the second part of a two part series where we provide an overview of some of the expectations that come with completing a Government proposal and their respective realities.

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Vlog

DCMA Commercial Item Group - Year in Review

What is the Commercial Item Group (CIG)?

So, what is the DCMA CIG? They are the “cadre of experts” established under DCMA as a result of Section 831 of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The purpose of the CIG is to assist DoD contracting officers in making commercial item determinations. There are several DCMA ACO’s that have warrants specific to making commercial item determinations on contractor assertions or higher-tier contractor determinations of its supplier’s assertions at the request of a buying command. DCMA CIG has price analysts and engineers that perform market research, evaluate the commercial submission, determine whether pricing is fair and reasonable as well as provide negotiation support.

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Commercial Item Determination

Defective Pricing Audits? Time to Check that Your Procedures are in Order

DCAA has caught up on their incurred cost backlog and is concentrating effort on Truth in Negotiations Audits (i.e., Defective Pricing). The objective of the Truth in Negotiations audit is to determine whether a negotiated contract price was increased by a significant amount because a contractor did not submit or disclose current, accurate or complete cost or pricing data.

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, DFARS Business Systems, DCAA Audit Support, Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Overview of the Deltek Costpoint Planning Module

Deltek Costpoint Planning provides access to up-to-date, accurate information for developing, adjusting, auditing, approving, and re-forecasting project budgets and annual operating plans. We usually see three types of users in the Planning module: Business Development, Project Managers, and Project Control/Financial Analysts. Business Development users have access to develop new business budgets. Project Managers can create project budgets and run meaningful reports allowing them to make real time decisions and properly manage their programs. Project control/financial analysts can develop organization budgets and reconcile corporate and project budgets more accurately to better forecast their indirect rates.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Deltek Costpoint

Acceptable Estimating System: NITAAC CIO-SP4 Points Scoring

The National Institutes of Health Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) released its long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP4) program on May 25, 2021. Phase I of the evaluation of offeror proposals will consist of validation of the offeror’s completed self-scoring sheet and ranking the offerors based on this scoring. Only the highest rated offerors will advance to phase 2 of the evaluation. Accordingly, every point counts!

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, DFARS Business Systems, Estimating System Compliance