My commercial company wants to increase business with the Federal Government – but not with all those requirements the Government follows when buying under FAR Part 15 rules (Contracting by Negotiation). Is that even possible? The answer is “absolutely”.
My company only sells to the Government so my products/services can’t be commercial. Truth or Myth. This is a myth. If you are selling products/services under FAR 15 based contracts or subcontracts, submitting certified cost and pricing data and documenting other accounting and purchasing requirements that come along with it, when the products/services technically meet the definition of commercial under the FAR – it may be time to rethink your approach.
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”.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.