The PCI Network – Character Traits for a Great Government Contracts Professional

In this episode of The PCI Network, the head of our FUN with the FAR series, Stephen Daoust, discusses the four traits of a great government contracts professional. Throughout his 25-year career, Steve has worked as a Chief Government Contracts Counsel, Director of Contracts, and Chief Compliance Officer for both publicly traded companies like Iridium and Affiliated Computer Services and large accounting firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was asked on a daily basis to provide expert advice and counsel on the negotiation and administration of contracts with federal, state, and local Governments. Check out what he has to say below!

Fun with the FAR Part 49

1. Prime contractors are required to use guidance in FAR Part 49 to settle subcontracts terminated as a result of modification/termination of a prime contract. FAR 49.002(b). 2. A contracting officer must obtain the prior approval of his/her “contracting office” prior to issuing a show cause or cure notice to a contractor. FAR 49.402-3(b). 3. In the event of a “partial” termination, the contractor may request an equitable adjustment in the price or prices of the continued portion of a fixed price contract. FAR 49.208. 4. The Government is strictly prohibited from paying for anticipatory profits and consequential damages as part of a termination settlement agreement. FAR 49.202(a). 5. The “Excusable Delays” clause set forth at FAR 52.249-14 is not required to be included in … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Parts 45, 46, & 47

1. As a general rule, contractors are ordinarily required to furnish all property necessary to perform Government contracts. A contractor’s inability or unwillingness to supply its own resources is not sufficient reason for the furnishing or acquisition of Government property. FAR 45.102. 2. As a general rule, under firm fixed price type contracts, the contractor retains title to all property acquired by the contractor for use under the contract, except for property identified as a deliverable. FAR 45.402(a). 3. Under cost-type and time-and-materials contracts, the Government acquires title to all property to which the contractor is entitled for reimbursement. FAR 45.402 and FAR 52.245-1. 4. Contracts for commercial items shall rely on a contractor’s existing quality assurance system as a substitute for compliance with Government … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Part 44

1. The subcontractor consent and advance notification requirements in Subpart 44.2 are not applicable to prime contracts for commercial items acquired pursuant to Part 12. FAR 44.000. 2. When required, subcontract consent should be requested from the contracting officer prior to execution of the subcontract. Such consent must always be in writing. FAR 44.201-1. 3. A contracting officer’s consent to subcontract or approval of the contractor’s purchasing system does not constitute a determination of the acceptability of the subcontract terms or price, or of the allowability of costs, unless the consent or approval specifies otherwise. FAR 44.204(a). 4. As a matter of law, non-commercial prime contractors are only required to flow-down to its commercial item subcontractors those special clauses identified at FAR 52.244-6(c)(1). 5. While … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Part 42

1. For contractors other than educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, the “cognizant” Federal agency normally will be the agency with the largest dollar amount of contracts, including options. FAR 42.003(a). 2. Once a Federal agency assumes cognizance for a contractor, it should remain cognizant for at least 5 years. FAR 42.003(b). 3. Contractors are require to submit final indirect cost rate proposals with the six-month period following the expiration of its fiscal years. FAR 42.705-1(b)(ii). 4. Novation Agreements may be executed by the U.S. Government only AFTER contractors have executed a stock purchase or asset sale agreement. FAR 42.1204. 5. The cognizant Federal agency of the contractor transferring its contracts via a Novation Agreement is generally the responsible party tasked with negotiating and executing that … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Parts 36, 37, 41, & 48

1. Contracting officers are required to procure architect-engineer services under FAR Part 15 negotiation procedures. FAR 36.103. 2. Contracts for the construction of a project shall not be awarded to the firm that designed the project, or to that firm’s subsidiaries or affiliates, without the approval of the agency head or their authorized representative. FAR 36.209. 3. Solicitations for construction contracts are required to contain the Government’s estimated price range for the project. FAR 36.205. 4. Performance based services contracts shall include (i) a performance work statement (PWS) or statement of objectives (SOO), (ii) measurable performance standards and the method of assessing a contractors performance against the performance standards, and (iii) performance incentive payments when appropriate. FAR 37.601. 5. The GSA has the authority to … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Parts 34 & 35

1. The stages of a FAR Part 34 -Major System Acquisition are: Concept Formulation Demonstration & Validation Full-Scale Development Production FAR 34.005-3, -4, -5, and -6. 2. EVMS reports must be submitted by contractors on a monthly basis. FAR 34.201(c). 3. During the negotiation of R&D contracts, the contracting officer should obtain “complete information” concerning the prime contractor’s plans to subcontract any experimental, research, or development services required under the statement of work. FAR 35.009. 4. FFRDCs are established and operate under what is known as a “Sponsoring Agreement.” FAR 35.017. The essential elements of a Sponsoring Agreement can be found at FAR 35.017(c). 5. The National Science Foundation maintains a master list of all FFRDCs. FAR 35.017-6.

Fun with the FAR Part 33

1. For purposes of FAR Part 33, the word “day” means “calendar day”. FAR 33.101. 2. An offeror can file a contract award protest at one of three venues: the agency that issued the solicitation, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. FAR 33.102(a). 3. Pursuing an agency protest does not extend the time for obtaining a “stay” at the GAO. FAR 33.103(f)(4). 4. Contractors are required to continue performance under a federal Government contract pending a final resolution of any appeal. FAR 33.213.

Fun with the FAR Part 12

1.       Contracting officers should evaluate past performance in a commercial item procurement, but it is not mandatory. FAR 12.206. 2.       Firm-fixed price commercial item contracts/orders are exempt from CAS. FAR 12.214. CAS Board regulations also exempt labor hour and time & materials commercial item contracts. CASB 9903.201-1(b)(6). 3.       Changes to a commercial item contract may be made only by written agreement by the Government and the contractor. FAR 52.212-4(c).