AFTER THE AFTERTHOUGHTS: REAs VERSUS CLAIMS

On November 14, 2017, a PCI Consultant posted a blog article about Requests for Equitable Adjustments (“REA”) versus claims. It seems to me that the original discussion and the blog overlooked an important problem in contract administration today—the failure of contracting officers (“CO”) to do their duty to review and engage in negotiations on both REAs and claims. The blog said: On September 28, 2017, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan hosted a virtual classroom on the topic of Requests for Equitable Adjustments and Claims. Following the virtual classroom, I interviewed Professor Nash to ask questions related to the discussion during the training. Question: I would assert that if examined just from the perspective of reading case law on the issue, the difference between an … Continue reading

Afterthoughts: REAs versus Claims

On September 28, 2017, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan hosted a virtual classroom on the topic of Requests for Equitable Adjustments and Claims. Following the virtual classroom, I interviewed Professor Nash to ask questions related to the discussion during the training. I would assert that if examined just from the perspective of reading case law on the issue, the difference between an REA and a claim feels like a distinction without a purpose. What is the use of an REA – is it still a useful submission or should we just submit claims so that you have the right to appeal? The purpose of the REA is to start negotiations. Fundamentally when something happens during performance that leads a contractor to conclude that they … Continue reading

Afterthoughts: Organizational Conflicts of Interest

On April 25, 2017, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan hosted a virtual classroom on the topic of Organizational Conflicts of Interest. Following the virtual classroom, I interviewed Professor Nash to ask questions related to the discussion during the training. Can you provide an overview of the respective obligations and responsibilities of contractors, with respect to monitoring, reporting and complying with Organizational Conflicts of Interest rules? The main burden for the contractor comes with contracts for advisory kinds of services. Contractors must consider what other projects this might cut them out of. Essentially this requires contractors to predict what future projects might be. If the contractor will be advising on how to construct a procurement, they have to determine if that will later prevent them … Continue reading

Afterthoughts: Evaluating Cost & Price Realism

By Nicole R. Best On February 23, 2017, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan hosted a virtual classroom on the topic of Evaluating Cost and Price Realism. Following the virtual classroom, I interviewed Professor Nash to ask questions related to the discussion during the training. Why does the government, as a buyer, care about cost and price realism? Those are two different things. Cost realism is important because when we are running a competition for cost reimbursement contracts, we don’t want companies to win by proposing an estimate that is unreasonably low. If the government awards at an estimate that is low and the contractor runs out of money on the contract but hasn’t finished the job, either (1) you won’t be able get money … Continue reading

Afterthoughts: Discussions versus Clarifications

By Nicole R. Best On March 30, 2017, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan hosted a virtual classroom on the topic of Clarifications versus Discussions during negotiated procurements. Following the virtual classroom, I interviewed Professor Nash to ask questions related to the discussion during the training. To some extent a theme of the webinar was a discussion of the narrowing scope of what constitutes a clarification during the negotiated procurement source selection process. What exchange currently constitutes a clarification and, as a practical matter, do you think clarifications still have a significant and useful role in the negotiated procurement process? First, the narrowness of the definition is to some extent in the vagueness of the language. If you look at FAR 15.306(a) it says “Clarifications … Continue reading

The PCI Network – Compliance, Suspension and Debarment

This episode of The PCI Network focuses on Suspension and Debarment. David Drabkin, Director and Faculty at PCI discusses, how to maintain compliance and avoid suspension and debarment. Mr. Drabkin is currently the Director of Acquisition Policy with Northrop Grumman Corporation. There he works with Congress, Executive Agencies and Industry Associations to evaluate and promulgate acquisition policy for Federal programs ensuring the interests of the Northrop Grumman are represented in the process.

The PCI Network – Three Keys to a Winning Proposal

The next episode of The PCI Network is all about putting together a winning proposal. Lou Chiarella, Director and Faculty at PCI, shares three tips to help you craft a winning proposal. Mr. Chiarella is an attorney in the Washington, D.C. area with 20 years of experience specializing in all aspects of Government contracting.  In addition to his current position, his previous experiences include: Professor of Contract and Fiscal Law, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia; Chief of Administrative and Civil Law, Fort Carson, Colorado; and Trial Attorney, U.S. Army Contract Appeals Division, Arlington, Virginia.

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!

The PCI Network – Ethics in Government Contracting

Understanding the difference between right and wrong isn’t always as easy as you may think. In the Federal Contracting industry, there are important ethical distinctions that can create confusion if you don’t know where to look. Join Fred Geldon, a PCI Director and Faculty, as he explains the importance of ethics in Government Contracting and how to minimize the confusion.

AFTERTHOUGHTS: PROPOSAL EVALUATIONS OF COST AND NON-COST FACTORS

Following each Professor’s Virtual class, we interview Professor Ralph Nash to get his thoughts on the topic following discussion.  On February 24th, 2016, Professor Ralph Nash and Tim Sullivan discussed proposal evaluations of cost and non-cost factors.   Background    Competitive procurements pursuant to FAR Part 15 gained notoriety and use after the enactment of the Competition in Contracting Act (“CICA”) in 1984.  Under competitively negotiated contract formation techniques, the Government prepares a solicitation, which contains a statement of work and contract terms, and requests potential offerors to propose a price and submit information on other designated evaluation factors.  Once proposals are submitted, the Government must evaluate the proposals and choose an awardee to perform to contract. Use of these competitive procedures raises concerns about … Continue reading