CAS 420 – Accounting for Independent Research & Development (IR&D) Costs and Bid & Proposal (B&P) Costs (Part 3 of 3)

*This is Part 3 of a 3-part blog.  Each part addresses the fundamental requirements and techniques for application related to the standard, and provides specific examples. Part 1 addressed the overall purpose of the standard, as well as the requirements/techniques for the accumulation of IR&D and B&P costs. Part 2 addressed the allocation of IR&D and B&P costs, except for special allocations. This Part 3 addresses special allocations of IR&D and B&P costs.   Background: As stated at CAS 420-20, the purpose of the standard is to provide criteria for the accumulation of IR&D and B&P costs, and for the allocation of such costs to cost objectives based on the beneficial or causal relationship between such costs and cost objectives.     Special Allocations of IR&D and … Continue reading

End of Fiscal year Spending on Training

The end of the federal government’s fiscal year (September 30th) is rapidly approaching, and the usual scramble to make certain that every budget dollar is spent will soon commence.  This can provide an agency with a great opportunity to obtain training for its employees.  In today’s procurement environment there is a substantial pent-up need for training, since during the past few years training dollars have often fallen victim to budget tightening and sequestration. Agencies that wisely choose to use their end-of-year dollars for training should make sure, however, that they commit the funds – i.e., actually register for the training – during the current fiscal year, rather than merely setting aside the money for training use.  Otherwise, they may fall victim to the “bona fide … Continue reading

Saving Cost and Adding Value to the Company: A Brief Note on Having In-House Counsel Move to Have the Government File Complaints Before the Boards of Contract Appeals

  In a previous blog posting[1], I advocated that in-house counsel, in these times of budget cuts and reduced contract actions, can add value to their client by, generally, assuming matters typically handled by retained counsel, such as litigation before the Boards of Contract Appeals and by, specifically, filing motions to dismiss for statute of limitation violations under the Contract Disputes Act, when warranted by the facts.  This brief note further encourages in-house counsel, under certain circumstances and for various tactical reasons, to move the Board to order the government to file the complaint in an appeal.  In a recent decision, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) addressed those circumstances where it would be appropriate for the government, instead of the contractor, to … Continue reading

Myth No. 8: We Can Treat Our Government Customers the Same Way We Treat Our Commercial Customers

*This post is the eighth in the ten part series, “Ten Myths of Government Contracting” and will be released weekly. Each week will introduce  a new myth and run for ten weeks.  Over the last 20 years or so, the Government contracts sector has seen countless new entrants.  Many of these newcomers are experienced commercial-sector concerns that have decided to give the Government a try.  Others are just newcomers.  Some have succeeded better than others, but all of them have bruises to show for it.  That is because they made the mistake of focusing on the potential sales they could make rather than on the procedures and practices that would be involved, and they learned about those the hard way. About ten years ago I … Continue reading

DOD Class Deviation Further Complicates FSS Ordering

By Phillip Seckman On March 13, 2014, the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy issued a Class Deviation that alters the way DOD will utilize Federal Supply Schedule contracts.  Effective immediately, prior to awarding an order against an FSS contract, DOD ordering activity contracting officers must independently make a determination that the FSS order price is fair and reasonable.  This requirement applies regardless of whether the order is for supplies, fixed-price services, or services requiring a statement of work.  One might read the class deviation to signal DOD’s lack of confidence that GSA is securing fair and reasonable pricing when negotiating and awarding schedule contracts.   The class deviation comes on the heels of other changes to the FSS ordering requirements in FAR 8.4.  Specifically, … Continue reading

A Brief Note on the Government’s Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing: An In-House Counsel Update.

In their capacity as Jack-of-All-Trades, in-house counsel for federal government contractors (as well as government counsel and private practitioners) must be cognizant of the recent movements in the court system regarding the government’s implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Such is necessary for in-house to properly advise contract capture teams, contract managers, and project operators on how the current standard impacts the contractual and legal risks of pending pursuits and ongoing projects, as well as how the standard impacts any requests for equitable adjustments (REA) and claims based thereon. This note will explore recent case law in this area and offer in-house counsel a few takeaways. Two of the primary responsibilities of in-house counsel of federal government contractors are to review solicitations for … Continue reading

Informational Requirements Associated with Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare Related Contracts

Guest Author: Rodney L. Benson, Attorney, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC In recent solicitations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has required offerors to provide an increased amount of information for CMS’s evaluation of potential organizational conflicts of interest (OCI). For many years, CMS has been extremely vigilant in identifying and resolving potential OCIs. The agency has a myriad of statutory contracting authorities. Pursuant to these authorities, CMS utilizes contractor services to perform virtually all major functions and activities, including paying Medicare claims, identifying and investigating fraud and abuse and auditing and recovering improper payments. Because contractors act in a fiduciary capacity for the United States, and otherwise perform functions that require that they be free of financial interests that might impair their … Continue reading

Keep Those FedEx Receipts!

Diversified Maintenance Systems, Inc. (“DMS”) filed a complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”), alleging that it had submitted to the Army a certified claim seeking cost and time increases on its Army contract. DMS stated in the complaint that it had never received a final decision from the contracting officer on its claim. In response, the Government argued that the claim had never been submitted to the contracting officer, and thus that the COFC lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal. DMS contended that any allegation in the complaint, including its assertion that the COFC had jurisdiction, should be presumed to be true. Therefore, DMS argued, its assertion that it submitted a claim to the contracting officer before appealing to the COFC must … Continue reading

Panelists Discuss Pros, Cons Of New Strategic Sourcing Push

Executive Briefing: May 23, The Future of Multiple Award Contracts Bloomberg Government, The Public Contracting Institute (PCI) and the Professional Services Council (PSC) have partnered to bring together leaders in Government and industry to discuss the important issues affecting the acquisition community. The United States Government, as the largest buyer in the world, spends more than $500 billion annually on goods and services. In a time of significant budget cuts and increasing pressure on the Government acquisition workforce to save costs, the need for Government and industry to collaborate and work together efficiently and effectively is essential. Through a series of briefings, this coalition will facilitate the coordination and communication between Government and industry on critical issues that have significant impact on how both parties … Continue reading

Mastering the Art of Government Contracting —Why You Need the FAR

One of my favorite movies in recent times is Julie and Julia.  I loved it because I love to cook and it told a wonderful story about a woman who decided to engage in a journey to cook every single recipe in Julia Child’s famous cookbook —  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Cook books are fabulous things. They provide step by step instructions on how to make delicious meals but many folks are intimidated by them. I personally think, if you can read, you can cook, and once you learn to cook, you learn to improvise and become creative in what you prepare for friends and family. A Cookbook for Government Contracting If there is a “cookbook” for government contracting, it’s certainly the Federal … Continue reading