Seminars at Mason

Starting in January 2015, the new Contracting with the Federal Government Certificate Program will be offered by George Mason University in association with The Public Contracting Institute. This program is designed to help government contracting professionals better perform their jobs, grow in their careers, and succeed in the government contracting environment.

To register for the tracks, please visit the following links:

Descriptions of the individual certificates:

Government Contracts Accounting

(Requires 10 days of training)

Required Classes:

  • Government Contracting Fundamentals – 3 days

The Government Contracting Fundamentals course is a comprehensive, three-day overview and discussion of the federal government contracting process, including applicable procurement laws, regulations, and practical requirements. For those who are new, relatively inexperienced, or require a supervisory understanding of government contracting, this course provides an overview that will familiarize the attendee with the federal contracting process, provide a strong foundation on which to build greater subject-matter expertise, and dispel common myths and misunderstandings. For those with some experience, the course will heighten knowledge, provide context, sharpen issue awareness, and improve the ability to operate successfully in this highly complex and competitive field. This “fundamentals” course is designed to be of benefit to both government and contractor personnel, including contracting officers, contract and subcontract administrators, program and item managers, finance and accounting personnel, engineers, and attorneys (in-house, outside, government).

  • Navigating the FAR: Practical Applications – 2 days

This fast-paced interactive course examines the organization, content, policy and procedures of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as it applies to Federal acquisition. Designed for new professionals in both government and industry, as well as more experienced professionals, to build or update their familiarity with the Federal Government’s procurement system. The course includes a review of the topical divisions of the FAR, exercises to help the participant find and analyze FAR contracting issues, and group activities to reinforce the application of FAR principles.

Electives:

  • Accounting and Auditing for Government Contracts – 2 days

Doing business with the U.S. Government can be extremely challenging, but when you layer in the extensive accounting requirements, internal controls, and system expectations that come with U.S. Government contracts, it can become downright frightening. This course is designed to help contractors navigate the details of these requirements so that they can successfully recover all allowable and allocable contract costs incurred in support of their contracts. This course will also prepare contractors for the accounting requirements of government contracts and identify strategies in preparing for audits. Instructors provide real life examples of the challenges associated with the existing accounting and audit environment. Whether your company is new to government contracting or has been in the business for years, this course will be valuable to ensure that you are up to speed with these ever-changing requirements and prepared for the audit requirements to come as a result of these contracts.

  • Cost and Price Analysis – 2 days

Course participants will learn regulatory requirements and expectations related to cost and price analysis. Additionally, how and when to perform and document price analysis, how and when to perform and document cost analysis, and how and when to request performance of and incorporate results of a technical analysis. Participants will also learn how to document source selection, including justification for single/sole source acquisitions and related negotiations. This course consists of practical techniques for analyzing the reasonableness of proposed pricing and costs, and documenting the results of the analysis.

  • Cost Accounting Standards – 2 days

The Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) was designed to promote uniform and consistent methods of accounting practices for contractors. This course explains to which contracts and contractors the Standards are applicable, and highlights the current and proposed exemptions to the Standards. Discussions include the requirements of all 19 Standards, the differences in accounting as compared to GAAP and IFRS, and methods of structuring your accounting system for compliance. The administrative requirements, including preparation of the Disclosure Statement, and post award contract adjustments due to changes in accounting practices are also covered.

  • Ethics and Compliance – 1 day

Legal and ethical conduct is the way to protect your credibility and earn the respect and trust of your employees, partners, clients, and community. This one-day course provides an in-depth understanding of the ethical and compliance rules that apply in the federal government marketplace. It emphasizes the importance of ethical conduct when contractors do business with the federal government; enable contractor (and government) employees to recognize compliance and ethical issues and traps before they make irreparable mistakes; and advise about support resources.

  • Surviving a DCAA Audit – 1 day

This one-day course provides an overview of the government contract audit function, DCAA audit expectations regarding adequacy of accounting systems, labor timekeeping and cost accumulation, and cost representations for forward pricing, billing, and incurred costs are covered. The course also addresses strategies for addressing controllable audit risk/vulnerability factors, and preparing for and handling issues that arise during contract audits. This course is recommended for those individuals responsible for contract audit related issues and preparing input or information that is subject to audit review.

  • FAR Part 31: Cost Principles

Most government contracts require identification of the elements and a stated cost at the time estimates are prepared. Additionally, as work progresses, as change orders are negotiated and after completion of work. This course reviews the cost principles applicability to the various contract types and procurement methods of the government. This course also addresses the current areas of audit scrutiny by the government and methods of complying with the regulations including business systems and disclosure requirements.

Contract Formation and Administration

(Requires 10 days of training)

Required Classes: 

  • Government Contracting Fundamentals – 3 days

The Government Contracting Fundamentals course is a comprehensive, three-day overview and discussion of the federal government contracting process, including applicable procurement laws, regulations, and practical requirements. For those who are new, relatively inexperienced, or require a supervisory understanding of government contracting, this course provides an overview that will familiarize the attendee with the federal contracting process, provide a strong foundation on which to build greater subject-matter expertise, and dispel common myths and misunderstandings. For those with some experience, the course will heighten knowledge, provide context, sharpen issue awareness, and improve the ability to operate successfully in this highly complex and competitive field. This “fundamentals” course is designed to be of benefit to both government and contractor personnel, including contracting officers, contract and subcontract administrators, program and item managers, finance and accounting personnel, engineers, and attorneys (in-house, outside, government).

  • Navigating the FAR: Practical Applications – 2 day

This fast-paced interactive course examines the organization, content, policy and procedures of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as it applies to Federal acquisition. Designed for new professionals in both government and industry, as well as more experienced professionals, to build or update their familiarity with the Federal Government’s procurement system. The course includes a review of the topical divisions of the FAR, exercises to help the participant find and analyze FAR contracting issues, and group activities to reinforce the application of FAR principles.

Electives: 

  • Effective Proposals: Preparing and Evaluating – 2 days

This two-day course walks through the proposal preparation process. This includes work done prior to a customer issuing a request for proposal through contract award. It focuses on the importance of ensuring integrity between the technical, management and cost volumes of the proposal and the processes necessary to make that happen.

The estimating process, a significant component of the proposal preparation process, is one of the business systems specifically addressed by the Department of Defense Supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulation. This course addresses each of the specific components of an acceptable estimating process must meet. The existence of a compliant estimating system will help maximize the likelihood an auditor will find the company’s proposal adequate. Even if a company does not do business with the Department of Defense, it is important that cost estimates meet the criteria in DCAA’s adequacy checklist.

The course also presents techniques for gathering data, developing and documenting sound basis of estimates, and cost and price analysis techniques to support cost estimates for direct material and subcontractors– a particularly troublesome area.

The course also covers the importance of time management and writing in the context of proposal preparation.

  • Negotiation Strategies and Techniques – 2 days

This course is divided into two parts. The first part is designed to provide attendees with a thorough understanding of the qualities of an effective negotiator, with examples rooted in the government contracting process. The second part focuses on the negotiation process itself—the preparation stage, the actual negotiation, and the techniques for ensuring that the deal is closed once and closed correctly. Class discussion and case studies underscore the importance of the principles covered in the lecture.

  • Changes and Equitable Adjustments – 2 days

This course focuses on the central role the Changes clause plays in the performance of government contracts. It addresses the use of the clause in ensuring the government achieves its goals during contract performance. The use of the clause by contractors to assert requests for equitable adjustment when the conditions of performance change, the myriad of rules governing the negotiation of equitable adjustments, and the process of modifying the contract to accomplish these goals are covered.

  • Ethics and Compliance – 1 day

Legal and ethical conduct is the way to protect your credibility and earn the respect and trust of your employees, partners, clients, and community. This one-day course provides an in-depth understanding of the ethical and compliance rules that apply in the federal government marketplace. It emphasizes the importance of ethical conduct when contractors do business with the federal government; enable contractor (and government) employees to recognize compliance and ethical issues and traps before they make irreparable mistakes; and advise about support resources.

  • GSA Schedule Contracting – 1 day

Obtaining, managing and understanding a GSA or VA Schedule contract takes specialized knowledge and dedication. For instance, do you know what your Basis of Award customer is? If you don’t, this course is definitely a must for you. GSA Schedule contracts are an integral part of any company’s federal business strategy. This intensive one-day course provides an overview of the program, current government market trends and other knowledge you need to succeed. It is especially designed for executives, managers, and general counsels involved in federal government business.

The alerts you to key risks and presents solutions and time-honored best practices. Budget trends, marketing tips and other information important to growing your business are also included. The program is suitable for lawyers and non-lawyers within and outside the United States.

Advanced Certificate in Government Contracting

(This track certificate requires 8 days of training. Option: Up to 4 days may be selected from electives available in the Accounting and/or Formation/Administration tracks if not previously taken.)

  • Advanced Source Selection – 2 days

This course focuses on the Competitive Negotiation and Source Selection processes outlined in FAR Part 15, examining the challenges, issues, and processes encountered in conducting a formal source selection and responding to a Request for Proposal. This course is highly interactive, using case studies from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Federal Court of Claims. Interactive team exercises are for participants to practice in RFP and evaluation factor development. This course is appropriate for both government and contractor personnel, whether a new or seasoned professional, including contracting officers, contract and subcontract administrators, program managers, finance and accounting personnel, engineering personnel and anyone who participates in the source selection process.

  • Advanced Contract Administration – 2 days

This course focuses on all of the aspects of contract administration. It is intended to expand on the working relationship between government employees and the contractor. We address the rules governing: the interpretation of contract language, the allocation of risk between the parties, the application of the major contract clauses, the negotiation of price adjustments, and the submission of requests for equitable adjustment and claims. Students will learn the fundamental legal principles the courts and boards of contract appeals apply in interpreting the major clauses that impact contract administration.

  • Best Practices in Subcontracting – 2 days

Successful prime-sub relationships are often the key to profits in government contracting. This two-day course is designed to provide a comprehensive and practical discussion of prime-sub contracts, teaming agreements, and joint venture arrangements best practices. In this class you will learn who the players are and their roles, strategies and factors to consider in choosing a team, and understanding each party’s role in working to win a contract. In addition this class focuses on the importance of how the team is structured and the importance of a non-disclosure agreement, drafting teaming and JV agreements and hazards to avoid, negotiating and finalizing the subcontract, and dealing with flow downs as is addressed in practical terms.

  • Leading Practices in Cost Estimating and Accounting – 2 days

This course examines the leading practices for adequate accounting and estimating systems. It also provides recommended approaches to achieving, maintaining, and documenting execution of internal accounting and estimating system controls and behaviors to comply with government contract requirements. This two day class covers sound business practices in accounting and estimating.

  • CAS Cost Impacts – 2 days

This two day course provides students with a comprehensive learning experience on what constitutes a cost accounting practice (CAP) change and what constitutes a noncompliance. Students will learn the requirements for preparing cost impact proposals, including General Dollar Magnitude Proposals and Detailed Cost Impact Proposals. The course includes a focus on how to compute increased and decreased costs by contract, by contract group, and in the aggregate and a discussion of the various methods for resolving CAS cost impacts. In addition to course instruction, the student will complete numerous practical exercises and two comprehensive case studies (one for a CAP change and one for a noncompliance). This course is a must for anyone that is involved in determining the cost impact of a change in cost accounting practice and/or a noncompliance.

  • Protests: Process and Strategy – 1 day

This course will address topics of interest to both contractor and government personnel. Designed for lawyers, contracting professionals, and anyone else involved in the acquisition process to better understand the protest system, as well as best practices in planning to file or defend a protest.

  • Organizational Conflicts of Interest – 1 day

This Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) course will provide an in-depth analysis of both OCI theory and OCI practice. The course will begin by analyzing different types of OCIs, regulatory provisions in the FAR and DFARS, and the obligations of both government and contractor as defined by the extensive and evolving case law from the GAO and courts. The next part of the course will be unique- it will provide practical, hands-on guidance to contracting personnel (and counsel who advise and assist them) so that they can understand and address OCI issues in order to maximize business opportunities, make wise business choices, and avoid wasting Bid and Proposal resources on lost causes. Similarly, this guidance will be invaluable to government agency procurement officials who want to understand how they can identify and resolve OCIs. The workshop will provide examples, case-based discussion scenarios, and take-home materials that contractors can adapt and use.

Pricing

Individual Seminar Pricing: 

  • 1-day Seminar: $695
  • 2-Day Seminar: $1,095
  • 3-Day Seminar $1,495

Certificate Track Pricing: 

  • Accounting & Formation/Administration Tracks (10 days): $4,460
  • Advanced Certificate Track (8 days): $3,504

Upcoming Seminars