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Welcome to Apogee Consulting, Inc.

DCAA Productivity Stats

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Every so often we like to look at the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress. It is published twice per year; the latest was published in December 2016. Appendices E and F of that report give us quantitative insight into DCAA’s audit productivity. We’ve been recording the published contract audit statistics since 2006 on a spreadsheet, which gives us the ability to analyze trends and to compare year-over-year numbers.

Here are some relevant statistics from the just-completed GFY 2016 (12-month period ending 30 September 2016). The statistics encompass four major categories: (1) incurred cost/special audits, (2) forward pricing/proposals, (3) Cost Accounting Standards, and (4) Post-Award/Truth-in-Negotiation audits.

In GFY 2016:

  • DCAA issued 4,269 audit reports, slightly down from the prior year, in which 4,546 reports were issued. This is consistent with the data trend, wherein DCAA issues fewer and fewer audit reports each year, regardless of staffing levels. For comparison purposes, in GFY 2007 DCAA issued 33,801 audit reports. Importantly, looking only at audit reports issued does not tell the complete story. Many audit assignments are completed without issuance of an audit report. Some audit assignments (e.g., MAARs) are dispositioned with a Memorandum for the Record, while others (e.g., incurred costs) are incorporated into an umbrella assignment. Still other assignments are closed because DCAA decides the audit dollars are not large enough to warrant spending auditor labor; these are the “low-risk” incurred cost audits we’ve been ranting about for a long time, where an assignment is opened and closed as if an audit had been performed, but no audit procedures were actually completed. Other statistics—including dollars examined and assignments completed—tell a more accurate story of auditor activity during the year.

  • DCAA examined $286.8 billion, up from the prior year, in which $257.5 billion was examined. This is roughly the same level as the agency examined in GFY 2009. For comparison purposes, in GFY 2008 DCAA examined $458.4 billion; however, that value is a bit of an anomaly, in that the average value for most years is approximately $300 billion. Thus, DCAA is trending back to its historical mean in terms of dollars examined.

  • DCAA completed 13,520 assignments, significantly down from the prior year, in which 15,715 assignments were completed. Interestingly, if DCAA completed 13,520 assignments while issuing 4,269 reports then 9,251 assignments were completed and/or closed without issuance of an audit report. Further, that means 68 percent—more than two-thirds—of all DCAA assignments were closed without issuance of an audit report. (See our comments above regarding causal factors for this situation.)

  • DCAA questioned $9,981.1 million (~$10 billion, which includes $4 billion in forward pricing “funds put to better use”), down from the prior year, in which $11 billion was questioned. Doing a bit of math tells us that DCAA questioned 3.5 percent of every dollar examined. That value is down from the prior year, in which DCAA questioned 4.3 percent of every dollar examined. In fact, it is consistent with a recent trend showing lower percentages of questioned costs each year since a high-water mark in GFY 2013, in which 9.8 percent of every dollar examined was questioned.

  • Contracting Officers sustained (roughly) 24 percent of questioned costs. Admittedly, this statistic is a little rough. The statistic is reported every six months and it’s a solid value, but we are reporting a mathematical average of two reported values rather than a weighted average. Further, the sustainment/non-sustainment decision might address costs questioned a year or more ago. Thus, take this one as nothing more than a trend indicator. To help with trend analysis, we’ll tell you that the “post-award” sustention rate was about 31 percent in GFY 2015 and 34 percent in GFY 2014. It was about 52 percent in GFY 2013. Note: these are CO sustention rates with respect to DCAA audit findings; they exclude what happens in litigation if a contractor appeals a CO decision.

In addition to the statistics reported above, we also noticed that “post-award” audits (also known as “defective pricing” or “truth-in-negotiation” audits) are trending back up. DCAA issued 35 such audit reports in GFY 2016, up significantly from the past couple of years. While this value in no way compares favorably with historical numbers (for example, DCAA issued 485 such audit reports in GFY 2006) it confirms what we’ve been hearing: DCAA is getting back into the defective pricing audit business.

We are carefully not expressing any opinion regarding the statistics, preferring instead to let them speak for themselves. That being said, if we were to chart the values and publish them (as we’ve done before) it would very likely not be seen in a positive light.

And we are not done with our analyses. When DCAA’s own Annual Report to Congress is published in a couple of months, we’ll update our numbers and we’ll have statistics to report on a per-auditor basis. So stay tuned for that.

 

Schedule I Strikes Again

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Another good one from the ASBCA!

In July, 2013, I was privileged to act as co-chair of the American Conference Institute’s “DCAA Audit and Compliance Bootcamp.” In addition to emceeing and making introductions, I made several presentations of my own. One of those presentations addressed the topic “Preparing an ‘Adequate’ Proposal to Establish Final Billing Rates.” In that presentation I asserted:

  • Many of the currently required Schedules used to be auditor working papers

  • They are intended to facilitate the audit, not necessary to support incurred costs or indirect rate calculations

  • Some of the toughest Schedules to prepare may have the least value to the contractor

In particular, I called out ICE Model Schedule I (pronounced “eye” and titled “Schedule of cumulative direct and indirect costs claimed and billed by contract and subcontract”--often abbreviated as "CACWS") as being “the worst Schedule” in terms of cost versus benefit. I pointed out a number of problems with that particular Schedule, and told the audience “We need to get DCAA to explain why this Schedule is necessary.”

Because Schedule I is absolutely not necessary. It is not necessary for the audit of claimed incurred costs, nor is it necessary for the calculation of indirect cost rates. The primary reason a contractor submits an annual proposal to establish final billing rates is to establish final billing rates. (You don’t believe me? Check out the language in the contract clause that requires its submission—52.216-7.) A second—far lesser—reason is that an audit of claimed direct costs year-by-year can make it easier to audit contracts’ final vouchers and officially close-them out when that day comes, at long last, where a cost-type contract is both physically complete and has final billing rates established for all years of performance. But make no mistake: Schedule I is and always has been an auditor working paper that DCAA successfully managed to foist onto the contractor workforce for preparation. It is a schedule that DCAA auditors used to prepare by themselves. Now contractors are required to prepare it even though the Schedule adds zero value to the contractor and it is completely unrelated to negotiation of final billing rates.

But of course, contractors are required to submit a Schedule I because the FAR now says they must. And DCAA auditors review that Schedule as part of their initial proposal adequacy review. According to the current proposal review checklist, there are five questions related to Schedule I that must be answered by the auditor(s). If the answers to all five are “yes” then that Schedule is adequate for audit. If the answer to all the checklist questions for all the Schedules is “yes” then the proposal is adequate for audit. If the proposal is adequate for audit and the contractor is a “low-risk” contractor (as DCAA currently defines that term) then the proposal very likely will not be audited.

Yes, you read that correctly. In DCAA policy land, an adequate proposal submitted by a “low-risk” contractor is very likely to be accepted by DCAA without performance of an audit. In fact, if the value of the contractor’s claimed costs for its cost-type contracts is less than $5 million, it is almost certain that proposal will not be audited. Gotta keep that audit backlog down!

A recent decision by the ASBCA highlighted the uselessness of Schedule I and it also highlighted how the government has treated it like some kind of important document, to its detriment. As always, the usual caveats apply: we are not lawyers, we are not offering legal advice, an ASBCA decision is subject to appeal, etc.

But we must tell you about it: it’s such an interesting case!

And it’s not really about Schedule I. Not really. It’s really about the Contract Disputes Act Statute of Limitations (CDA SoL) and how it was applied to a government claim that relied on alleged Schedule I data omissions. In that respect, it could be a very important decision and I am going to use it to write a separate article on the CDA SoL. So stay tuned for that one.

In the meantime, let us discuss the interesting decision by Judge McIlmail, writing for the Board, in the matter of Sparton DeLeon Springs, LLC’s appeal of a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision (COFD), ASBCA No. 60416, demanding $577,415 of direct contract costs that the government had allegedly overpaid.

The dispute concerns two contracts between Sparton’s predecessor company (SEFI) and the U.S. Navy. The first contract was awarded in 2001 and the second contract was awarded in 2004. Both contracts included the Allowable Cost and Payment clause (52.216-7) which, as we noted above, is a very important clause, in that it invokes the FAR Part 31 cost principles and requires submission of an annual proposal to establish final billing rates (among other things).

As Judge McIlmail found—

… by 10 January 2007 the government had paid interim vouchers that SEFI had submitted that included breakdowns of certain intra-company ‘Jackson Engineering Support Costs’ (Jackson Costs) that SEFI allegedly incurred at its Jackson, Michigan plant….” On 5 March 2007, Sparton submitted to the government its final indirect rate cost proposal1 for its fiscal year 2006 (FY 06); on 29 January 2008, Sparton submitted its final indirect cost rate proposal for its fiscal year 2007 (FY 07).2 Both proposals included a ‘Schedule I’ … In neither proposal (more specifically, in neither Schedule I) did Sparton include the Jackson costs.

(Internal citations omitted. Footnotes added for clarity and wistful humor.)

The dates recited above are important. To clarify a bit, Sparton had received cost-type contracts and, like all defense contractors, was submitting “interim vouchers” each month for reimbursement by its government customer. Those vouchers were based on (1) direct costs incurred by Sparton, plus (2) an allocation of indirect costs using “provisional” indirect cost rates. The interim vouchers were submitted during contract performance, each month. Provisional indirect cost rates were used until submission of the annual proposal to establish final billing rates. The proposal was submitted after the end of the Fiscal Year, in this case quite quickly after then end of Sparton’s FY. (Contractors today would take six months or more to “scrub” the books for unallowable costs and to prepare the required Schedules.) The final billing rate proposal would be audited by DCAA (when they got around to it) and the results of that audit would be provided to a DCMA Administrative Contracting Officer, who would then negotiate and reach agreement with Sparton on the final billing rates to be used for that Fiscal Year. Then final vouchers would be prepared and submitted using those agreed-to final billing rates.3

A key point here is that Sparton’s interim vouchers included the Jackson costs, whereas at least one Schedule in the final billing rate proposal omitted those costs.

As can happen, Sparton submitted revised proposals “during subsequent” DCAA audits. The revisions were submitted in 2011 and 2013, literally more than four years after the initial submission. We don’t know what spurred the revisions, but in our experience that was the time that DCAA began to apply the new, more rigid, content and format requirements retroactively. DCAA did not apply the requirements that existed at the time of the initial submission (which one might reasonably have expected) but, instead, often required contractors to comply with additional requirements that did not exist at the time. We believe that, from a legal standpoint, DCAA’s position was without merit but we never found a contractor that was willing to litigate the point. It was easier (and far cheaper) to sigh, roll one’s eyes, and resubmit the proposal, adding to it whatever the local audit team demanded.4

In September, 2013, DCAA issued its audit reports on Sparton’s two (revised) proposals, “noting that the proposals did not include the Jackson costs.” Judge McIlmail found that “The parties eventually executed final indirect cost rate agreements for FY 06 and FY 07, and Sparton provided updated Schedule I forms reflecting the agreed-upon rates. On 2 April 2014, Sparton provided an updated Schedule I for FY 06; on 23 May 2014, it provided an updated Schedule I for FY 07. The updated Schedule I forms did not include the Jackson costs.”

See? That’s why the Schedule I is useless and should be dropped from the list of required Schedules. Sparton was (apparently) required to update its proposal after audit and after negotiation and after agreement had been reached. Why? To help the government. There is no other possible reason. The contractor is informing the government about contract costs. That used to be DCAA’s role before they foisted it off on the contractors. More importantly, there is no hint in the language of 52.216-7 that the contractor has a duty that survives agreement on the final billing rates, except to submit final vouchers for completed contracts within 120 days after that agreement has been reached.

If the government asks you to update your Schedule I after you have submitted your final billing rate proposal and after the audit has been completed, our advice is to laugh loudly (perhaps holding your belly while doing so) and tell the government to go pound sand. Or, perhaps more diplomatically, ask which contract clause or which part of the FAR requires you to perform that action.5

Back to the Sparton story….

On 12 August 2014—more than six years after Sparton had submitted its original final billing rate proposals—the contracting officer requested that Sparton submit its final vouchers. We note that the CO should not have had to do this; the language in the 52.216-7 clause imposes a duty on contractors to submit their final vouchers for physically completed contracts within 120 days of reaching agreement on final billing rates and Sparton should have submitted those final vouchers automatically without the need for any CO request. Anyway, those final vouchers included the Jackson costs—which was not surprising because those costs had been included on the interim vouchers that SEFI/Sparton had been submitting during contract performance, even though those costs were not to be found on the updated Schedule I forms. But it surprised the contracting officer!

It surprised the CO so much that a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision (COFD) was issued on 26 October 2015—more than eight (8!) years after SEFI/Sparton originally submitted its final billing rate proposal and more than two years after DCAA had issued its audit reports. The COFD demanded repayment of $577,415 in costs that were allegedly not supported. As the CO wrote—

On August 26, 2014, after agreeing on final indirect rate costs, I requested final vouchers and supporting documentation, including the required Cumulative Allowable Cost Worksheet. [Schedule I.] After reviewing the final voucher submission, I noticed certain costs that were not included in SEFI's Incurred Cost proposals for CFY 2006 or CFY 2007. … To date, despite repeated requests, your company has not provided information that establishes these additional costs were actually incurred or paid by SEFI. You have provided only a spreadsheet showing that the Government paid SEFI. There is no proof whatever that SEFI was billed for work, or more importantly, that SEFI paid these costs in connection with any Government contract.

Sparton appealed. Sparton won; the government’s claim was dismissed. Let’s look at why.

Judge McIlmail, for the Board, wrote—

There is no dispute that the contracting officer claimed the $577,415.36 overpayment on 26 October 2015; consequently, to be timely, that claim must not have accrued earlier than 26 October 2009. The government contends that it was not put on notice of its overpayment claim until Sparton submitted its final vouchers in response to the contracting officer's 2014 request, because although the final vouchers included the already-paid Jackson costs, those costs were not included in the updated Schedule I forms of Sparton's revised final indirect rate cost proposals. …

… there is no genuine dispute that the government knew or should have known of the Jackson costs as early as 10 January 2007, by when it paid those costs pursuant to the interim vouchers that, even according to the government's brief, included information related to the Jackson costs. … there is no genuine dispute that the government knew or should have known by 29 January 2008 that Sparton had not included the Jackson costs in its indirect cost rate proposals, because that is the date by when Spartan first submitted the indirect cost rate proposals, each of which included a Schedule I that did not include the Jackson costs. There is no assertion that the revisions to the indirect cost rate proposals, the updates to the Schedule I forms, or the submission of the final vouchers change that basic picture. Consequently, there is no genuine dispute that the government's claim accrued no later than 29 January 2008, when all events that fix the alleged liability of Sparton in this case, and permit assertion of the government's overpayment claim, were known or should have been known by the government.

Looked at another way, the government's overpayment claim is based upon the contention that Jackson costs were ‘insufficiently supported’, and that, according to the contracting officer, there is no proof that [SEFI] paid those costs in connection with any government contract. However, if that is true, it was no less so on 10 January 2007, by when the government paid those costs pursuant to the interim vouchers.

In other words, if (as the contracting officer found) there was ‘no proof whatever’ for the costs in 2014 and 2015, there cannot have been any less support for the same costs in 2007. … Indeed, the government says that the interim vouchers ‘included accounting information related to the cost of labor provided by its Jackson, Michigan facility,’ but that ‘[t]his information did not contain the basis for the reported labor costs reflected in Sparton's accounting system, such as certified time cards’. If it is the case that the interim vouchers lacked support such as certified time cards, the government knew or should have known that no later than 10 January 2007, by when it paid those interim vouchers. Consequently, even from the perspective of whether the Jackson costs are ‘insufficiently supported,’ there is no genuine issue that the government knew or should have known of its overpayment claim by 10 January 2007, again, more than six years before the 2015 assertion of the claim. For all these reasons, Sparton is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. …

And although the government says that when it paid the interim vouchers it had not yet audited them, delay by a contracting party assessing the information available to it does not suspend the accrual of its claim.

(Emphasis added. Internal citations omitted.)

Some final thoughts on this interesting and important decision.

  1. The contracting officer thought there was some duty to review the contractor’s final vouchers and to request support for those vouchers. In fact, the contracting officer was wrong. Final indirect rates had already been established by agreement, and the only action to take was to verify that the final rates used to prepare the final vouchers agreed to the agreed-upon final rates as negotiated.6 Further, the direct costs had already been audited by DCAA during performance of its “incurred cost submission” audit procedures. (See paragraph 3 of this over-long article.) If there were any unallowable or unsupported costs, they should already have been caught by DCAA. (Indeed, DCAA pointed out in the audit reports that the Schedule I’s omitted the Jackson costs—which did not prevent the CO from negotiating final billing rates because Schedule I is not necessary to negotiating final billing rates.) If the CO thought there was some risk to the government that was being mitigated by yet another in-depth voucher review, then what in the blue blazes is DCAA doing each year? Either the “incurred cost audit” actually audits incurred costs for the government, or it does not. Either the DCAA audit adds value and reduces government risk, or it doesn’t. You cannot have it both ways, as this contracting officer evidently believed.

  2. Notice how the contracting officer required the contractor to update its Schedule I even after rates were agreed-upon, as if that were some kind of important step in the process, even though such a step was not required by any contract clause.7 Even though the “inaccurate” Schedule I didn’t hinder the negotiation of final billing rates in any meaningful way. And then, after years of audit and months of negotiation, the CO acted as if that revised Schedule I were some sort of critical document that carried weight and required accuracy, as if the revised Schedule I were somehow important to the contract close-out process. As this decision clearly shows, none of those beliefs was correct.

  3. But what about that 52.215-2 audit clause that gives the government the right to audit contractor costs up to three years after final payment? Sure. Absolutely correct. The clause requires that “The Contractor shall make available at its office at all reasonable times the records, materials, and other evidence … for examination, audit, or reproduction, until 3 years after final payment under this contract or for any shorter period specified in [FAR Subpart 4.7], or for any longer period required by statute or by other clauses of this contract.” (Emphasis added.) Thus, the contractor has a duty to make documents available for audit and the government has the right to audit those documents, but the government does not have the right to assert a claim with respect to any audit findings related to costs that were invoiced and paid more than six years before. If the contractor’s final voucher doesn’t contain any new direct costs—which it shouldn’tthen the 52.215-2 audit right is essentially worthless—absent, perhaps, a claim of fraud.

  4. Given that we all now should understand that the Schedule I is a waste of contractor time and labor—expenses that tend to increase the cost of weapon prices and end up costing the taxpayers more, not to mention slowing down a DCAA audit—shouldn’t we all now insist that the FAR Councils revise the language in 52.216-7 to require a contractor to only prepare Schedules in its final billing rate proposal that actually contribute in a meaningful way to either (a) calculating indirect cost rates, or (b) providing information regarding claimed direct contract costs? Let’s get DCAA back to performing meaningful audits and preparing audit working papers—including the CACWS—which has always been the agency’s traditional role.

As we said in the beginning of this article, this is another good decision from ASBCA.

 

 

1 We love it when people correctly name the proposal! It is not an “incurred cost submission”.

2 Back then it was easier to prepare such a proposal because the FAR wasn’t so rigid—and DCAA didn’t have an adequacy checklist. So it went more quickly. Sigh. Those were the days ….

3 It doesn’t always work that way. Smaller companies can have auditor-determined rates. But that is the general flow for the bigger companies. Again: see 52.216-7.

4 Smarter contractors added language to their revised proposals that specified exactly what had changed and what had not changed, in order to protect their position should they have to litigate a CDA SoL issue.

5 Or you will just update the Schedule because that’s easier than arguing, and your VP or Controller or CFO expects you to maintain good relations with your government oversight functions. Wussies.

6 If that sentence makes sense to you, you must have been doing this for a long time. We bet the n00bs won’t get it.

7 If you missed that point you must not have been reading the article, because we ranted and railed about it.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 January 2017 22:03
 

Subcontractor T&M Billings, Audit Findings, and Legal Problems

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Oh, this is a good one. We love it when some of our assertions and opinions end up being supported, after the fact, by legal decisions.

A couple of caveats first. One: we are neither lawyers nor attorneys, neither barristers nor solicitors; we have no legal training whatsoever and we are not offering legal advice in this article. If you want legal advice, pay for it. Don’t get it from this blog. Second: we are going to discuss a recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decision. Because we are not any kind of legal practitioners, we might be misinterpreting it. If you want a higher-confidence legal interpretation, see our first point. Also, because it’s an ASBCA decision, it is subject to appeal. The points we are about to discuss could be reversed by a higher court. Thus, while we think this is an important decision that reinforces and supports some of the assertions and opinions we’ve previously published on this blog site, keep in mind that it all might change months (or even years) from now.

Okay, then. On to the recent ASBCA decision in the matter of the appeal of Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Inc., ASBCA Nos, 59508 and 59509, decided 20 December 2016.

Bottom-line up-front: Lockheed successfully had the government’s demand for $116.8 million dismissed, for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” As we will discuss, it was kind of like getting off on a technicality. The government’s reliance on the DCAA’s audit findings and audit positions fatally impaired its case. Had DCAA and the contracting officer done a better job of articulating their position(s), the result might well have been different.

This appeal concerned two LMIS contracts “CR2” and “S3”. (It was actually two appeals but they were consolidated. In fact, there seem to be three other appeals that were consolidated, for a total of five appeals, but those other three were “suspended pending the Board’s decision on the motions to dismiss” with respect to the two appeals at issue here.) The CR2 contract was a multiple-award ID/IQ contract that “contemplated the issuance of time-and-materials task orders and included on-site and off-site fully loaded labor rates for each Lockheed Martin segment and for each non-Lockheed Martin subcontractor.” It incorporated the T&M payment clause (52.232-07, 2002). The S3 contract was also a multiple-award ID/IQ contract that contained “time-and-material, cost, and firm-fixed-priced contract line item numbers (CLINs)” and provided for “fully loaded labor rates for each category of service.” The S3 also incorporated a T&M payment clause but it was the 2005 version of 52.232-7. Although the clause dates were different, Judge O’Sullivan, writing for the Board, found that “in relevant part” the two clauses were identical.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) started auditing LMIS’ 2007 proposal to establish final billing rates (popularly but incorrectly called an “incurred cost submission”) in January 2014. The proposal was submitted for audit in August, 2008—meaning that DCAA waited nearly five and a half years to start the audit. (Note: the Contract Disputes Act gives the parties no more than six years after “claim accrual” to assert a claim; this was cutting it very close.) DCAA issued the audit report at the heart of this dispute a scant four and a half months after starting it—a startlingly quick turn-around time, given DCAA’s well-publicized statistics that indicate an average incurred cost audit takes the audit agency about three years to complete. How they completed their work in such record time is simple: they only audited part of the proposal—the least important part. The auditors only examined the LMIS’ claimed direct costs on its “flexibly priced” contracts. In other words, they looked at direct costs and issued a report in advance of opining on the allowability of claimed indirect costs, even though the entire freakin’ purpose of the annual proposal is to establish final billing rates, and the allowability of direct contract costs has absolutely no impact on the calculation of the indirect cost rates. But there you go. DCAA performed its (partial) work in record time and issued an audit report finding literally more than a hundred million dollars in “questioned” and “unresolved” costs related to LMIS’ subcontractor costs on the CR2 and S3 contracts.

Here’s the quoted DCAA audit finding:

We questioned $103,272,918 of claimed direct costs attributable to subcontracts and considered $173,623,920 of additional subcontract costs to be unresolved. The questioned amounts represent costs claimed at the subcontractor level that were questioned within assist audit reports received or as a result of the prime contractor's noncompliance with FAR 42.202, Assignment of Contract Administration, Paragraph (e), Subsection (2). These costs represent amounts incurred by the subcontractors and claimed by LMIS in its FY 2007 incurred cost submission.

Let’s break that down, as Judge O’Sullivan did:

  • $102.5 million of CR2 subcontractor costs claimed by LMIS in its final billing rate proposal, consisting of $18.55 million of costs questioned in 29 individual assist audits (audits performed by other DCAA branches) on LMIS CR2 subcontractors plus $83.751 million of claimed subcontractor costs because LMIS failed to comply with the (alleged) requirements of FAR 42.202(e)(2), in that LMIS failed to obtain and or retain sufficient information to permit DCAA to perform meaningful audits of those subcontractors. (DCAA specifically identified subcontractor personnel resumes and timesheets as two pieces of information that LMIS failed to obtain and/or retain.) More on this latter point to follow ….

  • $14.495 million of S3 subcontractor costs claimed by LMIS, consisting of $978,026 in questioned costs stemming from LMIS failure to comply with the alleged requirements of FAR 42.202(e)(2) and $13.5 million in “unresolved costs” that, apparently equated to questioned costs for some unstated reason.

Naturally, LMIS rebutted the audit findings. In its rebuttal, it noted that a single contractor was responsible for $13.9 million of the questioned costs but, because DCAA provided no details regarding exactly what costs were being questioned, LMIS could not comment on the appropriateness of the originally claimed or the auditor-questioned costs. With respect to differences between amounts claimed by LMIS in its annual proposal and amounts claimed by the subcontractors in their individual final billing rate proposals, LMIS also could not comment. As it noted, DCAA had refused to share any of the details because those details were considered by the subcontractors to be proprietary. With respect to differing amounts, LMIS commented:

Without insight into the values used in making this assessment, it is impossible to comment on the nature or validity of these values. DCAA also did not opine on what the differences may be; however, they also acknowledged that fiscal year timing could be a factor since the auditors did not have direct access to the submissions and relied solely on the values shown in the summary assist reports conducted by other DCAA offices. Based on the available facts, it is unreasonable to conclude that these costs are in any way inappropriate and unallowable.

DCAA tied much of its questioned costs to a position that LMIS failed to comply with a term of its contract, this falling afoul of the requirements of FAR 31.201-2(a)(4). The term that DCAA alleged LMIS failed to comply with was FAR 44.202(e)(2). As DCAA wrote—

Since the prime contractor did not properly manage its subcontracts in accordance with the FAR, we questioned the cost accordingly. The contractor failed to maintain necessary documents to substantiate they reviewed (i) resumes to assure for compliance with contract terms, and (ii) timesheets to assure the number of hours invoiced were supported.

Further, the contractor did not provide any records demonstrating that they attempted to cause the subcontractor to prepare an adequate submission or any requests to the Government for assistance if the subcontractor refused. A literal interpretation of FAR 42.202 requires the prime contractor to act on behalf of the Government and serve as both the Contracting Officer (CO) and the Contracting Administrative Office (CAO) for each subcontract that it awards under a Government flexibly priced contract. This includes the requirement for the prime contractor to audit their subcontracts or request audit assistance from the cognizant DCAA office when the subcontractor denies the prime contractor access to their records based on the confidentiality of propriety [sic] data. Since the Government did not have contract privy [sic] with the subcontractors, the Government could not force or compel the subcontractors to comply with the requirements set forth in their contract with the prime. …

Further, our audit evaluation determined that the prime contractor did not have proof of submissions or proof of requests for audit for any of the subcontractors we determined did not submit incurred cost submissions. Without an incurred cost submission from the subcontractor, the prime and DCAA are unable to audit their costs claimed. If the costs are not audited, we are unable to determine if the costs are allowable, reasonable, and allocable in accordance with FAR 31 … Since it is the prime contractor's responsibility to manage their subcontractors, we determined they are not properly managing subcontractors.

We could summarize DCAA’s audit position thusly: The auditors came in against the CDA Statute of Limitation time pressure. The auditors performed a half-assed job for which they, their Supervisory Auditors, and all levels of DCAA Management should be deeply embarrassed to have approved as a GAGAS-compliant audit report. They couldn’t do their actual auditing job as (DCAA’s unique interpretation of) GAGAS required them to, and so they took out their frustrations on the contractor. They cooked up a cockamamie theory that, somehow, every prime government contractor in America must require all subcontractors to submit annual proposals to establish final billing rates and then audit those proposals, or ask the Government to audit them. Notably, this was a legal conclusion made by an auditor regarding a regulatory interpretation not found in any DCAA audit program nor found within the DCAA Contract Audit Manual. Implied but not stated in DCAA’s manufactured theory of contractor management is that the subcontractors must obtain annual proposals from their lower-tier subcontractors, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. It’s a clearly ridiculous theory and we wonder if LMIS had trouble writing their rebuttal as diplomatically as they did. LMIS wrote—

By the very nature of the incurred cost submissions, they often are developed at a business unit or segment level to substantiate indirect rates. As a result, that is not something we request from our subs due to the broad and proprietary nature of the data. Rather, we flow down the requirements to all applicable subcontracts and advise them of their responsibility to submit to DCAA all applicable schedules for compliance. Our management and due diligence over our subcontractors is related to their cost and performance relative to a specific program, as detailed in the procedures we previously provided. …

DCAA has not cited any FAR provisions, contract clauses, precedent or case law that counters this position to provide the basis for why they have determined this to be insufficient or a basis to question 100% of the subcontractor costs.

Three months after receipt of the DCAA audit report (and exactly one day before the CDA Statute of Limitations would come into play regarding submission of the proposal), the contracting officer issued a couple of Contracting Officer Final Decisions (COFDs), essentially slapping a cover letter on DCAA’s audit reports. The CO accepted DCAA’s position and rationale at face value. There was no evidence that the CO had weighed LMIS’ rebuttal, which was characterized as being “extensive.” Further, as Judge O’Sullivan noted, no rationale was provided in the COFD “for claiming entitlement to costs that the audit categorized as unresolved.” In other words, the “independent business judgment” that DCMA likes to think its contracting officers bring to the table was evidently missing in this case. (We note that independence in adjudicating disputes between government and contractor is a required element of the CO’s decision-making process, according to the Supreme Court of the United States. We have written about this situation here.)

LMIS appealed the COFDs, as any sane person would expect them to. You can hire quite a few attorneys when there is $100 million at stake. LMIS’ legal fees likely will be unallowable. That’s money that could have gone into LMIS’ IR&D programs to develop innovative technology for the warfighter, or that could have gone into hiring more subcontractor project management staff. Instead, it went to external attorneys. Sad. (We note that LMIS was very ably represented by the skilled government contracts attorneys at Dentons. We mean them no disrespect.)

And make no mistake, the whole notion that FAR 42.202(e)(2) means something as broad and far-reaching as DCAA and the DCMA contracting officer asserted is just nonsense. In fact, we wrote about the overreach in interpretation of that FAR sentence in this article. We wrote at the time—

We think this whole thing has gotten out of hand. A minor reminder to Contracting Officers that primes are responsible for managing their subcontractors (duh) has evolved into another way to question the adequacy of a contractor’s purchasing system, or to question incurred costs. Clearly, that’s not what the FAR drafters intended, but that seems to be where we are.

Judge O’Sullivan seemed to agree with our opinion, at least as the government presented it in this case. We are going to quote from her Decision extensively, because it is so important to understanding a prime’s duty to manage its subcontractors and we expect our readers may need to use some of her language in their own rebuttals to similar DCAA audit findings. She wrote—

The [Government’s] complaint offers no legal theory for its claim of disallowance nor does it provide any allegations of fact. It states conclusorily that there were questioned costs and some variances that entitle the government to disallow subcontract costs. Our pleading standard requires factual assertions beyond bare conclusory assertions to entitlement. The audit report, which was incorporated into the complaint, states that some assist audits questioned costs but does not explain on what grounds. It also states there were differences between amounts in LMIS's proposal and costs under subcontracts but provides no facts regarding these differences. More importantly, the COFD does not cite a single actual fact, only the audit report's unsupported conclusions. Neither the complaint nor the COFD contain sufficient factual (or legal) allegations, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. …

Notably, nowhere in either complaint or COFD does the government cite to a contract term giving rise to a contractual obligation or duty. As the government conceded in its briefs, FAR 42.202 is not a term of the contract. … Even though the government has conceded that FAR 42.202 is not a term of the contract, we find it to be relevant to this inquiry because the audit report, the COFDs, and the complaints (in other words, 100 percent of the documents that articulate the government's claim in both appeals), all rely on FAR 42.202 in describing the duty that LMIS allegedly breached. …

The subcontracts clause does not impose any express responsibility on the prime contractor to manage subcontracts after they are awarded. Nor do FAR Parts 42 and/or 44 impose any specific responsibilities on LMIS to manage its subcontractors, foremost because they were not incorporated by reference in either the S3 or the CR2 contract. But even if they had been, by their plain terms they do not impose the duties that DCAA, the CO, and the government in this appeal allege were breached. For instance, the alleged duty to maintain documents to substantiate that the contractor reviewed resumes to assure compliance with contract terms and timesheets to assure the number of hours invoiced were supported exists, but not as described by the government. The duty stems not from FAR 42.202(e) or any implied contract duty, but from FAR 52.232-7, the Payments under Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts Clause … [but] there is no allegation in these appeals that LMIS did not comply with the requirements of FAR 52.232-7 which, we observe, does not require the contractor to maintain these kinds of substantiating records until DCAA is finished conducting incurred cost audits seven or so years after the costs were first billed and paid.

The other duty alleged by DCAA and the government generally in these appeals to have been breached by LMIS is a duty to cause its subcontractors to submit incurred cost submissions directly to LMIS for audit, and request audits from DCAA if the subcontractors refuse. This duty is not to be found in any express term of the contract; nor is it to be found in FAR Parts 42 or 44. … the Board's reading of FAR Part 42 reveals no requirement (literal or implied) that a prime contractor act as both CO and CAO with respect to its subcontracts. Moreover, as we noted … the enumerated responsibilities of the CO and CAO in FAR Part 42 do not involve receipt or review of incurred cost submissions. That duty is reserved to DCAA or other cognizant audit agency by FAR 42.201. …

We reiterate here that the issue to be decided in these appeals is not whether a prime contractor has a generalized duty to manage its subcontracts. The issue is whether LMIS under the two contracts at issue in these appeals had the particular duties alleged by the government: to (1) retain documentation substantiating its 2007 invoices for subcontract direct labor hours; and (2) retain documentation showing it had caused its subcontractors to make incurred cost submissions and either audited those submissions or called on DCAA to audit those who refused to submit, so that the documentation could be reviewed by DCAA when it conducted its audit of FY 2007 incurred costs in 2014. …

In this case, we are presented with a claim based on a legal theory, originated by an auditor, that LMIS, as a prime contractor, had a contractual duty to retain for purposes of an incurred cost audit the same documentation that it used to substantiate its billings during the course of performance of the contract and, moreover, had a duty to initiate audits of its subcontractors' incurred costs and be able to prove during the course of an incurred cost audit that it did so. LMIS's ‘breach’ of these non-existent duties is the government's only basis for asserting that the subcontract costs for which it has reimbursed LMIS are unallowable costs. … [The Government] has gone forward with a claim for over $100,000,000 that is based on nothing more than a plainly invalid legal theory.

[Emphasis added.]

Government’s claim dismissed.

We realize this has been a long one but, before we move on, we need to discuss some other thoughts.

  1. Why did DCAA question more than $100 million of costs? Have they no shame? Well, if you think back a couple of years to 2013/2014/2015, you may recall that DCAA leadership was busy justifying its startling lack of productivity by touting the “quality” of its audits, as measured by questioned costs. The more costs questioned, the better the quality—at least, according to Fort Belvoir. We strongly suspect that the average DCAA auditor quickly got the message: management likes to see lots of questioned costs and never mind the evidentiary basis. Our explanation is speculative, of course. Still, it would explain why the Supervisory Auditor(s) and other DCAA management were happy to approve the audit report, even though it was largely based on a “plainly invalid legal theory.” We had some first-hand experience with that type of situation at about the same time; but that’s a story for another day.

  1. How can we reconcile our position that 42.202(e)(2) doesn’t impose a broad and far-reaching duty on the prime contractor to act in the government’s stead with respect to managing its subcontractors with our oft-stated position that the prime contractor is responsible for managing its subcontractors, and may be held liable for failing to take reasonable steps to assure subcontractor invoices are accurate and compliant? Easy. We are talking about program risk management. The prime must manage risks in its supply chain. Some of those risks involve invoices and payments and compliance with accounting and other administrative requirements imposed by the subcontract agreement, including flow-down clauses from the prime contract. As Vern Edwards recently posted in a public forum, a well-drafted subcontract will be based on all the requirements of the prime contract (not just the flow-down clauses); for every prime contract requirement imposed on the prime contractor that could be impacted by a subcontractor action or failure to act, there should be a subcontract term that imposes a duty to comply on the subcontractor. The responsibility to effectively manage subcontractors does not come from the FAR; it comes from the fact that the prime is responsible to its government customer for the outcome of the contract.

Further, we never asserted that the prime contractor has a duty to review a subcontractor’s final billing rate proposal; that’s just stupid. As Judge O’Sullivan noted, the only entity with that duty is DCAA or other government auditor. We never asserted that the prime has a duty to retain subcontractor invoice support documentation beyond the periods described in FAR Part 4. Of all the specific issues that DCAA raised, we never asserted that any of them were a part of the prime contractor’s duty of compliance.

Instead, we strongly believe that the prime contractor has a duty of risk management to assure the contractual outcomes to which it committed when it signed its government contract. Yes, it needs to make sure that any T&M invoices or cost-type vouchers submitted by its subcontractors comply with subcontract terms; but that is not at all the same as reviewing (and retaining) subcontractor resumes. One might address that risk through appropriate certification language, among other approaches.

  1. Finally, let’s note (as we did in the beginning) that LMIS got off on a technicality. It got off because the contracting officer slapped a cover page on the DCAA audit report without (apparently) thinking things through. Sure, there was a potentially looming CDA SoL deadline, but that should be no excuse for a shoddy COFD. As Judge O’Sullivan noted, had the government based its disallowance on a failure to comply with the requirements of the 52.232-7 T&M payment clause, it may have had a stronger case—perhaps strong enough to survive a motion to dismiss. But nobody, not the auditors or their supervisors, not the contracting officer, not the government attorneys—nobody thought to base their disallowance on an actual clause in the LMIS contracts. Sad.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article; we know it was a long one. We trust it was worth it.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 16 January 2017 22:12
 

1,000 and Counting

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So we’ve now passed 1,000 individual articles on this blog site. It’s not an exact count, because there are a couple of comments left posted after we eliminated the comment feature. But we are over 1,000 now for sure. Assuming an average of 1,000 words per article—which is about right—that’s a million words of alleged wisdom and news about government contracting and government contract costs and government contract compliance.

One million words.

One million words about technical topics, allegedly asserting a point of view that adds value. We decided long ago that simply posting links to stories and judicial decisions without comment—as many others do—was not interesting nor was it showcasing our potential as consultants. That decision was a two-edged sword, of course, since some of our opinions have been controversial and certainly turned-off some of the more buttoned-down clients who may have otherwise hired us. But in the end, I (the author) decided that I was going to be myself and report my honest feelings and emotions about what I saw happening around me. Like us or hate us (as some do), you get our honest opinion.

DCAA auditors, in particular, seem to have issues with our opinion about DCAA auditors and their audit guidance. That doesn’t keep several of them from sending us emails from time to time, often giving us leads and otherwise hidden audit guidance. (Thanks for those!) The emails tend to get nicer the closer the auditors are to retirement, or to moving on in their careers. Those auditors who’ve already left the audit agency for greener climes (e.g., DCMA) tend to agree with our thoughts, according to the emails. Some auditors prefer to stay silent but then feel free to send a nice goodbye email on their way out the door, thanking us for the articles—as one (now former) Supervisory Auditor at the Pax River Suboffice recently did.

One million words is more than ten novels worth of stuff. And we do it for free. (Or should I say I? It’s tough to keep a consistent point of view, as I once discussed.)

The first article is dated 19 May 2009. In the seven and a half years since then, we’ve done our best to record the evolution (some might say devolution) of the world of FAR and CAS and DCAA audits and DCMA Instructions and DoDOIG audit reports and GAO reviews and a whole host of stuff that makes up this crazy world of Federal government contracting.

Interspersed among the other, more mundane, articles are articles on project management and workforce management, and other topics—including a couple of articles about investing that really have no business being here. But in the main, we’ve focused on the world of our clients, the defense contractors and the AbilityOne contractors and the NFP grant recipients and the construction/engineering firms. We’ve tried to translate the arcane rules and regulations into actionable recommendations. Whether we’ve succeeded or not is up to you, our readers.

So here we are at 1,000 articles and about 1,000,000 words, and we will keep going for as long as we have the stamina and you have the interest. Maybe one day we’ll organize some of the articles into a book and see if anybody wants to buy it; but until then, it’s all free for reading and downloading and sharing (so long as we get proper attribution).

Actually we just removed one article. As you may recall, we asserted a while ago that we never removed articles. Instead, we offered to post any opposing point of view, unedited. Unsurprisingly, nobody ever took us up on that offer. (It turns out that writing is hard work. Who knew?)

Well, we recently received an email that was almost good enough to post as an opposing view article. We are going to edit it for reasons that should become apparent, but here it is—

Please remove your article that referenced a felony plea/conviction that was published on …

I started a company in Baghdad, Iraq and I am a … Air Force Veteran. I provided direct contract support to the U.S. Government for 2 ½ years overseas and then worked with two partners to open a business. … We were only in business for a period of three [six?] months, three of which we actually worked on the government contract in which my felony conviction was attached. … To try to support this contract, my partners and I made the decision to acquire the funds to complete the job in which they were asking us to do. To do so an invoice was submitted which was legal. The problem came into play when the Government Contracting Officer asked us to submit documentation to support the invoice stating we had paid out almost a million dollars within three days of award. We were in no position to do so as we needed the funds to complete the job. The Contracting Officer told us to submit ‘something’ (aka, false invoice) to represent the fact that it was spent or we would lose the contract. We decided to create the invoice for the large items that would be purchased. As the money was not spent at this time, this was considered a fraudulent action upon investigation. As I was the Contracting signature authority for our company, my signature was the only one listed on the contract. … The work was performed on this contract and every dime was applied to the contract, but the way in which we received the funds to do the job was not appropriate. The Government attorneys stated that even though the work was done on the contract, the way in which the funds were acquired were illegal and anything thereafter was required to be repaid. I was solely charged, as my partners’ names were not on the submitted invoice, and I am required to pay the entire amount back; even when valid invoices were provided for all products and services provided to the government.

After a 30-month sentencing, in which I spent 18 months in a federal minimum-security prison and a six-month halfway house stint, with four additional months on home confinement, and now three years of probation (I am over halfway done), I am working towards earning my good name back and securing future employment. … I do my best to focus on the positive and worked through several years of therapy. … As you can see, I am steadily working towards my next steps in life and trying to become the person I was before all of this took place, and I am asking for your help!

The information posted is limiting my chances of employment, as recruiters take one look and move on with merely seeing the negative search engine results. I have worked diligently to build a positive and professional Internet presence in the last year, but I would truly appreciate it if you would take a moment to assist me. This would mean so much to me and my potential future.

And so the article has been removed, which is a first for this site. We trust our readers will understand. Further, we think the email is a great example of how individuals can make mistakes in this complex world of government contracting, even if perhaps they had no intent of profiting from their poor decisions. We hope this individual is able to find gainful employment and have a second chance to succeed.

1,000 articles minus one. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? But that’s where we are in the first month of 2017.

 

 

DoD Continues to Fumble IRAD Management

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We are not known for our shyness at expressing critical opinions of various aspects of DoD’s contractor management. In fairness, we’re not shy at calling out contractor mismanagement either. We tell it like we see it, and that often means pointing the finger at the civilian leaders who manage DoD, the so-called “Fourth Estate” that makes up the Pentagon’s “overhead”.

The Honorable Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L) has been a frequent target of this blog; not because we dislike the man (How would we know? We’ve never met him) but because he seems to typify the kind of “leader” who gets appointed (and confirmed) to a position of responsibility within the DoD—a man who takes credit for various initiatives without being able to actually point to any tangible improvements that resulted from those initiatives.

The kind of bureaucrat who splashes a lot in the pool, without actually moving any water.

Which is normal for a bureaucracy. If it can’t measure any output, it will focus intensely on measuring its inputs in order to justify itself. That’s just organizational psychology 101.

Again, we don’t know Mr. Kendall and he’s probably a fine man. It’s his policies we despise. And they may not even be his policies; but he’s certainly taking credit for them. So to us, that makes them his policies.

We have had cause to write many articles about Mr. Kendall’s efforts to reform DoD’s management of contractor’s independent research and development (IRAD or IR&D) efforts. We have been quite critical of those efforts. Among the many criticisms we have made, the most recent has been about DFARS rule changes that mandate a contractor must communicate its R&D intentions with a knowledgeable person within the DoD bureaucracy and then document that communication. Failure to communicate or to document the communication will lead to the DoD’s refusal to accept the contractor’s R&D expenditures as being allowable indirect costs used to calculate billing rates.

We were fairly scathing in our criticism, but we noted we were not alone in criticizing the rule. We predicted problems.

And then our predictions were confirmed as DCMA issued guidance to its contracting officers helping them deal with an apparent deluge of contractor questions, since certain technical fiefdoms within the Pentagon Fourth Estate refused to cooperate with the new rule’s implementation, even though the DAR Council had promised the public that they would do so.

And then another Fourth Estate fiefdom published a DFARS Class Deviation that acknowledged the new rule wasn’t working. Even though the rationale for the Class Deviation said contractors needed more time to implement the new requirements, anybody with half a brain understood the real problem was within DoD.

The DAR Council had promulgated a half-baked rule with requirements that could not be implemented. The DAR Council ignored public input that told them that would be the case. The DAR Council rushed through the rule-making process and ignored public input because Mr. Kendall had a policy initiative that he wanted to execute, and many if not most of the DAR Council reports (in one way or another) to Mr. Kendall. They were just following the boss’ orders.

And so here we are: Mr. Kendall just issued a personal letter defending his pet policy initiative and clarifying what he really meant. Let’s do some quoting, shall we?

By law and DoD policy, contractor IR&D investments are not directed by the Government. The intent of this rule is to promote transparency, communication, and dialog between IR&D participants and DoD, ensuring that both IR&D performers and their potential DoD customers have sufficient awareness of each other’s efforts and to provide industry with some feedback on the relevance of proposed IR&D work. To fulfill the technical interchange requirement, contractors should communicate with a knowledgeable DoD Government employee who is cognizant of related ongoing and potential future opportunities in the area of interest. Appropriate DoD Government employees include, but are not limited to, scientists/engineers or other subject matter experts working similar science and technology projects, acquisition officials working similar projects, and/or operators who might use the technology in a future fight, such as a Combatant Command official.

You can almost feel the exasperation, can’t you? Who cares what the rule says or your problems with implementation, it seems to say. Here’s what I meant it to say.

And yet … notice one key phrase in the above paragraph that seems to signal what’s really going on here. That phrase is “proposed IR&D work”. Mr. Kendall seems to assume that the contractors are “proposing” to undertake R&D efforts, which means that somebody, some “DoD Government employee” is reviewing a proposal and judging it. Well, that ain’t it at all. The reason that IRAD is “independent” is because contractors do not propose projects; they do not submit them for judgment. They undertake projects to advance their technology. Certainly, they do so with the expectations that their efforts may result in a future contract award; but oftentimes that doesn’t happen. Yet they do so anyway.

And here’s a little secret: when budgets are tight and contract awards don’t materialize as planned, contractors may not want to lay off their best and brightest scientists and engineers. Instead, they give them some IRAD money and tell them to get to work. It may work out or it may not, but the technical folks were kept busy doing something technical until the next contract materialized. How do you explain that fact to some Fourth Estate bureaucrat who’s protected by the civil service and the MSPB?

Here’s another quote from Mr. Kendall’s memo:

I would like to stress that this new IR&D rule merely codifies a long-standing practice that many Services and DoD agencies already use to engage industry on IR&D projects …

And that’s a ... misleading statement, of course. It’s a ... misleading statement because the new rule imposes new requirements and also imposes a penalty for failing to meet the new requirements, in the form of a cost disallowance. There is nothing “merely” about such a new rule and it’s disingenuous (at best) to suggest that’s the case.

Finally, Mr. Kendall admits that his fellow Fourth Estate colleagues aren’t cooperating with contractors seeking to comply with the new rule. He states that “we are developing an additional approach using the existing IR&D database hosted in the Defense Innovation Marketplace (http://www.defenseinnnovationmarketplace.mil/). By no later than 31 January 2017, DoD will implement an electronic process to facilitate this approach.”

Left unspoken is how contractors’ IRAD project information will be protected. Mr. Kendall’s memo didn’t address that concern.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 19:06
 

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Newsflash

In March 2009, Nick Sanders’ article “Surviving Government Audits: Have the Rules of Engagement Changed?” was published in Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Reports (4 No. 2 GCCPAR P. 11). Apogee Consulting, Inc. is proud to announce that Mr. Sanders’ article was selected for reprint and publication in Thomson West’s The New Landscape of Government Contracting.  Mr. Sanders, Apogee Consulting’s Principal Consultant, joins such distinguished contributors as Professors Steven Schooner and Christopher Yukins, Luis Victorino and John Chierachella, Joseph West and Karen Manos, Joseph Barsalona and Philip Koos and Richard Meene, and several others.  The text covers a lot of ground, ranging from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to Business Ethics and Corporate Compliance, and includes several articles on the False Claim Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In addition, the text includes the full text of many statutory and regulatory matters affecting Government contract compliance.

 

The book may be found here.