Tag Archives: Federal Acquisition Regulations

Decoding Budgeting Indirect Rates Webinar: Questions? Aronson Answers – Part II

As promised, a continuation of the Q&A from Aronson’s Government Contracting webinar “Decoding Budgeted Indirect Rates,” presented by Donna Dominguez and Aisha Mian.

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Decoding Budgeting Indirect Rates Webinar: Questions? Aronson Answers

On October 20, 2016, our Aronson LLC government contracting specialists Donna Dominguez and Aisha Mian hosted “Decoding Budgeted Indirect Rates,” where they provided tips, guidance, and best practices to help government contractors efficiently build their budgeted indirect rates for the upcoming year. As a follow up to this webinar, Donna and Aisha have prepared answers to a large number of attendee questions that we wanted to share. To watch the webinar, please visit this link.

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DCMA Slammed in IG Report on Contractor Estimating Systems

The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Inspector General recently reviewed 18 DCAA reports on contractor estimating systems and found that the Contracting Officer failed to comply with one or more of the DFARS requirements in 17 of 18 reports.   For each DCAA report, the IG’s evaluation primarily focused on whether the DCMA contracting officer; issued an initial determination on reported significant deficiencies within 10 days, obtained a written contractor response to the initial determination within 30 days, evaluated the contractor’s response and issued a final determination to approve or disapprove within 30 days, and lastly, withheld payments from contractor billings to the Government.  

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#WebsiteWednesday – Sites to Help You Learn the Rules

How can you demonstrate you are the kind of company that the federal government would like to do business with? Aside from having the right product at a fair price, they also need to rely on you to meet all of the requirements expected of a contractor.

You can help protect your company’s reputation and profits in these three important ways:

  • Know what the rules are
  • Know what the terminology and definitions really mean in daily practice
  • Know what you are agreeing to before you sign a contract.

The rules of government contracting are collectively known as the “FAR” or Federal Acquisition Regulations. This is a huge document and not easy to understand. It references concepts but does not offer many practical examples or guidance.

These are some more focused resources published by DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) that will give you more specific guidance on the matters that are most likely to impact emerging contractors.

Check out these links for specific information on:

For additional guidance, resources and information on industry best practices, please contact Barbara Morgan, Director in Aronson’s Government Contract Services Group at 301.231.6238 or bmorgan@aronsonllc.com.

Are Reverse Auctions Actually Meeting the Intended Competition and Cost Intentions?

Federal agencies hope to generate lower prices on non-complex commodities and simple services (from office supplies to medical equipment) via reverse auctions but are reverse auctions actually meeting the intended competition and cost intentions? A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on this topic was released December 9, 2013. Entitled “Reverse Auctions – Guidance Is Needed to Maximize Competition and Achieve Cost Savings (GAO-14-108)”, the GAO study indicates that the potential benefits of reverse auctions – competition and savings – had not been maximized at the four agencies studied. During FY 2008 through 2012 the Departments of the Army, Homeland Security, the Interior, and Veterans Affairs used reverse auctions to acquire predominantly commercial items and services, primarily information technology products and medical equipment and supplies. Most of the auctions resulted in small dollar value contracts of $150,000 or less, with a high rate of award to small businesses. The study also found that the four agencies used the same commercial services provider (FedBid) to conduct their reverse auctions and paid a variable fee for the service of up to 3 percent of the winning bid amount.

Almost half of reverse auctions were used to obtain items from pre-existing contracts that in some cases resulted in

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