1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

2017 Financial Forum Series

new-tax-picture

Dentons’ Government Contracts practice and the Public Contracting Institute (PCI) present a monthly webinar series offering practical advice and CLE credit. Each session will take an in-depth look at topics such as cost accounting compliance, cost and pricing trends, contractor best practices and more. The current schedule of dates and topics is below.

Contractors and government practitioners alike will benefit from this informative and exciting webinar series.

 
Every second Tuesday of the month
12–1 p.m. ET

January 10: Subcontract and vendor cost allowability and related issues

February 14: Final indirect cost rate proposals: auditor focus areas, trends and best practices

March 14: Selected FAR cost principles, Part 1: compensation, legal, consulting, organization, restructuring, tangible and intangible capital asset costs

April 11: Selected FAR cost principles, Part 2: IR&D, B&P, selling, advertising, public relations costs, other business development costs

May 9: Cost estimating and truthful cost or pricing data requirements

June 13: Cost reasonableness and travel and relocation cost allowability

September 12: Managing internal investigations into accounting matters: mandatory disclosures

October 10: CAS overview and best practices

November 14: Termination cost recovery

December 12: TBD

Register now for the 2017 Financial Forum Series. All sessions are complimentary for Dentons clients.

Each webinar will provide CLE credit and will be recorded and available online.

For more information, please contact Sofia Abraham Mendoza at sofia.mendoza@dentons.com.

[Register now]

2017 Financial Forum Series

Speaking up about DOD’s proposed Independent Research and Development costs rule

A February 8, 2016, Department of Defense (DOD) advance notice of proposed rulemaking sought input to help address agency concerns regarding substantial future Independent Research and Development (IR&D) when such effort is undertaken as a means of reducing evaluated bid prices in competitive source selections. The proposed rule, if made final, would require the government to add costs (for proposal evaluation purposes) to any contractor offers that rely on IR&D efforts. In a recent client alert, Dentons encouraged contractors to participate in the comment process on the proposed rulemaking.

Dentons partners Thomas A. Lemmer and Steven M. Masiello submitted comments on the proposed rule. Specifically, they describe the relevant decisional authority establishing the appropriate methodology for distinguishing between direct costs of contract effort versus indirect costs of IR&D effort. Based upon this relevant authority, DOD’s concerns underlying the proposed rulemaking initiative to attribute IR&D project costs to the proposed price for evaluation purposes are misplaced.

Indeed, contrary to DOD’s concerns, relevant decisional authority confirms that IR&D efforts properly permit contractors willing to undertake, at their own risk, IR&D projects, to gain a relative price and technical advantage. Moreover, DOD should not discourage innovation by penalizing contractors for conducting IR&D projects resulting in innovation relevant to a competitive government procurement. Finally, IR&D costs are not contract costs, and treating them as such for evaluation purposes during the competitive procurement process misconstrues their nature and may skew award decisions.

You can read Dentons’ comments in full here.

Additionally, Dentons lawyers advised the American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law on its comments on the proposed rule, which can be found here.

Speaking up about DOD’s proposed Independent Research and Development costs rule

2016 Business Systems Webinar Series

Dentons government contracts lawyers and the Public Contracting Institute (PCI) will present this business systems series addressing the expanding requirements of the business systems rules. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Business Systems Rule outlines requirements for contractor compliance

This series, valuable to both Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Energy (DOE) contractors alike, will provide important guidance for any contractor seeking to improve its internal business system compliance and prepare for system self-assessments, and will help contractors prepare for and respond to government system reviews. This series will address the six covered business systems (including the systems covered by the DOE rule), and will feature guest speakers discussing practical insights and lessons learned from business system reviews.

Fourth Tuesday of the month

12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

January 26 – Business system administration and recent developments

February 23 – Accounting systems

March 22 – Estimating systems

April 26 – Purchasing systems (including counterfeit parts)

May 24 – Property/Earned value management system (EVMS)/Materials management and accounting system (MMAS)

For more information, or if you would like to attend a course (complimentary to Dentons’ clients), please reach out to Sofia Abraham Mendoza at sofia.mendoza@dentons.com. All webinars offer CLE credit. They are recorded and available to watch online for one year after the live date.

2016 Business Systems Webinar Series

2016 Financial Forum Series

Join Dentons government contracts lawyers for a Public Contracting Institute (PCI) webinar series involving the most current industry analysis in government contract cost accounting from a team of leaders in the field with unparalleled experience. For both contracting officials and private practitioners, these exclusive webinars offer the latest developments, hot topics and the unique opportunity to “ask the authorities.”

Second Tuesday of the month

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

January 12 – Pricing requests for equitable adjustment and pursuing claims

February 9 – Subcontractor, travel and legal cost reasonableness

March 8 – Preventing, investigating and reporting accounting issues: The mandatory disclosure rule

April 12 – Incurred cost submissions and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits: Strategies, trends and areas of focus

May 10 – Compensation cost allowability: Select compensation costs

June 14 – Principles of fiscal law and government contracts-related funding issues

September 13 – Application of cost accounting standards (CAS) and modified CAS coverage: CAS 401, 402, 405 and 406

October 11– Full-CAS coverage: Disclosure statements and allocation of direct and indirect, home office, general and administrative (G&A) and selected costs

November 8 – Developments in cost and pricing issues: A year in review

For more information, or if you would like to attend a course (complimentary to Dentons’ clients), please reach out to Sofia Abraham Mendoza at sofia.mendoza@dentons.com. All webinars offer CLE credit. They are recorded and available to watch online for one year after the live date.

2016 Financial Forum Series

FMS — A DoD interim rule would alter indirect offset cost reasonableness evaluations

The Department of Defense (DoD) issued an interim rule Tuesday amending DFARS 225.7303-2 to instruct contracting officers to accept all indirect offset costs imposed in Foreign Military Sales (FMS) acquisitions as reasonable without performing a cost reasonableness analysis. This new rule should reduce transaction costs for contractors, as it removes some DoD oversight from FMS offset agreements and, therefore, obviates the need for data calls and other effort that contractors provide as support for the contracting officer’s reasonableness evaluation.

Many governments require foreign defense contractors to “offset” the value of a procurement through any number of transactions intended to turn at least some of that value back around to benefit domestic economic activity. These transactions may directly support the overall defense project, or they may be “indirect offsets” wholly unrelated to the underlying procurement. Though the United States does not impose offset requirements in its own contracts, it allows foreign nations to request through the FMS program both direct and indirect offset requirements by including them in the FMS Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) and related DoD contract.

Until now, U.S. contracting officers were required by FAR parts 15 and 31 to determine price reasonableness regarding all aspects of FMS contracts, including indirect offset costs. Recognizing that these contracting officers have little or no insight into the pricing of indirect offsets – which are negotiated directly between the contractor and the foreign government – the interim rule eliminates this price reasonableness determination. Now, contracting officers are to deem reasonable “all offset costs that involve benefits provided by the U.S. defense contractor to the FMS customer that are unrelated to the item being purchased under the LOA,” so long as the contractor submits a signed offset agreement or other documentation showing that an indirect offset of a certain dollar value is a condition of the FMS acquisition. Contractors must remember that the interim rule applies only to indirect offsets, and contracting officers will continue to scrutinize direct offset costs for reasonableness in accordance with FAR part 31.

Sparked by a “recent and foreseeable trend” of increasingly complex indirect offsets desired by FMS customers, this rule will go into effect immediately to “allow DoD contracting officers to finalize pending negotiations for FMS contracts to support U.S. allies and partners, and maintain bilateral relationships.” However, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System is accepting comments until August 3, 2015 before issuing a final rule.

FMS — A DoD interim rule would alter indirect offset cost reasonableness evaluations

2015 Construction Law and Federal Contracting Breakfast Series

2015 is just a few weeks away.  Before your calendar fills up, make sure you save time for a six-part breakfast series entitled, Construction Law and Federal Contracting, hosted by Dentons and the San Diego Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).  The breakfast series will be held on the second Thursday of each month at the AGC’s San Diego headquarters.  Join us on January 8, 2015, for the kick-off breakfast, “The Federal False Claims Act on Construction Projects.”  During this 90-minute session, Dentons lawyers Laurence Phillips and Jae Park will lead a discussion regarding FCA provisions, how they apply on federal construction projects, recent changes and trends and best practices to mitigate exposure to liability.

Full 2015 Breakfast Series Schedule:

January 8, 2015 Federal False Claims Act on Construction Projects
February 12, 2015 Federal Prevailing Wage Requirements and Issues on Construction Projects
April 9, 2015 Compliance With Federal Small Business Size and Status Rules and Subcontracting Plans
May 14, 2015 Claims and Termination on Federal Projects
June 11, 2015 Government Contracts Compliance and Investigations  .
2015 Construction Law and Federal Contracting Breakfast Series

Dentons Publishes Second Edition of its Government Contractor Business Systems Compliance Guide

Earlier this week, Dentons published the Second Edition of its Government Contractor Business Systems Compliance Guide.  The Second Edition provides comprehensive guidance for DoD and DoE contractors to assess the adequacy of six business systems: accounting and billing, purchasing, estimating, material management and accounting, government property, and earned value; and is updated to include significant regulatory changes and contractor experiences that have taken place since the Guide was first published in 2012.

Dentons Publishes Second Edition of its Government Contractor Business Systems Compliance Guide

Proposed Update to DFARS Business Systems Rule Would Impose Significant Burden on Contractors to Self-Assess and Self-Report on System Compliance

On Tuesday, July 15th, DOD issued a proposed rule that would update the DFARS Business Systems Rule to require contractors to self-assess and report on business system compliance.  Contractors with estimating systems, accounting systems, and material management and accounting systems subject to the Business Systems Rule requirements would be required to provide a report on compliance with the relevant system criteria.  These same systems also would be subject to a triennial audit by an independent contractor-selected Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) to assess the contractor’s compliance with the applicable system criteria.

If adopted, the proposed DOD rule would impose a significant obligation on contractors both to adequately and accurately self-assess and report on business system compliance and to obtain an independent review of system compliance.  Inadequate contractor system reviews or inaccurate reporting of system compliance could have significant consequences for contractors, including payment withholding, negative past performance evaluations, cost disallowances, inability to receive contracts and potential False Claims Act liability.

In anticipation of this DOD update to the business system rule, Dentons has been preparing an updated edition of its Business Systems Compliance Guide.  The updated guide will provide up-to-date information and assistance to contractors seeking to understand and assess the acceptability of their business systems under the DOD Business Systems Rule.

Proposed Update to DFARS Business Systems Rule Would Impose Significant Burden on Contractors to Self-Assess and Self-Report on System Compliance

ASBCA Provides Refresher on Negligent Estimate Claims

The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) recently issued an interesting decision about a negligent estimate claim.  In American General Trading & Contracting, WLL, ASBCA No. 56758, the contractor (AGT) argued that the Army breached the parties’ contract because it “negligently estimated its laundry needs in . . . [five military] camps [in Kuwait], which virtually emptied shortly after award due to the [2003] invasion [Iraq].”  Judge Melnick first commented that the parties’ contract (a firm-fixed unit-priced contract with total item numbers adjustment, and which contained a volume estimate) was neither an indefinite quantity contract nor a requirements contract. (The former contract-type cannot be the subject to a negligent estimate claim, while the letter can.)  And because the contract contained “neither a minimum quantity clause nor a requirements clause, it was not enforceable at its inception since the government was not obligated to take any ascertainable quantity of laundry services.” However, the contract became “definite and binding” as a result of the “conduct and performance of the parties” – AGT performed services pursuant to the contract and the Amy remitted payment. Judge Melnick then found that the volume estimates were material to the parties’ contract and could support a breach claim: “AGT has presented evidence that it relied on the government’s estimates to establish its item rates, indicating that the prices ultimately paid to it under the binding contract that was formed were driven by those representations. To the extent the estimates underlying the . . . contract’s prices were negligently prepared, and that AGT reasonably relied on them, there is no reason AGT cannot pursue a claim based on that negligence.”  This decision is important because it further cements the principal that the underlying viability of a negligent estimate claim is not based solely on the contract type, but rather on whether the estimate was material to the contract.

ASBCA Provides Refresher on Negligent Estimate Claims

Join us and PCI on May 13 for a Webinar: Incurred Cost Submissions and DCAA Audits

Incurred Cost Submissions and DCAA Audits: A Discussion of Strategy, Trends, and Current Areas of Focus, Including Expressly Unallowable Costs and Use of Statistical Sampling

Webinar

May 13, 2014

  • 12:00 – 1:00 (EDT)
  • Introduction
  • Regulatory Requirements
  • Best Practices for Incurred Cost Documentation, Collection, and Submission
  • Recent Developments
    • DCAA Audit Issues
    • Statute of Limitations Issues
  •  Audit Scrutiny
    • Hot Topics
    • Best Practices
    • Areas of Special DCAA Focus
    • Managing DCAA Requests for Specific Types of Information

The Highly Regarded Financial Forum Webinar Series: Register for Your 2014 Subscription and Save! 

Join the professionals from Dentons for a webinar series involving the most current industry analysis in government contract cost accounting from a team of leaders in the field with unparalleled experience. For both contracting officials and private practitioners, these exclusive webinars offer the latest developments, hot topics, and the unique opportunity to “ask the experts.”

Webinar Topics 2014*

Second Tuesday of the month (**exception)

12:00 – 1:00 pm (ET)

January 14:  Business Systems Update / Trends for 2014

February 11:  Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) and Claim Pricing

March 11:  Cost Accounting Standards (CAS): A review of requirements and compliance essentials

April 8Subcontract / ODC Cost Reasonableness:  Developing business systems that support reasonable costs

May 13Incurred Cost Submissions and DCAA Audits:  A discussion of strategy, trends, and current areas of focus, including expressly unallowable costs and use of statistical sampling

June 10:  Managing Internal Investigations into Accounting Matters

September 9Selected FAR Cost Principles Part 1:  Employee Compensation Reasonableness, Legal / Professional Costs, Contingency / Insurance Costs

October 14Selected FAR Cost Principles Part 2:  Selling Costs, Advertising/Public Relations Costs, IR&D, and Organization Costs

November 4**A Year in Review:  2014 Developments in Cost / Financial Issues

*Topics are subject to change  2014 Subscription:  $1,095, includes 9 webinars and the recordings. (Individual webinars are $159)

Join us and PCI on May 13 for a Webinar: Incurred Cost Submissions and DCAA Audits