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What’s the Point?

To set the groundwork for future episodes, Nicole Owren-Wiest and Erin Rankin talk fundamentals: What is the purpose behind the often counter-intuitive and complex government contracts cost and pricing rules? What are the various price analysis techniques available to the world’s largest buyer of goods and services? “It All Adds Up” is

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Our Two Cents

In this second inaugural episode of It All Adds Up, Nicole Owren-Wiest and Erin Rankin riff on why they care so much about government contracts cost and pricing – and why you should, too. “It All Adds Up” is Crowell & Moring’s podcast covering the latest government contract accounting, cost, and pricing

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In Voxtel, Inc., ASBCA No. 60129 (March 9, 2023), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) issued a decision that presents a primer on the resolution of indirect cost rate disputes.  The ASBCA granted the contractor’s appeal in part, finding that its claimed executive compensation and independent research and development (IR&D) costs were allowable, but that certain rental costs related to the “fit-up” of a leased facility were unallowable.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) performed “adequacy” and “nomenclature” reviews of Voxtel’s indirect cost rate proposals (or incurred cost proposals, “ICPs”) for fiscal years 2007 to 2009, but did not conduct audits.  The Contracting Officer (CO) then issued a final decision unilaterally setting indirect rates and finding that the ICPs included unallowable executive compensation, IR&D, and rental costs.  The contractor appealed. Continue Reading If At First You Don’t Succeed: Contractor Successfully Challenges Disallowed IR&D and Compensation Costs

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In Triple Canopy, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 61415, et al. (March 23, 2023), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) resolved a long-running dispute in favor of the contractor over reimbursement of fees imposed by the Afghan government on large security firms operating in the country. The ASBCA found the fees were akin to after-imposed taxes, reimbursable by the U.S. government, and not penalties for illegal conduct. 

Triple Canopy had six fixed-price contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to provide private security services to military bases in Afghanistan. These contracts, awarded between March 2009 and September 2010, required Triple Canopy to comply with local laws. The contracts also included FAR 52.229-6, Taxes-Foreign Fixed Price Contracts, which states that the contract price shall be increased by the amount of any after-imposed tax the contractor is required to pay. In March 2011, the Afghan government issued a directive limiting the number of employees of any private security company to 500, imposing a fee for each employee over the cap. Triple Canopy was assessed a fee in March 2011, with the right to appeal, and that same month, the DoD issued a memo to the Afghan government requesting that Triple Canopy be exempted from the 500-employee limit. Triple Canopy appealed the assessment, which the Afghan government reduced, and Triple Canopy paid the reduced amount in July 2011. Triple Canopy submitted claims to the Contracting Officer (CO) for reimbursement of the fees, and then appealed to the ASBCA on the basis of the CO’s deemed denials. The ASBCA initially found Triple Canopy’s claims were barred by the Contract Dispute Act’s six-year statute of limitations and denied the appeals, which the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded in Triple Canopy, Inc. v. Sec’y of Air Force, 14 F.4th 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2021). Continue Reading Third Time’s A Charm: Government Must Reimburse Triple Canopy for Afghan Taxes

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On March 22, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to allow a procuring contracting officer (PCO) to delegate the authority to the contract administration office (CAO) to negotiate and settle direct costs questioned in an indirect cost rate proposal audit.  After the delegation

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In General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 61633, 61731 (Feb. 8, 2023), released March 14, 2023, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) considered, but declined to answer, the existential question of whether intracompany lease payments are “costs.”  The ASBCA denied the Government’s motion for summary judgment, finding that material facts about the

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In its recent decision, Cellular Materials International, Inc., ASBCA No. 61408 (Dec. 27, 2021), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) observed that whether a cost has been “incurred” for purposes of claiming allowable costs under FAR 52.216-7 is a fact-intensive inquiry.

Pursuant to its Government contract requirements, Cellular Materials International, Inc. (“CMI”)

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In a recent alert, we highlighted VS2 v. U.S., in which the Court of Federal Claims refused to expand the Federal Circuit’s Blue & Gold waiver doctrine and required the Army to consider performance risk in a cost realism evaluation. In a new “Feature Comment” published in The Government Contractor, we

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Ultra Electronic Ocean Systems, Inc., ASBCA No. 62804 (June 17, 2021), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (the “Board”) held that a contracting officer’s letter terminating the contract for default “effective immediately” constituted a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision for the purpose of granting the Board jurisdiction over the contractor’s appeal.

In Ultra

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On December 9, 2020, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) released its Audit of Department of Defense Implementation of Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.  The audit assesses the DoD’s issuance of relief under Section 3610, which authorizes certain agencies to reimburse contractors for any