The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), passed by Congress today, offers relief specifically targeted to federal contractors whose employees (1) cannot perform work on a “site that has been approved by the Federal Government ” during the COVID-19 public health emergency due to facility closures or other restrictions and (2) cannot
In Ingham Regional Medical Center v. U.S. (Jan. 6, 2020), the Court of Federal Claims compelled production of certain government investigatory documents that the Court found were not privileged work product prepared “in anticipation of litigation.” The Medical Center sued to recover payments for outpatient healthcare services performed in connection with DoD’s TRICARE program…
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) recently made public its Fiscal Year 2017 Report to Congress, which, among other things, provides an update on incurred cost audits. Specifically, the report explains that DCAA:
- Closed “6,786 incurred cost years” using a variety of methods, namely reports and memos, but also for other reasons (e.g., per the FY 2016 NDAA, DCAA was prohibited “from providing audit support to non-DoD agencies”);
- Sustained audit exceptions for incurred costs audits 28.6% of the time;
- Reduced the backlog related to incurred cost audits “to an average age of 14.3 months;” and
- Is “on track to eliminate the backlog by the close of FY 2018” as it now has “under 3,000 incurred cost years in [such] backlog….”
- “[W]ill be current on incurred cost based on a two-year inventory of audits” by FY 2018 and “will move to one year of inventory as required” in the FY 2018 NDAA.
Contractors looking for updates to the statutory allowable cost limits on employee compensation may be looking in the wrong place. But what was once lost can easily be found, at least for the moment, by simply navigating to a different website.
The Cost Principles and the Compensation Cap
FAR 31.205-6(p)(4) governs the allowable compensation of contractor and subcontractor employees. It promulgates section 702 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (“BBA”), which set an initial limit on allowable contractor and subcontractor employee compensation costs at $487,000 per year. “Compensation” is defined broadly to include the total amount of wages, salary, bonuses, deferred compensation, and employer contributions to defined contribution pension plans. According to the BBA, the cap is to be adjusted annually based on the Employment Cost Index calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BBA repealed the prior existing formula for determining the relevant compensation cap under 41 U.S.C. § 1127 and applies to contracts awarded on or after June 24, 2014. It also provided agencies with the authority to establish “one or more narrowly targeted exceptions” for certain specialists.
On June 14, we presented a webinar titled “Frequently Asked Questions About Requests for Equitable Adjustment and Contract Disputes Act Claims.” The webinar featured some of the most common questions we encounter in the field regarding CDA claims and REAs, as well as a discussion of procedural, substantive, and business considerations that go into the…
Join us for a webinar titled “Government Contracts Recovery: ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ About Requests for Equitable Adjustments and CDA Claims.” During the 60-minute webinar, a team of claims professionals from C&M’s Government Contractor Recovery Practice will address some FAQs that arise in the context of contractor claims / REAs, and solicit audience questions, as we…
The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals published its FY16 Report of Transactions and Proceedings, which provides statistics regarding the adjudication of appeals between contractors and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Corps of Engineers, DLA, DCMA, CIA, NASA, other Defense agencies, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. This year’s report once again reflects…
On January 13, 2017, the FAR Council released a final rule (available here) that: (1) prohibits agencies from contracting with entities that require employees/subs to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements that restrict the lawful reporting of waste, fraud, or abuse; and (2) requires bidders on federal contracts to certify that they do not utilize such agreements. Starting on January 19, 2017, the rule will apply to all solicitations and contracts using fiscal year 2015 funds and subsequent fiscal year funds, unless the solicitation or contract already contains a comparable provision/clause.
Continue Reading Final FAR Rule on Internal Confidentiality Agreements: Considerations for Contractors Before Employees Sign on the Dotted Line
ABS Development Corp. (ASBCA Nov. 17, 2016) highlights the importance of providing a fully-compliant certification for CDA claims over $100,000—which includes, according to the Board, the requirement for contractors to provide an identifiable and verifiable handwritten signature or digital e-signature. As the contractor in ABS discovered, the Board considers “typewritten” signatures, regardless of font, to be insufficient.
In ABS, the Board dismissed for lack of jurisdiction certain contractor claims that had been “certified” by means of typewritten names (in signature-font) because a typewritten name “cannot be authenticated, and, therefore, is not a signature.” The Board made clear that the CDA’s purpose is to bind contractors by means of a signed certificate that “cannot be easily disavowed by the purported author.” The Board explained that a signature “is a discrete, verifiable symbol that is sufficiently distinguishable to authenticate that the certification was issued with the purported author’s knowledge and consent or to establish his intent to certify.” Because anyone could type another person’s name on a signature block, the purported author could
disavow the certification and the signature would be nearly impossible to authenticate.
In AeroVironment, Inc. (Mar. 30, 2016), following an apparent settlement of the government’s cost disallowance claim, the ASBCA denied the government’s request to amend its answer (in order to “clarify” entitlement to additional quantum) because the proposed amendments constituted new “claims” that required new final decisions. Acknowledging that parties may ordinarily revise quantum without…