Upcoming Opportunity for Innovative Systems for Military Missions
Despite all the concerns about budgets, force drawdowns and sequestration, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) Tactical Technology Office (“TTO”) has announced its intention to issue a Broad Agency Announcement (“BAA”) calling for “executive summaries, white papers and proposals for advanced research, development and demonstration of innovative systems.” “Innovative systems” enable revolutionary improvements to the capability, efficiency and effectiveness of the military. TTO is interested in research, design, development and demonstration of systems which create a decisive overmatch or asymmetric capability, particularly organizations with experience in systems engineering, manned-unmanned teaming and autonomous systems. Such proposals should address rapid experimentation,. Read More.
Cost-Type Contracting: A Cautionary Tale
Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”; “the Board”) Nos. 56581 and 58038, Appeals of PHI Applied Physical Sciences, Inc. (“PHI”), involve cost overruns allegedly incurred in performance of a cost-reimbursable contract. However, this case illustrates some important points which every contractor, particularly those new to cost-type contracting, should keep in mind. PHI was awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee (“CPFF”) contract by the U.S. Army to develop a miniature fluorometer for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and demonstrate it at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (“SBIR”) Phase II and Beyond Conference. The total estimated cost. Read More.
DoD and GSA Request Comments to Improve Cybersecurity in Federal Acquisitions
In November 2013, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) and General Services Administration (“GSA”) released a joint report in accordance with Executive Order (“The Order”) 13636: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, on ways to align federal cybersecurity risk management and acquisition processes. The Order, issued in February 2013, had directed Federal agencies to use their existing resources and increase cooperation with the private sector to provide stronger protections for cyber-based systems both in the private and public sectors. The report outlines that a major impediment to how cybersecurity is addressed in federal acquisitions is due to differing priorities of cyber risk management. Read More.
Webinar: Compensation of Contractor Employees
Earlier this week, Cherry Bekaert (“the Firm”) International Tax Partners Jim Dawson and Bill Major presented a webinar concerning tax breaks through the use of IC-DISCs. Entitled “Permanent Tax Savings with the IC-DISC for Export Activities,” the Firm-sponsored webinar focused on ways manufacturing companies that sell goods abroad can save on federal taxes with an IC-DISC. Other areas Dawson and Major touched on included, but weren’t limited to: how companies can qualify for IC-DISC benefits, which activities are eligible for tax-saving purposes, and examples of industries and companies that Cherry Bekaert has helped implement IC-DISCs.
Determining if Prices Offered for Orders under GSA Schedule Contracts are Fair and Reasonable
On March 13, 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued class deviation 2014-O0014, Determination of Fair and Reasonable Prices when using Federal Supply Schedule Contracts. This deviation changes the way DoD contracting officers are to apply Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) 8.404(d) when placing orders against General Services Administration (“GSA”) schedule contracts or orders placed under Blanket Purchase Agreements (“BPAs”) issued pursuant to GSA schedule contracts. The deviation was effective immediately and is to remain in effect until incorporated into the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (“DFARS”), or is otherwise rescinded. FAR 8.404(d) states in relevant part that: GSA has. Read More.
New OMB Guidance Leads to Changes in Cost Principles
On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards for state and local governments, nonprofit entities, institutions of higher education and trial governments. This guidance (also referred to as the “Supercircular”) supersedes the requirements from eight OMB Circulars down into one. As a result of this circular, there will be changes to the cost principles previously specified under OMB Circulars A-21, A-87 and A-122. The final guidance related to the cost principles, located at Subpart E-Cost Principles in 2 CFR Parts 200, 215 and 225,. Read More.