DARPA’s Conflict-of-Interest Program Gets Clean Bill of Health

It is well understood that government employees are subject to a wide variety of ethics and disclosure obligations.   Indeed, with contractor employees becoming more involved in procurement support roles, similar obligations are being imposed on contractor employees – for example, the recent Personal Conflict of Interest Rule (FAR Subpart 3.11).   But is there any review of the government’s compliance with these rules?  The answer is yes.   In response to a letter from the Program On Government Oversight (POGO), the DoD Inspector General (IG) reviewed the Ethics Program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA).  POGO asked the IG to examine DARPA’s application of ethics laws, rules, and regulations to conflict of interest situations, including recusals, waivers, and divestments by DARPA employees and … Continue reading

52.215-2 Audit and Records—Negotiation

Applicability: This FAR solicitation provision, which is incorporated into the contract and thus becomes a clause, is included in all solicitations and contracts unless the contract is  (a) at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, (b) for utility services at rates established by the general public plus a reasonable connection charge, and/or (c) for the acquisition of commercial items when such acquisitions are exempt from the requirements to submit certified cost or pricing data.  For cost-reimbursement contracts with State and local Governments, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations, the clause is included with its Alternate II.   Key Requirements: From a proposal standpoint, when the offeror is required to submit certified cost or pricing data in connection with any pricing action relating to the contract, the contracting officer … Continue reading

CAS 401 – Consistency in Estimating, Accumulating, and Reporting Costs

Provision of the week:  CAS 401-50(a)  {48 CFR 9904.401-50(a)}   Provision:  The level of detail in estimating shall be such that any significant cost can be compared with the actual cost accumulated and reported.   Example of a Compliant Practice:  The contractor estimates direct labor costs using average labor categories.  The accounting system provides a crosswalk that shows which employees are included in each labor category, and the computations of the averages.  The contractor accumulates and reports (bills on invoices) based on actual labor costs paid to employees that worked on the contract.  This is in compliance with the contract because the estimating can be compared to the actual cost accumulation/reporting.  The average rates can be broken down to show the individual employee labor rates … Continue reading