Category Archives: Audits

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“How Dare You Charge That for a Spare Part!” – The Untold Story of the X27 Interface Assembly

The pricing of spare parts has been a subject of Government criticism for decades.  Pick up any DCAA or IG audit report relating to spare parts or any intra-agency memorandum on the topic and you will sense the dudgeon with which the Government reacts to the prices of those parts.… Continue Reading

OIG Investigations (Without Subpoena Bells and Whistles) Coming to a Program Near You

The Inspector General Act of 1978 aimed to “consolidate existing auditing and investigative resources to more effectively combat fraud, abuse, waste and mismanagement in the programs and operations of [the executive branch].” To fulfill this mandate, the Act created the Offices of Inspector General (“OIG”) in various executive departments and agencies, including the Department of … Continue Reading

Smash & Grab Redux – Congress Seems to Give DCAA Permission But Forgets to Give It Authority

By David Gallacher  Last month we wrote about a provision in the proposed 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) that would have given the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) statutory authority to demand a company’s internal audit reports in order to audit the efficacy of a company’s internal business systems. Surprisingly, the authorization, as originally … Continue Reading

Smash & Grab – DCAA Poised to Gain Access to Contractor Internal Audit Reports

By David Gallacher  The Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) has long sought access to contractors’ internal audit reports in connection with the routine audit of contractors’ business systems. Contractors have, in most cases, successfully resisted requests for such access on the grounds that DCAA has no statutory authority to request such documents. But that may … Continue Reading

Final Rule for IR&D Reports Fails to Address Most Serious Questions

By David S. Gallacher and Kerry O’Neill Last April, we wrote about proposed changes to Department of Defense ("DoD") reporting requirements for independent research and development ("IR&D"), raising concerns about how the proposed change would tie recoverability of IR&D costs to new reporting and disclosure requirements. Recently, Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement ("DFARS") 231.205-18(c) was … Continue Reading

From Attestation Reviews To Examinations: The GSA OIG Expands The Scope Of Its Pre-Award Audits

By Jonathan S. Aronie So there I was, just sitting there minding my own business. It was the third day of the GSA OIG’s site visit being conducted as part of a routine pre-award audit (or as the OIG called it, a pre-award “attestation review”), and all was going well. The auditor, who was quite a nice guy … Continue Reading

The Times They Are A Changin’ – Independent Research and Development May Not Be So “Independent” Any More

By David S. Gallacher Those familiar with Government contracting know at least a little bit about the elusive and fickle regulatory requirements for Independent Research and Development (“IR&D” or “IRAD”) costs. IR&D is a means by which the U.S. Government supports a Contractor’s independent R&D efforts. By reimbursing a Contractor’s independent R&D costs, the Government long has … Continue Reading

Bidding Adieu To The “Summer of Recovery”: Changes To ARRA Buy American And Reporting Requirements

By David S. Gallacher While Vice President Biden was busy touting Summer 2010 as the “Summer of Recovery” and the economic effects of the February 2009 Stimulus Act (a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Recovery Act, ARRA, the Stimulus Act, etc.), the gears of the regulatory process ground steadily onward. Throughout the summer, the … Continue Reading

Improper Payments Elimination Act Provides Opportunities For Contractors

By Christopher Noon On July 22, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (the “Act”). The Act significantly modifies and expands the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 by placing a greater obligation on the federal government to reduce the amount of improper payments made every year. The President … Continue Reading

DoD Acts To Rein In DCAA (Again)

On January 15, 2010, the Department of Defense announced plans to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (“DFARS”) to allow contracting officers to withhold payments from companies with “deficient” business systems in an effort to prevent “unallowable and unreasonable costs on government contracts.” 75 Fed. Reg. 2457. Contracting officers would have the authority to withhold payments … Continue Reading

GAO Allowed to Interview Current Contractor Employees During the Audit of the Contractor’s Records

In an attempt to promote "protection" and "provide transparency," the FAR Councils recently issued a final rule formally mandating Government Accountability Office ("GAO") auditor access to interview contractor personnel during an audit of the contractor’s records.  This final rule published on October 14, 2009 adopted, without change, an interim rule issued March 31, 2009, implementing section 871 of … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Report That Stimulus Information That You’ve Been Collecting — Are You Ready?

If you are a company that has received funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as “ARRA,” “the Recovery Act” or “the Stimulus Act”) and that has a requirement to report the data required under the Act (under FAR 52.204-11 and Section 1512 of the Act), you have until the … Continue Reading

What Exactly Is DCAA Thinking?

Recently, contractors have begun receiving formal requests for information from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”). The purported purpose of these requests is to “[o]btain an understanding of the management control environment” of major government contractors. In pursuit of this goal, DCAA has crafted a letter that demands, among other things, the following: A list … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Casts Cloud on Future Recovery of Settlement Costs in Non-Fraud-Related Cases

On May 19, 2009, the Federal Circuit in Secretary of the Army v. Tecom upheld the contracting officer’s disallowance of a contractor’s legal costs and settlement expenses in a sexual harassment and retaliation action brought under Title VII. The opinion is sweeping, and appears to extend the holding in Boeing North American, Inc. v. Roche, 298 F.3d … Continue Reading

“DCAA And the Art of Intimidation” – Some Historical Perspective

Last month, in what one of my colleagues has described as a “lucid rant,” I discussed the recent DCAA Memorandum for Regional Directors calling for increased referrals to agency Inspectors General of contracting officers engaged in such dastardly conduct as awarding contractors “unreasonable or excessive costs and/or profit” under their Government contracts, with “unreasonable” and … Continue Reading

New Recovery Act Rules Implement Provisions Relating To Government Audit Access, Whistleblower Protections, And Buy American Requirements; Much Confusion Remains

On March 31, 2009, the FAR Councils issued several new interim rules (effective March 31, 2009) implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) (also known as ARRA, The Recovery Act, or the Stimulus Act). See Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-32, published at 74 Federal Register 14621-14652. The FAC issued new interim rules on … Continue Reading

DCAA And The Art Of Intimidation

A March 13, 2009 Memorandum for Regional Directors introduces a new level of formality in DCAA’s unceasing quest to intimidate and control contracting officers in the exercise of their discretion. Contracting Officers have long been reluctant to disregard recommendations made by DCAA with respect to the treatment of costs, notwithstanding the fact that many of … Continue Reading

The First 100 Days

Since the FAR Council’s November 2008 publication of new regulations mandating the disclosure by federal contractors of certain categories of wrongdoing and Government overpayments, there has been much ink spilled by lawyers, consultants, and the Government itself regarding what it all means.  The lack of clear definitions in the rule – notwithstanding the accompanying pages … Continue Reading

Stimulation Has Its Price – The Audit and Oversight Provisions of The 2009 Stimulus Bill Are Unlike Anything Most Funding Recipients Have Ever Seen

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 ("the Act" or "the Stimulus Bill") (P.L. 111-5) (H.R. 1). As widely reported in the media, the Stimulus Bill includes approximately $787 Billion in government spending and tax cuts. With regard to the government spending provisions (Division A of … Continue Reading

New DCAA Guidelines Severely Restrict Auditor Authority To Exercise Judgment In Audit Of Internal Controls

On December 19, 2008 DCAA issued new guidance for audit of and reporting on internal controls that — in two short pages of sometimes cryptic text – (a) redefines the agency’s approach to the critical concepts of "significant deficiency" and "material weakness" in internal controls and (b) establishes new criteria for auditor reports of deficiencies in … Continue Reading

Glass Houses and Stones – Does Anyone in Government Ever Try to Connect the Dots?

In its 2008 report on the Government’s financial consolidated statements released on December 15, the Government Accountability Office criticized “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated … Continue Reading
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