Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DoD's New Proposal Adequacy Checklist - Part II

Yesterday we told you that DoD had published a draft proposal adequacy checklist. This checklist will become  a regulation and part of the DoD FAR Supplement (DFARS), once adopted as final. We also mentioned that the draft checklist is similar, but not identical to, the checklist that DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) has up on its public website. DCAA has been known to use its checklist punitively - if a proposal does not meet each applicable checklist criteria, DCAA sometimes returns the proposal and audit request back to the contracting officer stating that the proposal is unacceptable for audit. Often times, "deficiencies" are in the eyes of the beholder and identification of significant or material deficiencies require exercise of sound judgment. This practice by DCAA has greatly frustrated contracting officers who need to award contracts in a timely manner. By making the checklist a regulation to be completed by contractors (when requested by the contracting officer), DoD is effectively cutting DCAA out of the proposal adequacy determination business. Of course, DCAA could still assess a proposal as inadequate but it would be a much tougher sell to a contracting officer if the offer has previously "self-assessed" its own submission.

We compared the two checklists and noted a few differences. Items appearing in the DoD checklist that do not have a corresponding criteria in the old DCAA checklist include:

  • Item #17. Does the proposal include a description of supplies or services and the basis on which the supply or service meets the Government's requirements?
  • Item #34. If covered by the Service Contract Labor Standards statute, are the rates in the proposal in compliance with the minimum rates specified in the statute?
  • Item #43. Is proposed fee in accordance with statutory guidance?
  • Item #45. If the offeror is proposing Performance-Based Payments have they provided an expenditure profile, proposed events and their projected dates, proposed values for each event, completion criteria, and identification of which events are severable or cumulative?

Items appearing in the DCAA checklist that do not have a corresponding criteria in the new DoD checklist include:

  • Item #4. Is the proposal mathematically accurate and does the supporting data reconcile to the proposal?
  • Item #26. Are the Basis of Estimates (BoEs) included for all labor hours with detailed rationale (i.e. historical experience, engineering estimates, learning curves, basis for cost estimating relationships (CERs)) to support the estimates.
  • Item #32. In the case of a letter contract, does the proposal identify actual hours, and cost incurred as well as hours/cost to complete and the time phasing associated with these hours/costs?

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