Sec 804 of the 2018 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) repeals a provision that became law under the 2017 NDAA. 10 USC 190 was a new section that requires the creation of a Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board (DCASB). But appended to DCASB coverage was a new requirement that concerned the use of commercial auditors to perform audits of Defense contractors. Specifically, section (f) reads (paraphrased):
Defense contractors may present, and DCAA shall accept without performing additional audits, a summary of audit findings prepared by a commercial auditor if the auditor previously performed an audit of the allowability, measurement, assignment to accounting periods, and allocation of indirect costs and such audit was performed using relevant commercial accounting standards and relevant commercial auditing standards established by the commercial auditing industry.
Further, DCAA may audit direct costs and shall rely on commercial audits of indirect costs without performing additional audits, except in the case of companies or business units that have a predominance of cost-type contracts as a percentage of sales, DCAA may audit both direct and indirect costs.The intent of this provision is to allow contractors to go out and retain their own auditors for purposes of expediting audits of incurred costs and closing old contracts. The provision becomes unnecessary with Sec 803 commercialization initiative we discussed the past three days. Anyway, no one could ever articulate a practical implementation of the provision. Its not practical to separate audits of direct and indirect costs. Auditors need to assess both in order to make recommendations concerning final indirect expense rates.
The remaining portion of 10 USC 190 dealing with the Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board has been retained.