Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What is CBAR (Contract Business Analysis Repository)?

The Contract Business Analysis Repository (CBAR) is Defense Department database that collects business system information on its contractors. The information is not available to the public and even contractors, baring a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act) have difficulty in finding out exactly the information that DoD is collecting on them.

The CBAR system was created prior to 2010 but significantly enhanced in 2012 to collect the following information.

  • Indirect and direct cost information (e.g. forward pricing rates).
  • Status of contractor business systems (e.g. accounting and estimating systems)
  • Status of compliance with CAS (Cost Accounting Standards)
  • Information about costs and financial condition of the parent entity of major corporations

It also includes contracting officer's negotiation experiences with contractors so that those experiences can be shared among contracting officers negotiating with the same contractor. DoD feels that sharing experiences will result in contracting officers being better prepared for realizing better deals for the Government.

We don't know the number of DoD personnel with access to CBAR. In 2013, the number was reported at 1,900 users though by now, that figure has probably grown.

There have been instances where CBAR information is not up to date. Like all databases, procedures need to be in place to ensure that data is current, complete, and accurate. So, for example, the Government might identify deficiencies in a contractor's estimating system and report those deficiencies in the CBAR system. Meanwhile, the contractors makes the required corrective actions and the Government considers those actions to be responsive but fails to update the CBAR system. Whatever procedures DoD has in place to ensure the accuracy of CBAR data does not always work in a timely manner.

Contractors should know what information is being collected about the company to ensure its accuracy. Start by asking your contracting officer to provide you such information. Many contracting officers will oblige. If that fails, try the FOIA route.

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