Category Archives: Government Accountability Office

GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 (GAO-14-276SP)

By: Bryant Le

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) annually reports to Congress a summary of its bid protest activity. Per the requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), the GAO must report each instance where a Government agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by the GAO in connection with a bid protest decision.

In its report for FY 2013 (GAO-14-276SP), the GAO discloses data regarding bid protest filings and, for the first time, the most prevalent grounds for the GAO to sustain protests. Below is a chart of bid protest statistics for the previous two fiscal years and a summary of the FY 2013 report.

Continue reading GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 (GAO-14-276SP)

GovCon Research Report: Volume 2, Issue 3

July–September 2013

Berkeley Research Group’s Government Contracts Advisory Services (GCAS) practice keeps its clients up to date on the latest regulatory developments affecting the government contracts industry.

The sixth edition of the GovCon Research Report summarizes the critical regulatory and compliance issues contractors faced in the third calendar quarter of 2013. The issues are summarized by the following key subject-matter areas:

  • Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
  • Office of Inspector General Reports
  • Key Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Updates
  • Key Defense Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) Updates
  • Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Guidance
  • Small Business Administration Updates
  • Key Office of Management and Budget Updates

To read the full report, click here.

GovCon Research Report: Volume 2, Issue 2

April–June 2013

Berkeley Research Group’s Government Contracts Advisory Services (GCAS) practice keeps its clients up to date on the latest regulatory developments affecting the government contracts industry. This edition of the GovCon Research Report summarizes the critical regulatory and compliance issues contractors faced in the second calendar quarter of 2013. The issues are summarized by the following key subject-matter areas:

  • GSA Matters
  • DoD Office of Inspector General Reports
  • Pertinent Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit Reports
  • Key Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Updates
  • Key Defense Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) Updates
  • Latest on Sequestration and Government Spending

To read the full report, click here.

GovCon Research Report: Volume 2, Issue 1

Berkeley Research Group’s Government Contracts Advisory Services (GCAS) practice keeps its clients up to date on the latest regulatory developments affecting the government contracts industry. This edition of the GovCon Research Report summarizes the critical regulatory and compliance issues contractors faced in the first calendar quarter of 2013. The issues are summarized by the following key subject-matter areas:

  • GSA and VA Schedule Matters
  • Office of Inspector General Reports
  • Pertinent Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit Reports
  • OMB Proposed Guidance
  • Key Federal Aquisition Regulation (FAR) Updates
  • Key Defense Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) Updates
  • Latest on Sequestration and Government Spending
  • Other News

To read the full report, click here.

GAO Audit Report

By: Mary Karen Wills

GAO-13-131: DoD Initiative to Address Audit Backlog Shows Promise, but Additional Management Attention Needed to Close Aging Contracts

The Senate Armed Services Committee Report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the criteria and procedures for conducting incurred cost audits. This audit stems from the large volume of contracts that the Department of Defense (DoD) has not closed out on a timely basis. Closing contracts within a required time frame can limit the government’s exposure to certain financial risk. One reason why contracts are not being closed timely is the large backlog of incurred cost audits that must be completed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). GAO assessed DCAA’s efforts underway to reduce the backlog of incurred cost audits and the challenges DoD faces in addressing the contract closeout backlog.

DCAA implemented an initiative that revised its focus on performing high-dollar-value or high-risk-incurred cost audits. The thresholds were raised from $15 million to $250 million for an automatic audit of incurred costs. DCAA revised its high-risk criteria and reduced the number of low-risk audits that would be randomly sampled. GAO found this initiative promising, but found that the DCAA has not fully developed the measures by which it will assess whether this initiative is reducing the backlog in a way that protects taxpayers’ interests. GAO recommended that DCAA develop a plan with time frames and measures to assess its progress toward achieving these objectives.

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GAO Review of Contractor Employee Compensation

By: Mary Karen Wills

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is performing a review of government contractor employee compensation. The report is due to Congress by May 2, 2013. Congress has requested that the GAO assess the impact of proposed regulations included in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would further cap-allowable executive compensation for contractors. GAO must assess the potential impact of a new cap on the contractor industry base. In addition, GAO will assess the inconsistencies of current caps on executive compensation across federal agencies.

GAO is currently soliciting input. To provide comments, go to http://www.gao.gov/

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Berkeley Research Group, LLC.

DoD’s Implementation of Justification for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts

By: Kelly Lynch

In recent years, oversight and scrutiny have increased on the award of sole-source contracts to 8(a) firms. Before 2009, no Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirement was in place for documented justification when awarding a contract greater than $20 million to an 8(a) firm using non-competitive means. The timeline of the key changes to this process is as follows:

  • October 2009: The FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 811, required that the FAR be revised to include the requirement that written justification be provided for sole-source awards to 8(a) firms. See full text of the article: FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act
  • March 2011: The FAR was updated to reflect the requirement set forth in the FY 2010 NDAA. Agencies were required to implement the new justification requirement. The FAR requires that, as a minimum, the justification include five criteria:
    • Description of the needs of the agency concerned for the matters covered by the contract
    • Specification of the statutory provision providing the exception from the requirement to use competitive procedures in entering into the contract
    • Determination that the use of a sole-source contract is in the best interest of the agency concerned
    • Determination that the anticipated cost of the contract will be fair and reasonable
    • Such other matters as the head of the agency concerned shall specify for purposes of this section

    Continue reading DoD’s Implementation of Justification for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts