Complying with and Impressing the DCAA
Commercial versus Government Contracting – In a commercial contract, the deliverable is a package of goods and services. In a government contract, another ingredient is added for the contractor: Administrative reporting to assure that costs billed to the contract are allowable by the government. “Reporting” in this case means not only routinely submitted reports such as justification for contract billing, but also the ability to produce on-demand responses to government auditors’ request for information.
The DCAA’s heaviest scrutiny falls on contracts with cost reimbursable provisions including cost-plus, T&M, and yes, even selected types of fixed type contracts. Failure to comply has significant penalties, risks and costs for contractors.
To improve change of winning a government contract and performing acceptably, a contractor should move to incorporate DCAA compliance into its pre and post-proposal planning. Before the award, the contractor may need to devote extensive resources to justify its proposed costs. In the post-award phase, a first-time government contractor may need to implement processes for entirely new reporting requirements.
Generally, to comply with DCAA standards, a contractor must:
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