Case Study 1-1 Review
The Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation (FPDS–NG) provides visibility into all federal contract sourcing with contractors. This Internet-based system offers both the public and the federal government with a self-service, real-time, searchable storehouse of information on non-classified contracts with third-party vendors.
The Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) provides the public transparency of the use of federal funds, as prime contractors issue subawards under federal contracts. Visit www.fsrs.gov for more information regarding the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System.
The General Services Administration (GSA) purchased supplies from an NACM member in June 2009. The company sent the product, which was accepted. The company invoiced GSA, which it paid in full.
In July 2011, GSA deducted payment for the above contract.
When the contractor called GSA customer service they were told that GSA cancelled the ordered and they would need to provide a copy of the POD before a claim could be filed for payment. The company no longer had the POD on file and could not obtain one from the national carrier. The contract did have a copy of the packing slip to show where and when the product was shipped.
Question: GSA stated that its records show that the POD was cancelled in July 2010, and without a copy of the POD, it was allowed to deduct for payment made to the contract. Does GSA have the right to make a deduction on an invoice that was paid two years before the deduction date and now requests POD before a claim can be made?
Answer: Yes, GSA may deduct payment from current invoices. Rules for payments can be found in FAR section 52.232. The federal government has the right to reverse payments for approximately six years, the same amount of time a contractor has to request a payment from a federal agency. (Provided the contractor has all the required proof of nonpayment including contract, invoice and signed POD.)
Small Business Administration and Department of Defense Working Together for You
The SBA and DoD have teamed up to accelerate small business payments. The change to Subpart 219 of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) will allow DoD to accelerate payments to small businesses once all required documents have been received. The modification to DFARS will be a large boost to small businesses as it can be a lengthy process to prove all DOD requirements prior to payment.
When are the changes expected? It is not enough to modify DFARS, but updates to payment systems would also be needed. Some of the payment systems have been updated to accelerate small business payments.
- Mechanization of Contract Administration Services (MOCAS)
- Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)
- Standard Automated Voucher Examination System (SAVES)
Other payment systems are in the process of modifications.
Proposed Rule on FAR Privacy Training 2010-013
DoD, GSA and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require contractors to complete training that addresses the protection of privacy, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, and the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information.
The proposed rule would add a new subpart to the FAR entitled "Privacy Training." Contractors would need to identify employees that have access to government records and provide records that annual training has been provided to those employees. Requirements on the training will be provided by the government to ensure consistency by every contractor.
Under the proposed FAR rule, a contractor employee who requires access to a government system of records will be granted or allowed to retain such access only if the individual has (1) completed privacy training, and (2) met all other applicable agency requirements.
The proposed change includes agency-provided privacy training and the responsibility of federal agencies to ensure that government and contractor personnel are instructed on compliance requirements pertaining to the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information.
At this time, only certain contracts will be subject to the privacy training, but, as with any government change, the rule usually grows as time goes on.
If you would like to read the entire proposed rule or make a comment, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FAR-2010-0013-0001.