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Next GBG Educational Opportunity

Website of the Month

Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy
http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/ As states on the website- “DPAP is responsible for all acquisition and procurement policy matters in the Department of Defense (DoD). The DPAP office serves as the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L), Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (A&T), and the Defense Acquisition Board on acquisition/procurement strategies for all major weapon systems programs, major automated information systems programs, and services acquisitions.”

This website will provide contracts the tools to see out acquisition policies are made and any new regulations in the works.  NACM-GBG watches this site weekly so GBG members can be up-to-date on the latest acquisition initiatives in the works.  GBG also has contacts within the OSD organization to explain and allow us to weigh in on considered policy changes.

Did you know?

DFAS Columbus Next Open House is set for August 12 for vendors.  This is a great opportunity for DoD vendors to see the process of invoice pay from submission to payment.

The Open House agenda will include briefings and discussions on:

  • Contract Pay Overview
  • Vendor Pay Overview
  • Electronic Commerce Initiatives (EC)
  • myInvoice
  • Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
  • Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)
  • Other applicable topics

Location: DFAS Columbus; Columbus, Ohio

Cost: There is no registration fee or conference fee associated with this event. Attendees are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Registration: Early registration is encouraged. Send your e-mail request to: CCO-DFAS-OPENHOUSE@DFAS.MIL

 

Presenter: Eric Self, Vice President - Program Management, OB10

Title: Myth Busting B2B e-Invoicing

Have you been asked by an important customer to join an e-Invoicing network?  If you have Fortune 1000 customers, you certainly will soon.  In fact, according to Paystream Advisors, 78% of Accounts Payable organizations in large and medium sized companies cite e-Invoicing as their top automation goal in 2009.   In response to this demand, several large e-Invoicing networks - such as OB10 - are gaining traction by enabling organizations to receive invoices from suppliers without having to agree on complex EDI specifications.

What does this mean for you?  How do you use this change to your advantage?  This session will set the record straight by debunking some common myths around the move to e-Invoicing.  After the session, you will better understand the impact of these initiatives on your organization and how to leverage these programs to your own advantage.  Don’t miss this informative session from one of the experts in the e-Invoicing industry.

Date: Monday, July 27, 2009
Time: 3:00 – 4:00pm EST
Cost: $39.95 for GBG members;
$49.95 for non-GBG members
*per phone line

Click here to register now.

Government Ratifications

Webster states that to ratify means “to approve something in an official way.” According to the Federal Acquisition Regulation subpart 1.602-3 Ratification of unauthorized commitments.

(a) Definitions.

“Ratification,” as used in this subsection, means the act of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the authority to do so.

“Unauthorized commitment,” as used in this subsection, means an agreement that is not binding solely because the Government representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the Government.

(b) Policy.

(1) Agencies should take positive action to preclude, to the maximum extent possible, the need for ratification actions. Although procedures are provided in this section for use in those cases where the ratification of an unauthorized commitment is necessary, these procedures may not be used in a manner that encourages such commitments being made by Government personnel.

(2) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the head of the contracting activity, unless a higher level official is designated by the agency, may ratify an unauthorized commitment.

(3) The ratification authority in paragraph (b)(2) of this subsection may be delegated in accordance with agency procedures, but in no case shall the authority be delegated below the level of chief of the contracting office.

(4) Agencies should process unauthorized commitments using the ratification authority of this subsection instead of referring such actions to the Government Accountability Office for resolution. (See 1.602-3(d).)

(5) Unauthorized commitments that would involve claims subject to resolution under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 should be processed in accordance with Subpart 33.2, Disputes and Appeals.

(c) Limitations. The authority in paragraph (b)(2) of this subsection may be exercised only when—

(1) Supplies or services have been provided to and accepted by the Government, or the Government otherwise has obtained or will obtain a benefit resulting from performance of the unauthorized commitment;

(2) The ratifying official has the authority to enter into a contractual commitment;

(3) The resulting contract would otherwise have been proper if made by an appropriate contracting officer;

(4) The contracting officer reviewing the unauthorized commitment determines the price to be fair and reasonable;

(5) The contracting officer recommends payment and legal counsel concurs in the recommendation, unless agency procedures expressly do not require such concurrence;

(6) Funds are available and were available at the time the unauthorized commitment was made; and

(7) The ratification is in accordance with any other limitations prescribed under agency procedures.

(d) Nonratifiable commitments. Cases that are not ratifiable under this subsection may be subject to resolution as recommended by the Government Accountability Office under its claim procedure (GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 4, Chapter 2), or as authorized by FAR Subpart 50.1. Legal advice should be obtained in these cases.

A typical government explanation to a simple term.  To put it in contractor friendly words: ratifications on a contract must be done if goods or services were delivered without a contact. A contract allocates money, if there is not a contract, money may not have been allocated and this leaves the seller waiting for a contract to be written and approved before payment.  The vendor is not subject for interest, as the payment is not considered late.

Contract Closeouts, Is this Really Important?

The Closeout is the last action the Contracting Officer is responsible for.  Often it is not a high priority however if closeout is done on the government side it can holdup any final payment issues and property reconciliation.  What does Closeout mean?

  • Verifies that the contract is physically complete
  • Verifies that the government and the contractor have satisfied other terms and conditions for closeout
  • Verified that there are no outstanding claims or disputes
  • Makes final payment and deobligate remaining funds

According to FAR Part 4- federal agencies have their own closeout procedures and it is the governments responsibility to closeout contracts.  The contractor can help with this process by writing:”LAST INVOICE” on the last invoice under that contract number.  If the contract has not been paid and you still have unresolved payment issues, these need to be addressed as soon as possible.  The vendor does have the right to reopen a closed contract if payments are still due.  FAR 4.804-1 through 4.804-5 can provide additional information on contract closeouts.

Upcoming August Issue:

Information will include Small Business Information, scoop on the GBG OB10 Teleconference, Introduction to the FAR, and more.

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