Happy Fiscal New Year: May All Your Invoices Be Paid On Time!
www.dfas.mil has a new look. The Defense Finance Acquisition and Services website has a great new layout. Check out the Contractors & Vendor page for current information. Included on the website are informational materials that are now just clicks away. For example, need to find a government acronym , wondering about a WAWF Reject Request, need information from the Contract and Vendor Payment Information Guidebook? You can easily find all the information you need on the user-friendly website.
As we move into the next fiscal year, it's a good time for a refresher on government contracting.
Anti-Deficiency Act: If the contracting officer awards a contract and there are insufficient funds, he or she may be personally responsible for payment.
FAR 52.246-2 (b-d): Contractor adapts to the government.
Unilateral. Issued by the contracting officer and signed only by the contracting officer.
Bilateral. Negotiated and signed by both the contracting officer and the contractor.
Closeout. Federal agencies can have their own closeout procedures. Check with the agency that holds your contract for the correct procedure.
Disputes clause. Found in FAR 33.2-15. The Contract Disputes Act of 1978 established the Board of Contract Appeals.
Government purchase card. Similar to a commercial credit card, issued to authorized agency officials for their use in acquiring supplies and services (FAR 13.101). FYI, most purchase cards are set at per-day limits. If you try to charge in the afternoon and it is rejected, try again in the morning before calling.
Protest. A protest must be submitted by an interested party in writing, protesting an agency solicitation for offers, the cancellation of a solicitation, or the award or proposed award of a contract (FAR 33.101).
Progress payment. A payment made as costs are incurred by the contractor while work progresses under the contract (FAR 32.102-b).
Inspection. Examining and testing supplies or services to determine whether they conform to contract requirements (FAR 46.101).
Case Study 1-1
Scenario: 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 GSA 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 order 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 vendor did, however, have a copy of the packing slip to show where and when the product was shipped.
GSA customer service directed the vendor to a specific ACO (authorized contract officer). This ACO stated that they were not at the appropriate ACO level and that the vendor would need to contact the procuring agency on the contract. The vendor called the number of the ACO on the contract. This person stated that they were not the correct contact and the vendor would need to call another ACO and provided that information (which turned out to be the person that told them they were not at the correct level to help).
Question: The GSA stated that its records show that the POD was cancelled in July 2010 and, without a copy of the POD, they were allowed to deduct for payment made to the contract. Does the GSA have the right to make a deduction on an invoice that was paid two years before the deduction date and now requests a POD before a claim can be made? Answer will be in the November GBG Newsletter.