June 05, 2014

Is finally disappearing from CPSRs? A recent review would suggest ... yes!

The DCMA-enforced CPSR requirement that contractors check prior to subcontract award has always bothered me. Not because it's not a good business practice, but because contractor checks are not a requirement per FAR Part 52.209-6. Because debarment is a public law, a DCMA finding of noncompliance with the (imaginary from a regulatory perspective) requirement can lead to system failure without additional findings. 

So I was very pleasantly surprised (and a bit shocked) to learn recently that this may all be changing. I helped with a recent CPSR (ended two weeks ago) where the team suggested that checks are no longer a CPSR requirement.

According to the team lead, "current guidance from DCMA management" is that contractors should be obtaining day-of-award certifications for the following public laws at the following thresholds:

Debarment certification: $30K
DPAS acknowledgement: $75K
Payments to Influence: $150K

Day-of-award means just that - the certification has to be incorporated into the award document so that it is active for the life of the order. Incorporation can be accomplished two ways (according to the team): (1) on the face of the document; or (2) by incorporating valid Reps and Certs into the order by reference. Bottom line here - POs need to be bilaterally executed or cert obtained from the sub via email on the day of award. The "email cert" was suggested as an option by the team lead, however I would recommend signature to ensure completion from a process perspective.

According to the team lead, and the results of the review, contractors are now required to obtain day-of-award certs but are not required to document a check at any point during the procurement activity. During this review, the contractor files had two (2) day of award debarment checks out of a population of 86; the vast majority of files (50+) did not include any documentation (other than a memo I put together arguing 52.209-6 compliance was accomplished via executed cert in contractor Reps and Certs). 

The contractor received no significant findings and two (2) minor findings regarding obtaining day-of certs and terms and conditions update. The lack of certs was a minor finding because the contractor maintained valid Reps & Certs for all awards with a total value exceeding $30K.