Accounting System, Cost And Accounting, DCAA Relations, Running Your Business

Choosing Sides

May 5, 2013

Last year I turned down work from a contractor who left me with the impression that the principal lacked a commitment to both accountability and transparency in their work with the government. It is critical to remember we are talking about tax dollars in government contracting. It is not the contractor’s money until DCMA makes a final decision based on the contractor’s accountability.

The principal of this contractor bragged about how they had bullied a DCAA auditor out of the contractor’s office and how the DCAA auditor could not even read a “basic trail and ballance chart done manually”. The contract had been awarded despite this and they just wanted me to handle the billing and submit whatever they provided me.

Anyone else filled with a trepidation and wonder?

I declined the work telling the contractor the following:

“I am sorry but I do not believe I am in a position to help you. I am glad you won the first round with DCAA but there are many future rounds to follow. With a million dollars in taxpayer’s money at risk, I imagine DCAA will be knocking at your door for Incurred Cost Proposal Submissions, rate estimates, invoice, audits, and a post award accounting system audit. I simply do not see the commitment to accountability that would allow me to take any responsibility for billing”.

And the story does not end here.

The contractor sent me a reply saying he was sorry this “scared” me. I discussed the situation, without names, with a friend of mine. She proved indignant on my behalf, “Scared? You are an ex infantry sergeant who served with the 82nd Airborne Division, how dare he accuse you of being scared!”

I smiled at her, shook my head and told her “Of course I was scared, but not of DCAA. I was scared of him”.

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