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GAO Ruling Supports GSA Decision that Favors DCAA Accounting System Audits Over Private Firm Audits

A recent GSA RFP awarded 9.15%  (7,600 out of 83,100 points) of possible RFP scoring points for approved accounting and purchasing systems, systems approved by DCAA or another government agency. The approval of the critical systems by private accounting firms did not receive any points.

Evolver and AFSC challenge the agency’s basis for assigning certain points.  Specifically, both Evolver and AFSC challenge the RFP provision that, in order to be awarded 5,500 points for an “audited/adequate cost accounting system,” an offeror’s proposal must include proof of a federally audited and approved accounting system.  The firms maintain that this requirement is overly restrictive of competition, as there are independent public accounting firms that can verify the adequacy of an offeror’s accounting system for federal contracts.  The firms further argue that proof of an acceptable system should not be required with proposal submission; rather, proof should be provided only at the time the government actually requires the service for which the certification is necessary.”

Here is GAO ruling:

“Under these circumstances, where the agency can reasonably anticipate that DOD will be the prime user of the Alliant 2 GWAC, and where DOD does not accept third party certification of a contractor’s cost accounting system, we find nothing improper about the solicitation’s provision that gives an evaluation preference to firms that have a federally audited and approved accounting system.”

Now here is the troubling part of the ruling:

 “In this regard, the agency explains that allowing firms to accrue points in this manner helps to provide a GWAC where successful offerors have experience in government contracting.  In addition, successful offerors will be able to perform cost-reimbursement task orders for DOD from the first day the GWAC is awarded, and procuring agencies issuing task orders under the GWAC will not have to waste time and resources while vendors subsequently obtain an audited and approved system.  Id.  Given this explanation by the agency, we find nothing improper about the solicitation’s approach of awarding points to offerors that have proof of an audited system at the time of contract award.” (emphasis added).

Gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a contractor could just call DCAA and schedule an accounting system audit?

http://www.gao.gov/products/B-413559.2,B-413559.8#mt=e-report

 

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4 thoughts on “GAO Ruling Supports GSA Decision that Favors DCAA Accounting System Audits Over Private Firm Audits

  1. Anthony DeStefano, CPA says:

    You say it would be wonderful if a contractor can contact DCAA and schedule an accounting system audit. Can they? Why not? At the very least, they can contact their ACOs and ask them to schedule an audit. I think DCAA would respond to this. The problem is how long will it take DCAA to do these audits in time for proposal submission.

    • Anthony, contractors are not authorized to spend the government’s money at their discretion and the procedures are pretty well defined. Look at this instruction sheet at DCAA’s website: http://www.dcaa.mil/Requesting_an_Audit_from_DCAA.pdf.

      First, you need a government contract to get an ACO, second, ACO’s do not normally order accounting system audit at the taxpayer’s expense without an awarded or contemplated contract vehicle.

      I actually find DCAA quicker on accounting system audits than most other procedures, specifically incurred cost proposals.

  2. Pingback: GAO Turns Left at Albuquerque and I Did Not Even Get the Chance to Wave…. | DCAA Compliance

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