One of the most controversial areas in government contracting surrounds cost and pricing: the means by which a contracting officer makes a “fair and reasonable” price determination. This can be expensive to bidders, especially if they are required to provide “certified cost and pricing data” and respond to Defense Contract Audit Agency or contracting officer questions. Recent inspector general reports have highlighted the problem.
Commercial companies don’t have similar requirements and aren’t structured for it. They maintain that creating such cost-accounting compliance would incur extra overhead costs, drive up prices, and hurt them competitively. Contractor concerns involve onerous government requirements, inapplicability, and potentially abandoning the government market.
Perhaps the biggest difference between government and commercial buying practices is symbolized in the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA). Its main intent is to ensure accuracy of a contractor’s costs before negotiating with the government and includes providing government access to all cost or pricing data the contractor used to develop its offer. If the cost rises and the bidder is found to have withheld any data, the government can get back the added costs.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140826/BLG06/308260017/The-complications-cost-pricing