Last year when the economy “tanked” many small businesses looked to the one customer that was still spending money, the Federal Government.
DCAA COMPLIANCE BLOG
Your Source for DCAA News and Government Contracting Information
We are continuing to see more discussion about the DCAA and whether or not it should continue to function out of the Department of Defense or whether it should be it's own independent agency. One side says that there is a conflict of interest of sorts. The DCAA lacks independence over the contractors that it oversees because the Defense Department is doing business with those contractors. They further believe that pressure from outside groups is the reason for shoddy audit practices and approval of substandard systems. This seems to be supported by the fact that when the GAO reviewed 69 audits performed between 2004 & 2006 they found that 65 of these audits were faulty in some regard. This has caused the DCAA to issue "get tough" messages to their auditors (see our blogs; "DCAA to get tougher (again) and may become more influential" and "DCAA 2008 Year End Guidance - Happy Holidays, Government Contractors"). There are several US senators, namely Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Olka. and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., that want to re-design the DCAA and make them an autonomous agency to cure the problems. The comptroller of the Pentagon, Robert Hale, strongly opposes this move and feels that the DCAA should continue to report to him. The DCAA itself has not only issued the above referenced "get tough" directives to their auditors but they are also prioritzing their audit plan for 2010 to focus on high-risk, high-dollar value audits. They also have changed the way they evaluate their auditors, focusing more on adherence to audit standards than to the number of audits performed. All auditors have also been given refresher training focusing on increasing the quality of the audits.
What is a PTAC?
A PTAC is an outreach activity co-funded by the Department of Defense, state and local economic development groups, and private donations. It provides free services to government contractors related to business development, business management, and other issues facing firms in the government contract environment. It is this focus on government contracting that distinguishes it from the bulk of fee services provided the SBA, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives).
Think of the PTAC as the center of gravity for
A key service of Colorado PTAC, as it is with others across the country, will be business development. It plans to provide sophisticated tools to enable businesses to sift through the enormous amount of solicitations released each day by federal, state, and local governments. Assistance will be offered in identifying critical processes for responding to solicitations and where additional resources can be acquired.
In a similar way, the PTAC can advise firms on the risks and responsibilities when contracting with government entities.
Finally, firms can rely on the PTAC for recommendations on meeting minimum requirements for management systems such as finance and accounting, program management, pricing support, and the like.
Why promote PTAC?
We feel free services offered through PTAC and other organizations are invaluable, especially for firms new to government contracting. We view this market as very lucrative if you have solid products and services the government needs. Government rules can be onerous and arcane, so an educated client makes all our efforts easier.
Check the Association of PTAC’s website (http://www.aptac-us.org/new/) for the latest updates.