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  • Question

    I understand the TINA cert is to be obtained as close as practicable to the date when the price negotiations were concluded and the contract price was agreed to, but how long is too long? We have subcontractors that take several weeks or more to do sweeps and sign the cert.


    Answer

    1. The FAR references quoted below in pertinent part are applicable to this response.

    FAR 15.406-2 -- Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data
    This is to certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the cost or pricing data (as defined in section 2.101 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and required under FAR subsection 15.403-4) submitted, either actually or by specific identification in writing, to ____ in support of ____are accurate, complete, and current as of ____** Insert the day, month, and year when price negotiations were concluded and price agreement was reached.

    Date of execution ____________________ *** Insert the day, month, and year of signing, which should be as close as practicable to the date when the price negotiations were concluded and the contract price was agreed to.

    FAR 52.215-13 -- Subcontractor Certified Cost or Pricing Data – Modifications
    (c) The Contractor shall require the subcontractor to certify in substantially the form prescribed in FAR 15.406-2 that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, the data submitted under paragraph (b) of this clause were accurate, complete, and current as of the date of agreement on the negotiated price of the subcontract or subcontract modification.

    (d) The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (d), in each subcontract that exceeds the threshold for submission of certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-4 on the date of agreement on price or the date of award, whichever is later.

    FAR 52.232-16 -- Progress Payments
    (c) Reduction or suspension. The Contracting Officer may reduce or suspend progress payments, increase the rate of liquidation, or take a combination of these actions, after finding on substantial evidence any of the following conditions:
      (1) The Contractor failed to comply with any material requirement of this contract … .

    2. In direct response to this inquiry, our research could find no recognized standards as to “How long is too long to wait to get the TINA cert from my subcontractor?” This is not surprising because the condition set forth in FAR 15.406-2 that the certificate’s Date of Execution “should be as close as practicable to the date when the price negotiations were concluded and the contract price was agreed to” is highly dependent upon the dollar amount and complexity of the particular acquisition.

    3. For example, it would be “practicable” in an acquisition in the amount of $760,000 which consists of labor costs only that a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data should be submitted in a very short period of time after the conclusion of negotiations. As opposed to an acquisition valued at millions of dollars involving a significant amount of material, purchased parts and/or subcontracts which would require an analysis of how many of these items were converted from quotes to firm purchase orders during negotiations. This situation would normally require a significantly longer period of time than in the previous example for the preparation and submission of the required certificate.

    4. Based on the above, if the acquisition in question involves the negotiation of a new subcontract, then one viable option might be to provide some sort of positive incentive to the firm that would encourage the submittal of its Certificate of Current Cost and Pricing Data on a more expedited basis (e.g., perhaps a small increase to the negotiated profit or fee that could be justified to the customer Contracting Officer). However, if the acquisition in question involves a modification to an existing subcontract, then pursuant to FAR 52.215-13(d), the subcontract should already contain this clause as a flow down requirement

    5. In that case, then the prime contractor may be able to use other existing subcontract terms to enforce a more reasonable time period for the submittal of the subcontractor’s Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data. For example, if the subcontract is fixed-price where progress payments are being made according to similar provisions as those set forth in FAR 52.232-16(c)(1), then the prime contractor may be able to withhold progress payments to the subcontractor due to failure to comply with a material requirement of the subcontract on a timely basis, thereby providing for a negative incentive to encourage earlier submittal of its certificate upon completion of price negotiations.



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