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Performance Based Payments Guide

Although Performance Based Payments (PBPs) have been authorized for use as a type of customary contract financing since 1996, most contracting and acquisition ...




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2014 Performance Based Payments Guide The Better Buying Power Ini tiative This guide provides assistance to users based on lessons learned over the past fifteen years in contracting of Performance Based Payments. Defense Procu rement and Acq uisition Policy Cost, Pricing, and Finance Performance Based Payments Guide Table of Contents Introduction ........................................ ........................................ .................................... 1 Chapter 1. Contract Financing Basics FAR Part 32 ........................................ ......... 2 A. What is Contract Financing ........................................ ........................................ ......... 2 B. Purpose and Scope of Contract Financing ........................................ ......................... 2 C. Order of Preference ........................................ ........................................ ................... 2 D. Customary Contract Financing ........................................ ........................................ ... 3 E. A Contract Cannot Use Both Progress Payments and PBPs ..................................... 3 F. Changing Financing Methods ........................................ ........................................ ..... 4 Chapter 2. Performance-Based Payments Basics ........................................ ............5 A. What are PBPS?... ........................................ ........................................ ...................... 5 B. PBP Limitation ........................................ ........................................ ............................ 5 Chapter 3. Why Use PBPs? Expected 6 A. Expected Advantage: Enhanced Technical and Schedule Focus ............................... 6 B. Expected Advantage: Reduced Cost of Oversight and Administ ration ....................... 6 C. Expected Advantage: Broadened Contractor Participation ........................................ . 7 D. Expected Advantage: Potentially Improved Cash Flow for the 7 E. Win-Win: Lower Price in Exchange for Better Cash Flow ........................................ .. 7 F. The PBP Analysis Tool ........................................ ........................................ ............... 8 Chapter 4. Determining When PBPs Are 10 A. General Considerations ........................................ ........................................ ............. 10 B. Production Contracts ........................................ ........................................ ................. 10 C. Service 11 D. Development Contract s ........................................ ........................................ ............. 11 E. Undefinitized Contract Acti ons (UCAs) ........................................ .............................. 12 F. Competiti ve Solicitations ........................................ ........................................ ............ 12 Chapter 5. PBP Planning ........................................ ........................................ .............. 13 A. PBP Steps ........................................ ........................................ ................................. 13 B. Contractor Perso nnel ........................................ ........................................ ................. 14 C. Government Personnel ........................................ ........................................ .............. 14 1. Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA).................................. ........... 14 2. Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).................................. ........................ 14 3. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) ........................................ .. 14 Chapter 6. Identifying PBP Events ........................................ ...................................... 15 Chapter 7. Establishing Completion Criteria for PBP Events ................................... 18 A. What is Completion, and Is There Any Flexibility? ........................................ .......... 18 B. Be Aware of Unintended Conse quences ........................................ ........................... 20 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 8. The Importance of the Expenditure Profile ........................................ ..... 21 Evaluating the Expenditure Profile ........................................ ..................................... 21 Chapter 9. Establishing PBP Event ........................................ .................................... 23 A. Value of a PBP Event ........................................ ........................................ .............. 24 B. Special Considerations with Severable 25 Chapter 10. PBP Contract Special 26 Chapter 11. Processing 27 A. 27 B. Title to Property Acq uired or Produced by Contractors ........................................ ...... 27 Chapter 12. Contract Changes and 28 Appendix. PBP Evaluation 29 Performance Based Payments Guide 1 Introduction Although Performance Based Payments (PBPs) have been authorized for use as a type of customary contract financing since 1996, most contracting and acquisition professionals are not familiar with the steps necessary to create an effective PBP arrangement. Unlik e progress payments which are incorporated by simply including the appropriate clause, PBPs require considerable thought and effort on both sides to construct the detailed PBP arrangement that will be documented in a special provisi on in the contract. The purpose of this guide is to provide assistance to users based on lessons learned over the years. It is important for users to read the entire guide because of the interrelationship of the topics covered. Performance Based Payments Guide 2 Chapter 1 Contract Financing Basics FAR Part 32 Since Performance Based Payments (PBPs) are a form of contract financing it is important to understand the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) requirements and guidance regarding contract financing. A. What is Contract Financing? Contract Financing is covered in FAR Part 32 and is defined as the Government authorized payment of funds to the contractor prior to acceptance of supplies or services by the Government. Contract financing does not include invoice payments, payments for partial acceptance or lease or rental payments. Payments of invoices on cost-type contracts are not considered contract financing. Therefore, contract financing only applies to fixed-price contracts. B. Purpose and Scope of Contract Financing The purpose of contract financing is to assist the contractor in paying costs incurred during the performance of the contract. FAR (a)(1) states that when contract financing is provided it should be provided only to the extent actually needed for prompt and efficient performance. C. Order of Preference It should be noted that in the FAR order of preference for contract financing, the first preference is that no Government financing be provided and that the contractor obtain private contract financing without Government guarantee. It should also be noted that except for two certain situations involving non-profit educational or research institutions or the management and operation of Government-owned facilit ies, advance payments are the least preferred method. The order of preference for contract financing is as follows: (a) Private financing without Government guarantee (b) Customary contract financing other than loan guarantees and ce rtain advance payments (see FAR ) (c) Loan guarantees (d) Unusual contract financing (se e FAR ) (e) Advance payments (se e exceptions in FAR (b)) Performance Based Payments Guide 3 From a business perspective, the FAR order of preference is entirely logical. Any prudent buyer would prefer to pay the seller only upon deliv ery. Payment only upon deliv ery is less costly and less risky for the buyer and provides the maximum motivation for the seller to deliv er the item or service as soon as possible. Likewise, the least preferred method is advance payments where the Government pays in advance of work being accomplis hed. These basic business concepts are important to keep in mind in any discussions of financing in general and PBPs in particular. Although the first preference is that no Government contract financing be provided, the Government provides contract financing on the vast majority of fixed-price, non-commercial contracts when deliv eries are scheduled to begin six months or more after contract award. FAR states that the need for contract financing is not to be considered a handicap for contract award. When financing is provided it is almost always in the form of customary contract financing. D. Customary Contract Financing FAR describes what can be considered to be customary contract financing methods for various types of goods and services. The financing method most commonly used to date has been customary Progress Payments based on cost which is covered in FAR Part Performance-Based Payments (PBPs) are also a customary form of contract financing and are co vered in FAR Part FAR Part states that PBPs are the preferred Government financing method when: the contracting officer finds them practical and the contract or agrees to their use . It is important to note that PBPs are only the preferred method when they are deemed practical by the co ntracti ng officer. FAR implicitly reco gnizes that PBPs will not be practi cal for all contracts. E. A Contract Cannot Use Both Progress Payments and PBPs A contract (or individual order under an indefinite-deliv ery contract) can use either progress payments or PBPs but not both. A contract or individual order cannot use progress payments for one line item and PBPs for another. However, a contract or individual order can be modified to change the contract financing method from progress payments to PBPs but both types cannot be used at the same time. Performance Based Payments Guide 4 F. Changing Financing Methods Remember that when a contract financing method is changed to a method that is more favorable to the contractor, adequate new consideration to the Government is required under FAR Part Performance Based Payments Guide 5 Chapter 2 Performance Based Payments Basics A. What Are PBPs? PBPs are financing payments based upon the achievement of specific, measurable events or accomplis hments that are defined and valued in advance by the parties to the contract. PBPs are: a customary method of contract financing fully recoverable in the event of default PBPs are not: payment for accepted goods or services payments for partial deliveries payments based solely on incurrence of costs an incentive arrangement Per the FAR, PBPs can be made on the basis of performance measured by objecti ve and quantifiable methods, accomplishment of defined events or other quantifiable measures of resu lts. For ease of understanding, this guide will refer to events as the basis for PBPs. PBPs can be established on a whole-contract or line item basis. When established on a line item basis, each PBP event must be associated with a specific line item. B. PBP Limitation Total PBPs on a contract cannot exceed 90% of the contract price, if on the whole contract or 90% of the line item price if on a lin e item basis. It is important to note that 90% is the maximum that can be provided and not the default level of PBP financing. In order to establis h PBP financi ng, the parties must identify and agree upfront on what events will be used to indicate true progress, how their accomplis hment will be determined and what financing value each will have. The events, completion criteria and financing values must be clearly identified in the contract. Therefore, PBPs require considerable upfront time and effort on both sides. Also, because PBPs require verification of event completion prior to payment, they require administrative effort during contract performance. 6 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 3 Why Use PBPs? Expected Advantages When PBPs were first introduced a number of potential advantages were cited: enhanced technical and schedule focus, reduced cost of oversight, broadened contractor participation and potentially improved cash flow for the contractor. Some of the advertised advantages have turned out to be overstated, unrealized or not measurable. Fortunately, the potential for improved cash flow has proven to be real and provides a unique opportunity for a financial Win-Win deal to be negotiated. Before discussing the Win-Win opportunity in detail, a discussion of the other expected advantages follows. A. Expected Advantage: Enhanced Technical and Schedule Focus The expectation was that PBPs would enhance the focus on technical and schedule performance because of the upfront effort needed to establis h a PBP arrangement and the attention required to accomplish the PBP events during contract execution. When structured properly, PBPs can reinforce the contractor s motivation to accomplis h the entire effo rt in a prompt and efficient manner. However, if the PBP schedule is made up of less meaningful events, events that have inadequate completion criteria or the valuation of events is not reflective of their relative value to the successful performance of the contract, the PBP arrangement can unintentionally misdirect the contractor s focus. The Department of Defense Inspector General s (DoDIG) Report No. DODIG-2003-106, dated 25 June 2003, on the administration of PBPs cited numerous instances where the PBP arrangement contained these types of deficiencies. B. Expected Advantage: Reduced Cost of Oversight and Administration The expectation was that since PBP event values are established upfront, PBPs would not require the oversight of the contractor s accounting system on the part of the Government. The expected benefits of this did not consider that oversight of a contractor s accounting system is done on the system as a whole and is not contract specific. Therefore, unless a contractor had no other contracts which required an accounting system deemed adequate by the Government (such as cost-type contracts or contracts that use progress payments), PBPs did not result in a reduction in the oversight of the accounting system. The vast majority of contractors who have been awarded contracts with PBP financing have contracts that continue to require oversight of their accounting system. Since PBPs 7 Performance Based Payments Guide require significant effort prior to award and validation of event completion during contract performance, expectations of reduced cost of administration may have been overstated. C. Expected Advantage: Broadened Contractor Participation The expectation was that the availability of PBP financing would attr act contractors who, due to the lack of an adequate accounting system, would not otherwise seek Government contracts. There does not appear to have been a significant increase in the defense industrial base as a result of PBPs. This is understandable. Existing companies engaged in only non-Government work are generally providing commercial items or services. When the Government wants to acquire those items or services it can do so under FAR Part 12 and use commercial financing methods as described in FAR Part 32. When contemplating the use of PBPs with an existing defense contractor, this potential advantage is not applic able. D. Expected Advantage: Potentially Improved Cash Flow for the Contractor The one advantage that has been realized is the potential for improved contractor cash flow with PBPs versus progress payments. As noted above, total PBPs can equal as much as 90% of the contract price whereas progress payments are 80% of contract cost for large businesses. Previous guidance considered this to be an advantage only to the contractor and to a large extent only the contractor has reaped the benefits to date. However, it is the improved cash flow which creates the potential for a true Win-Win financial arrangement for both sides to be negotiated when PBPs are structured properly. It is primarily this potential for a Win-Win financial arrangement that should make PBPs desirable to both sides as explained below. E. Win-Win: Lower Price in Exchange for Better Cash Flow The benefit of improved cash flow is so significant from a contractor s perspective that a contract with considerably less profit (lower price) with PBPs can be a better financial deal for the contractor than a higher price for the same contract with progress payments. The key to this opportunity for a Win-Win deal is in understanding the time value of money in measuring the cost to the Government and benefit to the contractor of improved cash flow. If both sides had the exact same view of the time value of money, a Win-Win associated with improved cash flow would not be possible. Fortunately, the time value of money to the contractor is considerably greater than the time value of money to the Government. 8 Performance Based Payments Guide As stated in FAR (b)(3), there is a cost to the treasury of providing contract financing to the contractor as the Government must obtain and provide the funds in advance of receiving the final goods or services. Similarly, absent Government financing, a contractor must use its own funds to pay the entire contract cost incurred prior to deliv ery and there is a cost to raising those funds. The Government s cost of raising funds is based on what it costs the Government to borrow money. A contractor must also obtain the funds required to pay the costs incurred on a Government contract prior to final delivery and payment by the Government. This funding requirement is commonly referred to as working capital. The vast majority of Government fixed-price contract dollars are expended on contracts with publicly held corporations. Although these corporations raise funds through both borrowing (debt) and selling stock (equity), the funds required for working capital needs are most often obtained through short-term borrowing. From a lender s perspective, corporations are considered to be a greater risk than the Government; therefore, the cost of short-term borrowing for corporations is greater than it is for the Government. Because a contractor s time value of money is higher than the Government s time value of money, accelerated funding provided by PBPs has greater financial benefit to the contractor than cost to the Government and sets the stage for the negotiation of a mutually beneficial and lower contract price. F. The PBP Analysis Tool The cost and benefits of a series of cash flows is not difficult to measure using the financial functions available in electronic spreadsheets. Therefore, it is possible to compare the financial cost and benefits of PBP financing versus customary progress payments. The progress payment scenario is used as the benchmark for determining a Win-Win arrangement for several reasons. First, it is the financing method most lik ely to be used if a PBP arrangement cannot be agreed to or is determined to be impractical. Second, it is the financing method most commonly used between the Government and Industry. And third, it is considered by industry to be a low-risk form of financing. For these reasons, the progress payment scenario is the right financial benchmark for a risk/reward analysi s. What is more difficult to evaluate is the potential risk associ ated with PBPs that is not present with progress payments. With PBPs a payment is only made when an event has been successfully accomplis hed. Therefore, a contractor would not be interested in a PBP contract price that is so much lower than the price would be with the less-risky progress payment method that the financial value of both is the same. The key then is 9 Performance Based Payments Guide to negotiate a price that is lower than it would be with progress payments, provides the contractor better financial value and recognizes the potential risk inherent in PBPs. The DoD PBP Analysis Tool allows the contracting officer to identify that Win-Win solution. It does this by comparing the expected monthly cash flow to the contractor when using PBPs versus progress payments. The tool calculates the final cost to the Government and the financial value to the contractor under both scenarios. The final cost to the Government is calculated by adding the cost of borrowing the financing payments made to the contractor to the contract price. The financial value to the contractor is based on calculating the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Net Present Value (NPV) value of the cash flows. The tool finds the solution that benefits both parties: Lower final cost to the Government and greater IRR and NPV for the contractor. More importantly, the tool allo ws the user to do what-ifs on PBP event timing to see the financial impact to the contractor and Government of event slip page or acceleration. This permits the user to make a fact-based assessment of the financial risk and benefits of the PBP arrangement. 10 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 4 Determining When PBPs Are Practical A. General Considerations Customary contract financing to large businesses may be provided on contracts valued at $ million or more where deliveries will not begin until six months afte r contract award. In determining whether or not PBPs are practical for use on a contract, the contracting officer should first consider whether the benefits associated with PBPs outweigh the time and effort required to establis h and administer them. Therefore smalle r contract s are generally not good PBP candidates as the administrative effort can easily exceed any financial benefits attained. Since PBPs require agreement by both parties on all aspects of the arrangement, if difficulties arise in selecting events, defining measures or means of confirming their accomplis hment, or deciding on the valuations, this should raise concern about whether PBPs are practical for use on the contract. Obviously, the inability to come to agreement on any of these makes the use of PBPs impossible on that contract. The follo wing are some of the things to consider in deciding whether PBPs are practical for a particular acquisition situation. B. Production Contracts The ideal candidate for PBPs is a mature, stable production program where the fabrication, assembly and test processes are well established. Ideally the contractor will have already completed one or more production lots. This should permit events and their timing to be easily identified. Furthermore, the actual cost by month on the prior contracts should make the financing need at each event easier to determine. Initial production contracts will not provide the same level of confidence in the timing of events or the cash flows needs driven by those events. Therefore, more effo rt will be required to identify events, establis h completion criteria and value events, but PBPs can still be practical for most initial production contracts. 11 Performance Based Payments Guide C. Service Contracts It is less likely that PBPs will be practical on fixed-price contracts for services. Unlike production contracts that normally provide opportunities for numerous objective events such as receipt of materials and completion of subassemblie s or stages of manufacturing, service contracts usually involve fewer and less objective mile stones. D. Development Contracts When a fixed-price contract (FPIF or FFP) is considered proper for development, there can be a number of significant events that are PBP candidates. For instance, in an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract, the major activities will be toward completion of the design as evidenced by the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), if not already accomplished in the Technology Development phase, and the Critical Design Review (CDR). Clearly, PDR and CDR are important mile stones in the EMD process, but the criteria for successful completion of each can be problematic. A PBP event or milestone should always be associated with the completion, not the initiation of the event or mile stone. In the case of PDR and CDR, the resolution of each action item that originates during the review process is critical to the ultimate success of the review. For this reason, the initiation of a PDR or CDR should not be used as the event criteria. However, from a contractor s perspective, resolution of action items is not always a simple process of objective verification and always involves some level of further review by, and coordination with, Government personnel which makes the timing of the successful completion of the event more difficult to predict. Prior to a PDR the most common event candidates are associated with the submission of various plans which may also be CDRL deliveries on the contract. The significance, timing and relationship of these events to cash flow needs are not always easy to assess. As noted earlie r, the lin king of cash payments to specific events will inherently focus the contractor s attention to the earliest completion of those events. Therefore, especially in contracts for development, care must be taken in the identification of events and the associated completion criteria that the contractor is not unintentionally being motivated to sacrifice qualit y so as to receive financing payments sooner. Another complicating factor in the use of PBPs on a development contract is the difficulty in determining the relia bility of the expenditure profile since there will not be a history of expenditures on a prior contract for the same effort. 12 Performance Based Payments Guide E. Undefinitized Contract Actions (UCAs) Although PBPs are not prohibited during the UCA phase, it is recommended that the UCA be awarded using progress payments and PBPs be considered during the price definitization process. The same factors that cause both parties to delay the definitization of price, affects the abilit y to establis h PBPs during the UCA period. In addition, the first few months of a contract often do not provide meaningful or objectively measurable PBP events. Providing progress payments during the UCA phase will provide the contractor adequate contract financing during this phase and allow the parties time to appropriately define the PBP arrangement prior to definitization. F. Competitive Solicitations Although PBPs are not prohibited in competitive solic itations, they are likely to require significant discussions between the Government and each offeror in order to reach agreement on the PBP events, completion criteria and valuation. Therefore, it is recommended that the solic itation state that proposal pricing and contract award will be based on customary progress payment financing, but the Government will be willin g to modify the contract with the successful offeror to use PBPs if they are determined to be practical by the contracting officer, the contractor agrees to their use and adequate consideration is received by the Government (FAR (b) and DFARS (iii)). 13 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 5 PBP Planning PBPs cannot be placed on contract by simply selecting a prescri bed FAR clause. PBPs require si gnificant time and effo rt upfront on both sides to successfully implement. A PBP arrangement, lik e all elements that affect price, will not be finalized until completion of negotiations, but the parties should never wait for the start of negotiations to begin the PBP process. Doing so can significantly delay the completion of negotiations and render PBPs impractical to implement at that time. If the contractor intends to request the use of PBPs, it should inform the Government as soon as possible before submitti ng a proposal so that preliminary discussions can begin and the Government can explain what information it will require from the contractor. It is most common for the contractor to propose a complete PBP arrangement with proposed events and timing, event completion criteria and event values as the starting point for discussions. It is recommended that the RFP direct the contactor to provide the proposed PBP arrangement as part of the cost proposal submission. Even when the contractor has proposed a PBP arrangement, it is important for both parties to understanding the steps that need to be taken and the personnel and organizations that will be involved in the PBP process. A. PBP Steps: 1. Identify PBP events 2. Establis h Completion Criteria for Each PBP Event 3. Obtain and Evaluate the Contractor s Expenditure Profile 4. Establis h PBP Event Values 5. Incorporate the PBP Arrangement Into the Contract via Special Provision Each of these steps will be addressed in detail in the following chapters. To assist the Government in the evaluation of PBPs, a PBP Evaluation Checklist is included in the Appendix. 14 Performance Based Payments Guide B. Contractor Personnel The contractor will need involvement of its contracts, program management, technical and financial personnel. C. Government Personnel Like the contractor, the Government will also need involvement of its contracts, program management, technical and contract pricing personnel. However, in addition to these in-house resources, the Government will likely need support from the following organizations: 1. Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) If DCMA will administer the contract, involvement of its personnel should be considered mandatory. In-plant DCMA personnel should have first-hand knowledge of the contractor s processes which can be extremely valuable in the identification of valid PBP event candidates and the associated completion criteria. It is critical that PBP completion criteria be clearly understood by those administering the PBPs, including the Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO). 2. Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) DCAA involvement may be necessary in evaluating the reasonableness of the contractor s proposed expenditure profile . 3. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Since DFAS is responsible for the actual payment of funds to the contractor, it is important to consider particular DFAS requirements or special instructions when planning a PBP arrangement. Anytime multiple fund citations will be involved, special instructions are probably required. Any DFAS payment issues should be addressed upfront to avoid unnecessary delay in paying the contractor for completed PBP events. 15 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 6 Identifying PBP Events On larger contracts an Integrated Master Plan (IMP) and Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) may be required by the contract. An IMP is an event-based plan that can be the first source for potential PBP events. The IMS provides a more detaile d calendar-based schedule for the tasks needed to be accomplished for each IMP event. The IMS will identify the expected timing of PBP events selected. Being more detailed than the IMP, the IMS is also a source of potential PBP events. Although an IMS is continually updated over the life of performance, the IMS as it exists at the time of PBP event selection is still the best source for event timing. IMP and IMS are very important in the earli er phases of a program. As a program matures into full production, a formal IMP and IMS may not be as important as the manufacturing processes and material need dates become establis hed. Even if a formal IMP or IMS is not required by the contract, a contractor must have a plan of what tasks need to be accomplis hed and the optimal sequence of performing those tasks. It is recommended that DCMA be contacted to help identify appropriate PBP events. Virtually every significant program (whether it entails producing an item, providing a service, or conducting research) has a plan identifying the steps that will have to occur in order for the overall effort to be successfully completed. Thus, the initial set of candidate events that can be used for PBP purposes should not require the creation of steps not already set forth in the program s planning documents. In exceptional circumstances, some unique PBP events may have to be identified, but this should be a rare situation because every PBP event must represent work already required under the contract. Selecting the payment events requires serious discussion between the parties. While all events to be used for PBPs need not be on the critical path of the overall program plan, each event should be, or represent, a meaningful and essential step in successfully executing the work called for by the contract or the line item to which it relates. PBP events can be of two kinds: severable ( , stand-alone) or cumulative ( , dependent): Severable events do not require the accomplishment of any other events. Cumulative events require the prior or concurrent completion of other events in order to be successfully accomplis hed. 16 Performance Based Payments Guide A typical set of PBP events will usually contain both kinds, like producing a proto-type of special test equipment (STE). Initial design of the STE, which is not dependent upon other events for completion, qualifies as a severable event. However, final testing of the proto-type would be a cumulative event because it must follow the production of the equipment. The performance-based payment schedule in the contract shall identify each event either as severable or cumulative. For cumulative events, the payment schedule should also identify which events or criteria must be completed prior to the successful achievement of each cumulative event. In determining event frequency and valuation, the contractor s expected cash flow needs should be the determining factor. Another benefit of the PBP Analysis Tool is the ability to assess the financial impact of including or excluding any event. Keep in mind that the greater the number of events, the greater the administrative effort that will be required on both sides. It will not be uncommon for the program schedule to reveal that some months have no acceptable PBP events, while other months may have more than one acceptable PBP event scheduled. Although the contractor cannot be paid more frequently than once per month with PBPs, the PBP payment in a month can be for the completion of multiple events. In no case, however, should the parties select PBP events that do not require meaningful effo rt or action. PBP events should not be establis hed solely to provide monthly cash flow opportunity. In those situations where there are few valid PBP event candidates and the time between events is lengthy, the use of PBPs is not advisable. FAR (a)(1) states that the signing of contracts (including issuing purchase orders) or modifications, the exercise of options, the passa ge of time, or other such occurrences ( , kickoff meetings, postaward conferences, entry events, etc.) do not represent meaningful efforts or acti ons and shall not be identified as events or cr iteria for performance-based payments. Also , PBPs are not to be provided as payment for acc epted items, although it may be appropriate for a subco ntract delivery to resu lt in a prime PBP payment. It is not uncommon for a contract to contain ample PBP events but few or none in the first few months of the contract. Fortunately, when significant accomplis hments are not present in the first few months, the contractor s expenditures also tend to be relatively low. If needed to provide some cash flow to the contractor, a less significant event may be used as long as the value of the event is commensurate with its programmatic significance. For example, early effo rt in a production contract will often be associated with the ordering of material and parts from supplie rs. While the ordering of parts does 17 Performance Based Payments Guide not indicate nearly as much progress as the receipt of or kitti ng of parts for assembly, it may be used as an early PBP event if there are no other meaningful events in that time period. This assumes there is a genuine cash flow need at that time as determined by the evaluation of the contractor s expenditure profile and as validated by the PBP Analysi s Tool. Establishing the amount assigned to PBP events is covered in Chapter 9. 18 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 7 Establi shing Event Completion Crit eria Once the candidate events have been selected, it is essential to define them as clearly and precisely as possible, including a specified completion date, so that their accomplis hment can be objectively determined. Ideally , the definitions of these events and the measurements or other indicators to be used to determine their achievement should be such that there can be no argument or uncertainty about whether they warrant making a PBP. All completion criteria should specify Government verification before payment can be made. The use of objective measures is the preferred course of action here. Objectivity and clarity, in both event definition and in how accomplis hment will be determined or measured, cannot be overly stressed. Remember, in order for PBPs to be used, the contracting officer must find PBPs to be practical and the contractor must consent to their use. Thus, it is essential that the parties arri ve at clear definitions, agree on measurements to be used, and have a consistent bila teral understanding of what is expected in order to qualify for payment. Generally it is not a good idea to define a PBP event as the start of an effo rt such as begin testing . Events can be initiated prematurely only to be halted due to problems and subsequently re-initiated upon resolution of the problems. A valid entry event must have definite entrance criteria that requires the successful completion of other events or tasks deemed necessary to begin the event process. If such an event refers to completion of another PBP event or events, it must be identified as a cumulative event. However, in addition to the predecessor PBP events, any additional tasks which are required to be successfully performed before beginning an entry event must be captured in the entrance criteria which must be satisfied to trigger the payment. DCMA can be particularly useful in providing unique insight into the contractor s establis hed work methods and quality processes. To the greatest extent practical you would want to use events and criteria already establis hed in the contractor s normal business practices. A. What is Completion and Is There Any Flexibility? Successful completion of a performance-based payment event consists of the contractor meeting the stated objectives established for the event by the specified completion date and verification by the Government. In producing the proto-type STE example above, the completion criterion for initial testing is defined as when the appropriate level of contractor 19 Performance Based Payments Guide management approves the initial design before handing it off to the Government. If the appropriate Government official concurs that the initial design is complete, then making payment is acceptable. However, for final testing, payment should not be permitted until the contractor has produced the equipment and the Government has verified that both production and final testing are completed. In addition, when an event is successfully completed, payment is made in conjunction with the scheduled completion date. If an event is not completed by the date anticipated, payment is delayed accordingly. Conversely, if an event is completed earlier than anticipated, the payment is accelerated. In some cases, while a good PBP event may be clearly identified and adequately defined, there may be room for interpretation concerning what constitutes its completion. For example, in an aircraft production contract, one of the PBP events might be the completion of the tail section. A question could arise about whether this event has been successfully accomplis hed if the tail section has been finished and properly inspected but a few, low-cost rivets are missing from a small section of the skin. (This is sometimes referred to as the case of the golden rivets. ) Has the tail section been completed for purposes of entitlement to payment? There is no absolute answer. If the tail section can be moved on to the final assembly area so that mating it to the main fuselage can begin and the rivets could be installed without adversely affecting the other on-going mating effort, one could reasonably conclude that, for purposes of entitlement to the event payment for tail- section completion, the event is essentially complete. It is not uncommon for there to be some minor level of work that is accomplis hed out of sequence or out of station , particularly in an early production environment, but it should always be the goal to minimize such work due to the adverse impact on efficiency and increased risk to the deliv ery schedule. The intent should not be to deny payment in instances where the uncompleted work is truly minor and can be accomplis hed without disrupting or affecting the efficiency of other work. However, caution must be used not to define the event so broadly that it fails to require timely performance on the part of the contractor. For instance, defining an event as being complete when 90% of the work has been accomplis hed can be problematic. In fact, 5% of work uncompleted may not be minor. Sometimes completing the last 5% of an effort can require a disproportionate amount of time to complete especially when it must be accomplis hed out of sequence. Since the financing needs and therefore event value are based on when an event is scheduled to occur, how do you predict when 90% of an event will be accomplis hed? A program or master schedule will identify event completion dates not completion of 90% or 95% of the work. 20 Performance Based Payments Guide B. Be Aware of Unintended Consequences Although PBPs are not incentive payments, any event that is associated with significant payment of cash to the contractor will be very important to the contractor. In the private sector, the phrase cash is king is often used to describe the importance of cash flow. Ideally PBPs should reinforce the contractor s motivation to perform the effort in an efficient and timely manner in order to receive financing payments. However, inadequate completion criteria cannot only render potentially excellent PBP events meaningless, they can have the unintended consequence of encouraging less than efficient performance on the part of the contractor. The tail section example above is clearly a significant event and could be worth many millions of dollars on a major production program. The tendency might be to simply define the successful completion of the tail section as the arri val of that section in the final assembly area ( tail section arri ves in final assembly area ). However, unless the criteria is established for when it is prudent for a tail section to be moved to the final assembly area, the opportunity to receive the payment as soon as possible can create the motivation for the contractor to move the tail section prematurely resulting in significant out of station tail section work to be performed in the final assembly area. Est ablis hing PBP completion criteria requires not only a realistic understanding of the underlying manufacturing process but the financial motivations that can influence contractor behavior as well. Remember that PBPs are a means of contract financing that ties payments to progress achieved. Approving or allowing an event payment to be made does not constitute government acceptance of an end-item. Finally, the individual responsible for administering the PBP schedule, ACO, should be contacted in advance to review the completion criteria and ensure there are no issues from an administrative standpoint. 21 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 8 The Importance of the Expenditu re Profile Since the purpose is to assist in the payment of contract costs and the PBP amounts for each event will be establis hed upfront, it is important for the contractor to provide its expenditure profile of the contract cost expected to be incurred by month. The expenditure profile represents the expected financing need over the life of the contract. The contractor should be prepared to explain and support how the monthly expenditures were estimated. The Government must evaluate the expenditure profile for reasonableness. DCAA may be able to provide assistance in the review of the expenditure profile. An expenditure profile is not the same as a Termination Liability schedule or profile. Termination liabilit y will always be greater than expenditures early in the program as it reflects what future costs the contractor would be responsible for in the event of a contract termination at any point in time. The contractor needs financing to cover expenditures, not termination liabilit y. Keep in mind that history has shown that predicting monthly expenditures with any precision is extremely difficult unless there is actual history on prior contracts for the same item. This lack of precision is irrelevant when using progress payments as they are based on actual cost incurred each month and not a forecast of monthly costs. However, when using PBPs, the accuracy of the expenditure profile can significantly affe ct the reasonableness of the entire PBP arrangement. Evaluating the Expenditure Profile When the contract is for production and the contractor has produced the same item under prior contracts, the contractor should be able to demonstrate the reasonableness of the proposed expenditure profile by providing the actual cost by month on each previous contract. A stable production program with establis hed material lead times and manufacturing processes should exhibit a fairl y consistent expenditure profile from one lot to the next ( 10% of total contract costs incurred in first 6 months, 25% by month 12, etc.). On any follo w-on production contract under the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), the Government would be entitled to the actual cost on prior contracts as cost or pricing data on the pending contract to help determine the reasonableness of the proposed costs on the pending contract. Obtaining the actual cost by month on those prior contracts will allow the contracting officer to also determine the reasonableness of the expenditure profile on the pending contract. 22 Performance Based Payments Guide When there are no prior contracts for the same or simila r items, the reliability of the expenditure profile is harder to ascertain. The first check for reasonableness is against the contractor s cost proposal. Most cost proposals will segregate costs by contractor fiscal year which is usually the calendar year. For all cost proposals requiring certified cost and pricing data, Table 15-2 of FAR requires the time phasing of contractors cost proposals. The proposed monthly expenditures in the expenditure profile should alig n with the contractor s proposed cost by year. That means if the contractor proposed $22 million in CY 2011 and $37 million in 2012, the cumulative expenditure profile should total $22 million on December 31, 2011 and $59 million on December 31, 2012. If the expenditure profile is consistent with the proposal on a year-to-year basis, the next step is to assess the projected monthly values within each year. Unusual spikes or front loaded expenditures within a year should be cause for concern. As noted earli er, in the absence of an expenditure profile based on actual cost on prior relevant contracts, accurately predicting expenditures by month is very diffi cult for both sides even when there is a high degree of confidence in the reasonableness of the total cost. History has shown that even when expenditure profiles are consistent with the cost proposal on a year-to-year basis and monthly values appear reasonable, there is a strong possibility for the actual cost by month and by year to be significantly different from the profile even when the work is completed on schedule. When actual expenditures turn out to be incurred later than forecasted in the expenditure profile, the contractor could receive payments well in exce ss of its cost early in the program. To gauge the contractor s general abilit y to predict the timing of actual expenditures, the contractor could be requested to provide actual versus predicted monthly expenditures on prior contracts using PBPs. In the absence of prior PBP contracts, the contractor could be asked to provide the proposed versus actual cost by year on other similar fixed-price contracts. From the Government perspective, if the data shows that actual expenditures consistently occur later than predicted or proposed, there is reason to suspect that the current expenditure profile is also front-loaded. When the Government and contractor have significant diffe rences of opinion regarding the expenditure profile, PBP financing may not be practical. 23 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 9 Establi shing PBP Event Values After the parties have agreed on the events that will be used to trigger financing payments and have settled upon how their accomplis hment will be measured or determined, the next critical step in the process is setti ng dollar or percentage values for the events themselves. It is important to remember that the fundamental purpose of all contract financing is to assist the contractor in the paying the cost it incurs in the performance of the contract and, per FAR (b)(2)(i), to do so only to the extent actually needed for prompt and efficient performance. Clearly the contractor can never have a need for more than its actual cost incurred at any point in time. FAR (b)(3)(i i) st ates that the contracting officer must ensure that PBPs are not expected to result in an unreasonably low or negative level of contractor investment in the contract. FAR does not define unreasonably low level of contract or investment, but it is clear that PBPs are not intended to resu lt in the Government funding all contract costs as they are incu rred throughout the contract. The prohibition against negative level of contractor investment means that PBPs must not be structured in such a way as to become equivalent to advance payments. DFARS , , and the associated contract clauses, and 7013, include mandatory language to ensure that cumulative PBPs will never exceed cumulative cost incurred on the contract or delivery item, whichever is applicable, at any point during contract performance. This language, while ensuring that PBPs will not result in a negative contractor investment, does not negate the need for the Government to evaluate the expenditure profile for reasonableness but does permit more Government flexibility in resolving expenditure profile issues. The starting point for the valuation of PBP events should be a comparison of the evaluated expenditure profile to the schedule of PBP events by month. For instance, if the expenditure profile indicates that through month 3 of the contract, cost incurred is predicted to be $7 mill ion and the first PBP event is scheduled to be completed in month 3, the starting point for that event s value would be no more than $7 million based on the expected financing need at that point in time. Although the cost limitation language in DFARS will prevent an advance payment scenario from occurring, a PBP schedule that is front-loaded when compared to the expenditure profile should not be established. 24 Performance Based Payments Guide Although the expenditure profile itself does not have to be agreed upon and the cost limitation language provides for some flexibility, significant disagreement could make it impossible to agree on event values. For example, if the Government considers the expenditure profile to be front-loaded, it will want to assign lesser amounts to early PBP events than the contractor proposes. If the contractor believes the proposed expenditure profile is co rrect, it will view any significant reduction in the amounts for early PBP events to be unwarranted. A. Value of a PBP Event In addition to the financing-need perspective, the amounts must be commensu rate with the value of the performance event or performance cr iterion. FAR does not define value in this context, but, in order to comply with both FAR requirements on the value of the event, it should be assumed that the amount can be less but not greater than the anticipated cost incurred at that point. However, it is important to understand that the value of the event is not limited to the cost of performing that specific event or task. Otherwise, in order for the contractor to be paid all his expected cost incurred, it would be necessary to establis h a PBP event for every discrete task on a contract. Therefore, PBP events are establis hed as representative milestones that may reflect the total effort needed to accomplis h not only that particular milestone but other activities through that timeframe. For instance, while the cost of performing the specific PBP event in month 3 might only be $200,000, it may be appropriate to value that event at the $7 million for cost expected to be incurred by that point in time because the event is considered to fairly represent the progress achieved in the first 3 months of the contract. The $7 million would be the starting point for setti ng the amount for the event but the relative value of the event versus other events should also be considered. For instance, assume the next PBP event is scheduled to occur in month 5 and the total cost expected to be incurred at that point is $13 million. If the first event was assigned a value of $7 million, the maximum amount available for the second event would be $6 million ($13M less $7M). What if the event in month 5 was considered to be much more significant in terms of measuring progress on the contract? In order for the amount to be commensurate with its value, it should be valued greater than the event in month 3? Since the total financing need as of month 5 is $13 million, the event in month 3 might be reduced to $5 million so the event in month 5 could then be set at $8 million. This would mean that the payment in month 3 would only provide $5 million of the $7 million of cost incurred. The contractor would have to accomplish the more significant event in month 5 to receive financing equal 25 Performance Based Payments Guide to expected total cost incurred at that time. While the contractor will certainly want to accomplis h both events in a timely manner, the greater focus will appropriately be on the event with the greater programmatic significance and dolla r value. In this situation the financing provided through the first event would be less than would have been provided via 80% progress payments ($5M $7M = 71%). However, the financial benefit provided by PBP cash flow must be assessed over the life of the contract which is what the PBP Analysis Tool does. Keep in mind that every event does not need to be precisely valued relative to all other events but care should be taken to ensure that there is reasonable consistency in event valuation so that the contractor s financial focus is in basic alignment with programmatic priorities. B. Special Considerations with Severable Events Severable events are payable whenever accomplis hed, and those events are usually subject to the most variabili ty as to when they will actually occur both in time and the expected sequence of events. Because the amount assigned to each event is more than the cost of performing the specific event and is based on when it was expected to occur, early performance of the event can result in payments that, absent the cost limitation language, could result in front-loaded payments. While it is generally in the Government s best interest for the contractor to complete all tasks and deliv er the end item or service ahead of schedule, PBPs are not to be used as an incentive for exceeding the contract requirements. Furthermore, accomplishing a severable event ahead of schedule may have no beneficial impact on the deliv ery date. For example, a PBP event may be establis hed for the ordering of parts in month three of the contract based on the need for the parts later in the production process. Ordering the parts early may not expedite the production process at all. Furthermore, if the event is valued based on expenditures expected to occur through month three, early performance of the event may only result in paying the contractor for the cost of other activities that have not been performed yet. If there is significant concern about the timing of specific, severable events, it may be advisable for the contract PBP schedule to identify not earlier than payment dates for those items. 26 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 10 PBP Contract Special Provision Once the parties have agreed on the PBP events, the event completion criteria and the event values, this information must be documented in a special provision to the contract. The special provisi on must contain a PBP schedule which will normally be in tabular form and will contain the following fields: Event Number Event Title or Description Event Value Cumulative or Severable Event If Cumulative, list of Prior Event Numbers Line Ite m (if PBPs are on a Line Ite m Basis) Fund Type Event Completion Criteria Some PBP schedules include the expected date of completion for each event as well. Event numbers make it easier to refer to events especially in the case of cumulative events. All event values must either be stated as a dollar amount or as a percentage of the total contract price (if on a total contract basis) or as a percentage of the Line Ite m price (if on a line item basis). All values must be stated as dolla rs or all values must be stated as percentages. If the PBPs were established on a line item basis, the lin e item to which the event is lin ked must be identified. The Fund Type is required whenever multiple fund citations are involved. Directions for DFAS on which funds to use first must be made clear in the schedule or with a footnote reference. Event Completion Criteria may be extensive and may not be practical to include within the tabular schedule and therefore may be listed separately within the provision or be included as an attachment that is referenced in the provision. The criteria must be identified either directly or by referenced attachment in the contract. 27 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 11 Processing PBPs The contracti ng officer must determine whether the event or performance cr iteria for which the payment is requested have been success fully accomplished in accordance with the co ntract. The contracting officer shall not approve a PBP unless the specified event or performance cr iterion has been su ccessfully accomplished in acc ordance with the contract (FAR (d)). Because PBP is a method of contract financing, every effort should be made to process payment requests as expeditiously as possible. Contractor PBP requests may not be submitte d more often than monthly. This does not mean, however, that a monthly request cannot cover payment for more than one payment event. Payment requests must clearly identify the event or events covered by the monthly submission and must refer to the applicable contract provision so that the amount to be paid can be unambiguously determined. Payment requests submitted to the reviewing/approving office will be promptly reviewed and either rejected and returned to the contractor or approved and forwarded to the DFAS paying office. A. Liquidation PBPs are financing payments, as opposed to delivery payments. The Government recoups PBPs through deduction of liq uidations from payments that would otherwise be due to the contractor for deliv ery of completed contract items. In the event of termination for default, any unliq uidated PBPs must be returned to the Government. The contracting officer must specify the liquidation rates or amounts that will apply to deliveries made during the contract period and include that information in the contract. B. Title to Property Acquired or Produced by Contractors Just as with traditional progress payments, when it makes PBPs, the Government takes title to all property acq uired or produced under the contract. The purpose of doing so is to protect the Government s financial interest in the payments made prior to partial or full delivery of the goods or services calle d for under the contract. When the contract has been fully performed and all deliveries have been made and accepted, title to any property not delivered to the Government reverts to the contractor. 28 Performance Based Payments Guide Chapter 12 Contract Changes and Modifications Once the contract s PBP structure has been establis hed, it may become necessary to adjust it to reflect subsequent changes or contract modifications. The required adjustments can take the form of adding new PBP events or modifying the definition, value, or timing of existing events. The particular circumstances of the contract and the modification will determine which method is the best to use. In general, the parties should seek to use whichever is administratively most expedient and maintains the same Win-Win financial arrangement as the original contract. Because each contract s PBP structure is unique, those changes will have to be made by a contract modification. Remember that the payment office responsible for the contract must be kept fully informed about changes to the PBP structure. Without up-to-date and complete contract information, that office will be unable to process the payments properly. Unnecessary delays in payment or erroneous payment may result if the paying office record is not properly maintained. Whenever changes are made to a contract s PBP structure, the PBP schedule in the contract must be revised and quickly distributed to all parties having a role in making or overseeing payments. 29 Performance Based Payments Guide Appendix PBP Eval uat ion Checklist EVENTS y/n 1. Have you obtained a program master schedule to help develop events? 2. Are all events listed in the performance based payment schedule? 3. Do the events reflect meaningful steps in successfully performing the contract? 4. Are the scheduled dates appropriate for the events? 5. Have you considered the frequency of events, balancing valid contractor cash flow needs with the administrative cost of verifying event completion? 6. Has each event been classified as either severable or cumulative? 7. For cumulative events, have you identified which events or criteria are preconditions for successful completion? 8. If on a line item basis, has each event been tied to a specific line item? 9. Has DCMA (technical and ACO) been involved in developing the events? 10. Have you verified that prime contractor deliveries are not listed as PBP events? (Note: it is ok for Subcontractor deliveries to the prime to trigger PBP events) COMPLETION CRITERIA 11. Do the completion criteria reflect completion of performance? 12. Are the completion criteria clear? 13. Is the language readily understood? ( the meaning of terms such as "initiate" is defined) 14. Are items specifically defined? ( "critical parts" refers to a defined list of parts) 15. Do the criteria identify who will conduct the verification and is this the appropriate organization/position? 16. Has DCMA been involved in the development of the completion criteria? EXPENDITURE PROFILE 17. Does the expenditure profile reflect monthly costs (no prime contractor profit)? 18. Is the PBP expenditure profile considered reliable? Can the contractor demonstrate reliability of prior expenditure foreca sts on co ntracts for the same or simila r it ems? 19. Does it match the proposal? 20. Is the expenditure profile a projection of actual costs to be incurred by the prime contract or and not a termination liability schedule? 21. Is the profile reasonable and not front-loaded? 30 Performance Based Payments Guide EVENT VALUATION 22. Have events been valued so that cumulative payments are never greater than the cumulative co st expected to be incu rred at each event completion? Within this constraint, are events generally valued co nsistent with their relative importance in the overall successful performance of the contract? 23. Does the contractor have an investment in the program? (Note: Profit forbearance is not an "investment") 24. Did you run the DoD PBP Tool to determine appropriate consideration? PBP CLAUSE 25. Does the Clause provide liquidation instructions? Do liquidations tie back to CLINS? 26. Does the PBP schedule clearly define whether PBPs are on a line item or whole lot" basis? 27. Has the ACO reviewed the clause for ease of administration? 28. Are payment instructions clear so DFAS can readily make payment (including specific instructions if multiple appropriations are involved)? 29. Does the contractor understand that DFAS will only make one payment in a month?

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