Unanet would like to thank Eric Cochran and deciBel Research for their contribution of a Contract Brief template for this Knowledge Center entry.
Title: Quick Topic - Contract Management, Modifications, and Contract Briefs
The page below outlines information related to Contract Management, Modifications, and Contract Briefs.
What’s covered in this document:
Below are three methods for tracking contract modifications in Unanet. You will want to assess early on which method you want to use for Contract Modifications.
- OPTION 1: Change the appropriate Project/Task fields (e.g., Funded Value, Revised End Date, etc.) and attach a Project Note for the reasoning. The Audit Trail captures changes to project/task budgets and dates in order to track the historical values entered there over time.
- OPTION 2: Add a new Task to reflect the Mod on the Contract Brief project (see below in setting up a Contract Brief project), and put the Mod reason in a task user-defined field. In the screenshot below, this field is labeled "Detailed Comments". Add the mod amounts to the appropriate place in the Contract Brief project's budget fields. Run reports such as Project Revenue & Funding Summary, summarizing funded value and budgets by Task.
- OPTION 3: Add a new Project to reflect the Mod, put the Mod reason in the Project comments field, and put the budgets and funding amounts in the appropriate Budget and Accounting tab fields. This allows the work associated with the Mod to be distinctly tracked. Smart naming conventions need to be employed to ensure reports roll up all Mods for the over group, e.g., Mod 1 as Project Code 1 = 1000.100.10, Mod 2 as Project Code 2 = 1000.100.20, etc.
Just as Project Management is an expertise with standard methodology, so is Contract Management. Contract Management is a process.
Contract Management is an administrative effort centered on compliance with the rules and regulations that govern the relationship between the contractor and the Government.
The Contract Management process should apply to all the contracts (with customers as well as with suppliers and subcontractors).
A Contract Brief is a document. Contract briefs contain information including but not limited to statement of work, contract funding, ceilings, fees, requirements, waivers, modifications, contacts, and relevant FAR clauses. Contract Briefs are required for certain types of contracts for which the federal government is the ultimate customer whether the user firm is a prime contractor or a subcontractor (any tier). The requirement arises out of the clause at FAR 52.216-7, Allowable Cost & Payment (attached here with highlighting of the sections discussed here) which is mandatory in all cost reimbursable and T&M contracts. It is one of the schedules that may be required in contractors’ annual incurred cost proposals. A copy of the clause is attached with highlighting of the sections discussed below.
The clause identifies the contract brief as “Supplemental Schedule O” of the required annual Incurred Cost Proposal. The FAR does not define the content of a contract brief, but the DCAA Incurred Cost Electronic (ICE) model does. The following italicized sections are also highlighted in the attached Allowable Cost & Payment document.
- The general requirement for the proposal is found at 52.216-7(d)(2)(i):
“The Contractor shall submit an adequate final indirect cost rate proposal to the Contracting Officer (or cognizant Federal agency official) and auditor within the 6-month period following the expiration of each of its fiscal years.”
- The mandatory schedules of the proposal (those required to be submitted along with the proposal in order to determine its adequacy) are enumerated at 52.216-7(d)(2)(iii),
“An adequate indirect cost rate proposal shall include the following data,” as a list of 15 separate items lettered from (A) to (O).
- The clause also identifies another 15 schedules similarly lettered at 52.216-7(d)(2)(iv): “The following supplemental information is not required to determine if a proposal is adequate, but may be required during the audit process…” Many contractors, unfortunately, have come to believe those schedules are “optional,” but they are not. Only the timing of their submission is optional. In addition, for DOD contractors, the phrase “may be required” is very misleading. DCAA requires all of the supplemental schedules and may even ask for them at the time of submission. Some contractors (unwisely) defer preparation of the supplemental schedules until time of audit. Those schedules may sometimes be very difficult to produce three, four or even five years after the fact when audit time rolls around. A good practice is to prepare all the schedules at the time the proposal is first submitted even if the supplemental schedules are not submitted. The best practice is to both prepare and submit all the applicable schedules as part of the original proposal.
DCAA’s ICE model (spreadsheet) includes a tab for the contract brief that includes what they consider to be the minimum content for a contract brief. Attached is a copy of the most recent ICE model spreadsheet open to the Contract Brief tab. Many contractors furnish their contract briefs separate from the ICE spreadsheet because they can be voluminous. Adding a separate tab to the spreadsheet for each contract would make it very difficult to work with. Having all the contracts mixed on one tab would be equally hard.
Maintaining a similar document for contracts with subcontractors and suppliers is a best practice, but also not required by the regulations.
HOW TO MANAGE CONTRACTS AND CONTRACT BRIEF INFORMATION IN UNANET
INITIAL ADMIN SETUP
Step 1 - Project Note Types
In Admin > Setup, create Project Note Types to support Contract Storage and FAR clauses. For example, create Note Types called "FAR Clause" and "Contract Document."
Step 2 - User Defined Fields
Step 2.1: If you are using Tasks to track Mods (Option 2 in Contract Modifications section above), then you will want to set up the following Task User-Defined Fields under Admin > Setup > User-Defined Fields:
- "Detailed Comments"
Step 2.2: Set up the following Project User-Defined Fields under Admin > Setup > User Defined Fields:
- "Ultimate Customer/Agency"
- "Prime Contract Number"
- "Contract Tier"
- "Immediate Customer/Agency"
- "Subcontract Number"
- "Purchase Order Number"
Step 3 - Project Type of "BRIEF"
Do this in Admin > Setup. This will allow you flexibility in reporting.
Step 4 - Save standard Adhoc report to support an Excel RWQ
You will want to save a standard Adhoc report that you will use to refresh your Excel Workbook. We recommend a Refreshable Web Query (RWQ). More information is available on RWQ's via the link in the Additional Information section below.
- For now, create the Adhoc by going to: Reports > Adhoc > +Adhoc Report.
- For DATA AREA choose Project. For VIEW choose Task. Click Continue.
- Choose the fields you want to display from the Available Columns box and move them to the Report Columns box using the blue circle arrows. Below is a list of all fields used to collect the information required for the Contract Brief. Fields are from the Project and Task fields and user-defined fields.
INITIAL CONTRACT SETUP
Perform the steps below to set up each Contract in Unanet.
Step 1 - Set up the Contract projects
Set up the Charging Project and the Contract Brief project
Set up the Contract as a Unanet Project; this is the Charging Project, which will have labor and expense charges placed against it. If there are multiple Projects under the Contract, see the next section regarding recommending naming convention.
After setting up the Contract as a Project in Unanet, set up a separate project for the purposes of the Contract Brief. The Contract Brief project will have zero charges against it. All charges will go to the main Project. The purpose of the Brief project is to record the Mods of the Contract as Unanet Tasks.
The Brief Project can be a copy of the original project as in the screenshot below, except that you should make it inactive and of Project Type "BRIEF" (so that it can be included or excluded from various reports).
When Mods arise, you will record them as Tasks on the Contract Brief project.
For Contracts with multiple Projects, a naming convention best practice
Current Unanet customers handle this in the same manner as Costpoint Customers through the use of “smart-naming” the Project Codes. For example:
- 10.10.1000 represents the Contract.
- 10.10.1000.100 represents the first Project.
- 10.10.1000.200 represents the second Project.
This allows reports to query on everything related to the Contract.
Populate Project User Defined Fields
Other aspects of Contracts may be stored as User-Defined Fields. See the sample Adhoc report you set up above which outlines a mix of Unanet standard fields and Unanet user-defined fields which have custom labels.
CLINS for EVM
CLINs can be sub-projects using the smart-naming convention, or tasks underneath projects.
Contracting Officer or other Contacts
Contacts can be loaded as Organization Contacts or Project UDFs.
Step 2 - Set up Tasks under the Project
Note that as Mods come in, you may decide to set them up as Tasks as well. See Option 2 in Contract Modifications above. Be sure to populate the "Detailed Comments" section on each Mod Task when it arises in order to capture the reason for the Mod.
Step 3 - Project Notes
In each project, create the Project Note with a Note Type of "FAR Clause" and "Contract Document" as appropriate.
The Contract document itself is stored as a Project Note.
List of FAR clauses in order to search on them
FAR clauses are typically tracked via Project UDFs and/or Project Notes.
Creating documents that are not contract year specific
These will be Project Notes at the 10.10.1000 level, i.e., the Contract level (if you have created a project per contract year).
Step 4 - Set up your Contract Brief
Step 4.1 Choose or create your Contract Brief template
Set up your Contract Brief Template shell in Excel. This page offers two samples, one from DCAA's ICE workbook and the other from a real world government contractor. Download one of the following.
Sample DCAA Contract Brief template
The following ICE spreadsheet includes a tab for DCAA's minimum requirements for a Contract Brief: ICE_Model
Many contractors furnish their contract briefs separate from the ICE spreadsheet because they can be voluminous. Adding a separate tab to the spreadsheet for each contract would make it very difficult to work with. Having all the contracts mixed on one tab would be equally hard.
Sample Contract Brief Template
Step 4.2 - Setting up the RWQ
Charges to Contract
Labor and expenses should be charged to the Contract's Projects, not to the BRIEF project.
Create Mods as necessary
See the section above regarding how to create Modifications.
Step 1 - Refreshing the Data
Open the Contract Brief (you have configured the RWQ in the initial contract setup step) and go to the tab with your Unanet data (Adhoc report).
Right-click on any cell and login with your Unanet credentials.
Select the data area represented in the Excel spreadsheet (the yellow arrow under the word Unanet) and click Import.
Step 2 - Display
Go to your main display tab for the Contract Brief and you will see data updated from live Unanet updates.