48 CFR § 9903.306 - Interpretations.

9903.306 Interpretations.

In determining amounts of increased costs in the clauses at 9903.201-4(a), Cost Accounting Standards, 9903.201-4(c), Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices, and 9903.201-4(d), Consistency in Cost Accounting, the following considerations apply:

(a) Increased costs shall be deemed to have resulted whenever the cost paid by the Government results from a change in a contractor's cost accounting practices or from failure to comply with applicable Cost Accounting Standards, and such cost is higher than it would have been had the practices not been changed or applicable Cost Accounting Standards complied with.

(b) If the contractor under any fixed-price contract, including a firm fixed-price contract, fails during contract performance to follow its cost accounting practices or to comply with applicable Cost Accounting Standards, increased costs are measured by the difference between the contract price agreed to and the contract price that would have been agreed to had the contractor proposed in accordance with the cost accounting practices used during contract performance. The determination of the contract price that would have been agreed to will be left to the contracting parties and will depend on the circumstances of each case.

(c) The statutory requirement underlying this interpretation is that the United States not pay increased costs, including a profit enlarged beyond that in the contemplation of the parties to the contract when the contract costs, price, or profit is negotiated, by reason of a contractor's failure to use applicable Cost Accounting Standards, or to follow consistently its cost accounting practices. In making price adjustments under the Cost Accounting Standards clause at 9903.201-4(a) in fixed price or cost reimbursement incentive contracts, or contracts providing for prospective or retroactive price redetermination, the Federal agency shall apply this requirement appropriately in the circumstances.

(d) The contractor and the contracting officer may enter into an agreement as contemplated by subdivision (a)(4)(ii) of the Cost Accounting Standards clause at 9903.201-4(a), covering a change in practice proposed by the Government or the contractor for all of the contractor's contracts for which the contracting officer is responsible, provided that the agreement does not permit any increase in the cost paid by the Government. Such agreement may be made final and binding, notwithstanding the fact that experience may subsequently establish that the actual impact of the change differed from that agreed to.

(e) An adjustment to the contract price or of cost allowances pursuant to the Cost Accounting Standards clause at 9903.201-4(a) may not be required when a change in cost accounting practices or a failure to follow Standards or cost accounting practices is estimated to result in increased costs being paid under a particular contract by the United States. This circumstance may arise when a contractor is performing two or more covered contracts, and the change or failure affects all such contracts. The change or failure may increase the cost paid under one or more of the contracts, while decreasing the cost paid under one or more of the contracts. In such case, the Government will not require price adjustment for any increased costs paid by the United States, so long as the cost decreases under one or more contracts are at least equal to the increased cost under the other affected contracts, provided that the contractor and the affected contracting officers agree on the method by which the price adjustments are to be made for all affected contracts. In this situation, the contracting agencies would, of course, require an adjustment of the contract price or cost allowances, as appropriate, to the extent that the increases under certain contracts were not offset by the decreases under the remaining contracts.

(f) Whether cost impact is recognized by modifying a single contract, several but not all contracts, or all contracts, or any other suitable technique, is a contract administration matter. The Cost Accounting Standards rules do not in any way restrict the capacity of the parties to select the method by which the cost impact attributable to a change in cost accounting practice is recognized.