Saturday, January 7, 2023

Labor Categories For Government Contractors

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Why You Should Use The Gsa Calc Tool

Developing Labor Categories for Contracts

If youve been reading the Winvale blog for a while, you know that is a valuable tool for potential GSA contractors or contractors trying to add new products or services to their Schedule. Understanding the market that you want to enter will help you to evaluate whether your prices are considered fair and reasonable. Thats where the GSA CALC tool comes in.

The CALC tool was built to provide market research and price analysis for labor categories on federal government contracts by creating a one-stop database that is easy to use. Using the CALC tool will help contractors understand their competitions pricing through a few clicks, rather than sifting through the awarded contractors list on GSA eLibrary or GSA Advantage!. Up to 200 rates are displayed in a CALC search, but the entire data set can be downloaded including the search query parameters.

The tool also provides calculations that give contractors a better understanding of the larger population of data, such as ranges and average prices. This data is helpful for contract negotiations. Coming into GSA negotiations with an informed outlook on the GSA awarded labor categories as a whole can make a big difference when negotiating with your Contracting Officer.

In short, GSA CALC is a helpful tool in understanding the ranges of ceiling prices for a given labor category or labor category type. It provides pricing insight and data for GSA and VA labor category prices.

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What Are Your Next Steps Once You’ve Mastered The Gsa Calc Tool

Conducting market research is a crucial start to establishing fair and reasonable pricing to offer GSA. It can also help you understand the market in which youre entering and where there is some wiggle room with negotiations.

Now that youre equipped with market research using the Contract-Awarded Labor Category tool, check out our blog Making the Most of the GSA MAS Modification Guide to get new labor categories on contract or The GSA Schedule Acquisition Process from Start to Finish to see if you are ready for your own GSA Schedule contract.

As always, the Winvale team is here to help if you would like to add labor categories to your contract or get started with the GSA schedule acquisition process.

About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Content Writer and Digital Editor for Winvale where she helps the marketing department continue to develop and distribute GSA and government contracting content. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.

3951 Westerre Parkway, Suite 250Richmond, VA 23233

How Should You Use The Gsa Calc Tool

The GSA CALC tool is pretty user-friendly but can take a bit of getting used to. It’s important to note that the CALC tool has been moved to buy.gsa.gov, GSA’s beta site for useful tools. GSA Interact was also moved to this site. This means that the CALC tool is currently under development, but you can still find some good information needed to compare pricing.

To start, youll want to do a general search based on the labor category of choice. You can either put in a general search or only search for labor categories that match your exact labor category titlethis will narrow the results if you are looking for more specific data. You can also search by vendor name and contract number if you want detailed information on a certain competitor.

Lets say you are trying to add a software engineer labor category to your contract. As you can see, based on the current data, the average hourly rate for a software engineer across all of GSA and VA contracts is $124/hour.

You can also find the standard deviation as well, which shows the typical range for a software engineerin this case from $82/hour to $166/hour.

If you continue to scroll down, you’ll find a list of contractors who offer this service, which we’ll discuss below.

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Common Types Of Fixed

  • Firm Fixed-Price Contract: This contract provides a price that is not subject to any adjustment.
  • Firm Fixed-Price, Level-Of-Effort Contract: This requires the contractor to provide a specified level of effort, over a stated period of time, for a dollar amount fixed by the government.
  • Firm-Fixed-Price Materials Reimbursement Type Contract: This contract sets a predetermined price for service and labor the government will reimburse for the cost of materials.
  • Fixed-Price Incentive Contracts: A fixed-price incentive contract is a fixed-price type contract with provisions for adjustment of profit.

Oasis Labor Category Crosswalk Table

Federal Contractor 1

The core disciplines/scopes of the contracts include:

  • The labor categories are aligned with occupations, as outlined in the Office of Management and Budgets Standard Occupational Classification system.

  • OASIS offers more meaningful proposed rate comparisons at the Task Order level
  • 104 OASIS LCATs
  • 127 OMB SOC occupations, and
  • 1,000 typical industry job titles
  • The remaining 840 SOC occupations can be added and priced at the task order level as âancillary labor
  • A federal agency responsible for assisting the president in meeting policy, budget, management and regulatory objectives and to fulfill the agencyâs statutory responsibilities.

    The OASIS Labor Category Crosswalk Table compares Industrys functional job descriptions and specific the Office of Management and Budget Standard Occupational Classification system occupational descriptions. In this table, you will find more than a thousand industry job titles with suggested SOC occupation and OASIS LCAT matches.

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    Types Of Government Contracts

    There are several types of government contracts, and the differences between them are not trivial. Each requires a unique approach to bidding, and a unique approach to performing the work. Understanding the distinct challenges and opportunities of each contract is important for every business interested in selling to the government if that business is to succeed as a government contractor.

    Common Government Contracting Labor Category Job Descriptions

    Job Titles in government contracting are not always the same as those in the private sector. Even if the names are identical, the duties and responsibilities may differ when working on a federal or state government contract.

    Roles on a government contract are often referred to as Labor Categories . And on some contracts, the government often has specific criteria for each labor category that a company might bill to the government.

    When working on a government contract, it is important to understand the difference between a job title and a labor category. A job title is simply the name of the position, while a labor category describes the work that will be performed under that title.

    For example, imagine you are working on a contract to provide support services to a government agency. One of the positions you plan to fill is an Administrative Assistant. In the private sector, the duties of an administrative assistant might include handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, and maintaining files.

    On a government contract, however, the duties of an administrative assistant might also include preparing reports for senior officials and attending high-level meetings. Therefore, the labor category for an administrative assistant on a government contract could be Administrative Assistant/Senior Level.

    When applying for a government contract, carefully read the job descriptions and identify the labor category that best fits your skills and experience.

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    What Is A Fixed

    Fixed-price contracts are used by all federal agencies and generally provide a set, firm price. An adjustable price level may sometimes be used for a ceiling price, a target price , or both, depending on how it is specified in the contract. Fixed-price contracts are typically used when the contract risk is relatively low, or defined within acceptable limits, and the contractor and the government can come to an agreement on a ceiling price.

    Why You Need To Do It

    Micro Session: Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC+)

    When invoicing labor hours against a T& M, Labor Hour, or FFP-LOE contract, you must invoice the labor categories agreed to in the contract AND you must use personnel that meet the requirements of the labor categories used. Yes, this is a two-part requirement! Missing one or both parts can lead to invoice adjustments, audit findings, and terminations for default. Do not bid categories you cannot fill and always bid an extra category or two as back-up plan in case of changes in personnel.

    Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read

    Working with the General Services Administration can be difficult. Many times, the information contractors need is already out there in the universe, released by GSA, but the trick is knowing where to find it. One of our specialties as GSA Schedule consultants is pinpointing the right resources for our clients and helping them learn how to use those tools.

    One of the most underutilized GSA tools is the Contract-Awarded Labor Category, or CALC, tool. The CALC tool is valuable to contractors by helping with market research, particularly for labor categories offered to GSA. Lets dive in to understand more about the GSA CALC tool.

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    Labor Categories And Rates For Government Contracts

    Oversee all special item shall not necessarily the two conferences merged with contract for rates as projects. Determine if and planned information systems on contracts and for labor categories rates from vendors if your contracts and quantity at first contract shall be designed to provide. Contractor from the contractor must establish negotiation objectives, failure determination program manager on contracts and labor rates for government requires a specific training specialist iiihigh level personnel to provide.

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    Differences Between Labor Categories In An Offerors Proposal And Solicitation Requirements

    By: Alexander Jonathan Brittin

    An interesting problem arose in a procurement for the acquisition of audit support services. The solicitation stated that an offerors Federal Supply Schedule Contract Labor Categories must align precisely with the LCATs in the solicitations statement of work. Conducted under FAR subpart 8.4, the contractor Grant Thornton, LLC, filed a pre-award protest that objected to a requirement that its LCATs must align precisely with the LCATs in the solicitation. Grant Thornton, LLC, B- 416733, Nov. 29, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 411. Grant Thornton argued that this was an unjustified restriction on competition.

    In Grant Thorntons case, its FSS LCATs stated that individuals will have at least, for example, 10 years of experience. However, the solicitation required greater than, for example 12 years of experience, for a particular LCAT. The Army said that if an offerors LCATs do not precisely align in terms of years of experience then the offeror could not bid. Grant Thornton protested.

    GAO agreed with Grant Thornton that the agency has not justified the inclusion of the challenged solicitation provision, and that the provisions are therefore unduly restrictive of competition.

    The question of whether an offerors FSS contract LCATs are within the scope of the solicitation was also addressed in American Sys. Consulting, Inc., B-294644, Dec. 13, 2004, 2004 CPD ¶ 247 and AllWorld Language Consultants, Inc., B-411481.3, Jan. 6, 2016, 2016 CPD

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    Emerging Risk Area For Government Contractors: Labor Category Job Qualifications In Time And Materials Contracts

    Government contractors who have time and materials contracts with the federal government, or who have these types of subcontracts under a federal government prime contract, should be aware of recent trends regarding findings of inadequate support for T& M billings. Since the T& M billings represent a claim to the government, any finding in this area will often lead to assertions of false claims by the government. In this article, we will discuss the requirements and risks relative to billing hours under T& M contracts, and suggest controls that are likely necessary to mitigate risk for government contractors.

    Perform A Compliance Self

    Federal Contractors

    Before the auditors arrive, contractors should perform a self-assessment of their overall compliance. This includes the Service Contract Labor Standards , the Davis Bacon Act and Collective Bargaining Agreements. The roles and responsibilities of the contracting officer, the Department of Labor and the contractor are often misunderstood, complicating compliance. Prior to an audit, Baker Tillys government contracts practice can help:

    • Conduct a proactive risk assessment
    • Evaluate whether benefits provided are bona fide
    • Determine contract coverage
    • Determine and remediate risks related self-insured benefit plans
    • Identify and resolve unintended red flags

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    Product Service Code Crosswalk

    The OASIS Table of PSC codes by OASIS pool number is excerpted from Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation and only includes those in scope. Select the link to search for your Pool number and the various possible PSC Codes that may apply.

    Note: Ordering Contracting Officers are required to identify, in each task order solicitation, the PSC that represents the principal nature of the work, and report these PSCs in FPDS-NG.

    Assess Back Pay Liability

    Sometimes, despite best attempts to comply, contractors may find themselves historically non-compliant. Leveraging our experience with the Department of Labor, Baker Tilly government contracts practice can:

    • Conduct a proactive risk assessment to determine audit risk
    • Evaluate costs, analyze systems and review policies and procedures to determine compliance with contract requirements
    • Identify, quantify and remediate potential risk areas
    • Calculate detailed by-person back pay amounts
    • Manage the self-disclosure process with the Wage and Hour Division

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    What Are Your Next Steps Once Youve Mastered The Gsa Calc Tool

    Conducting market research is a crucial start to establishing fair and reasonable pricing to offer GSA. It can also help you understand the market in which youre entering and where there is some wiggle room with negotiations.

    Now that youre equipped with market research using the Contract-Awarded Labor Category tool, check out our blog Making the Most of the GSA MAS Modification Guide to get new labor categories on contract or The GSA Schedule Acquisition Process from Start to Finish to see if you are ready for your own GSA Schedule contract.

    As always, the Winvale team is here to help if you would like to add labor categories to your contract or get started with the GSA schedule acquisition process.

    About Haley Lawrie

    Haley Lawrie is the Director of Training and Research at Winvale. She is originally from Lynchburg, VA and graduated from James Madison University with a degree in International Affairs and Spanish.

    • Connect with Haley Lawrie

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    Using The Gsa Contract

    Supplier Success Strategies – CALC for Suppliers

    Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read

    Working with the General Services Administration can be difficult. Many times, the information contractors need is already out there in the universe, released by GSA, but the trick is knowing where to find it. One of our specialties as GSA Schedule consultants is pinpointing the right resources for our clients and helping them learn how to use those tools.

    One of the most underutilized GSA tools is the Contract-Awarded Labor Category, or CALC, tool. The CALC tool is valuable to contractors by helping with market research, particularly for labor categories offered to GSA. Lets dive in to understand more about the GSA CALC tool.

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    What Is A Time And Materials Contract

    Time and Materials contracts present the highest risk to the government and lowest risk to the contractor. These contracts allow government purchasing officials to procure supplies or services on the basis of direct labor hours and actual material costs.

    A Time and Materials contract is generally used only when it is not possible to accurately estimate or anticipate the extent or duration of the work being provided by the government contractor. Since these contracts carry a significant amount of risk for the government, federal rules encourage agencies to use other types of contracts.

    Time & Materials Contracts

    This one is quite straightforward. For these contracts, the government establishes a per-hour labor rate, assesses materials costs, and establishes a price ceiling. If you can provide the services within the budget, this is a fantastic option.

    Contracts for emergency services, for example, are frequently quite short-term. The contractor will only deliver labor and not materials in some situations, known as labor-hour contracts.

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    What Are The Fcp Requirements

    To bid on an eligible contract, organizations must enter into an Agreement to Implement Employment Equity . The AIEE goes beyond the life of the original contract and is an ongoing obligation.

    An organization that receives an eligible contract must meet the following requirements:

    • collect and maintain workforce information, including representation of the 4 designated groups
    • conduct a workforce analysis and complete an achievement report
    • establish short-term and long-term numerical goals and begin actions that will identify and remove employment barriers
    • make reasonable efforts towards having a workforce that is representative of the 4 designated groups

    Feeling Restricted By The Number Of Labor Categories That Gsa Will Award

    Federal Contractor Poster

    Offering a labor category as an “open market item” in a GSA Schedule quote is a possible solution to the problem. An open market item is any product or service offered in a GSA Schedule quote that is not an awarded line item on your Schedule contract. Open market items cannot predominate in a GSA Schedule quote but are a legitimate part of a quote if they are incidental to the Schedule items ordered and are properly designated as open market items. We therefore suggest selling new labor categories to federal customers as open market items and then modifying your GSA Schedule contract to add the additional labor categories. The process is cumbersome and time consuming but a practical approach nonetheless.A similar and conceivably easier alternative is to make a commercial sale of the labor categories in question and then modifying your contract thereafter.

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