Federal Acquisition-Related Courses

The Center of Higher Learning is pleased to offer the teaching services of Harry D. Cleaver, Jr., CPCM, CPE, who is a university-based continuing education instructor from Huntsville, Alabama.  Over the past ten years of teaching at the John C. Stennis Space Center, Harry has developed 10 one-day core courses tailored for local students.  The Center of Higher Learning “Federal Acquisition-Related” courses cover the major aspects of the federal acquisition process, from beginning to end, and give the student a solid understanding of the entire federal procurement system.  Stennis-based organizations can arrange for any or all of these classes to be offered onsite at a time convenient to you and your organization.

Harry has also prepared and conducted specialized, tailored classes for Stennis agencies in the past few years in such topics as "Writing Performance-Based Statements of Work" and “Grants & Cooperative Agreements Including SBIR / STTR".  Accordingly if your organization might be interested in such a specialized course, please contact CHL at (228) 688-7662 or via email at Keith.Long@usm.edu.

Understanding the Federal Acquisition System (6 hrs)

Gain a working knowledge of the Federal Procurement System by concentrating on the life cycle of that same acquisition process, beginning with Congressional funding and ending with contract closeout. Learn the different ways that the Federal Government comes to a signed contract via the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) System. Gain a working knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of major Government participants from a contractor’s perspective.

FAR Orientation for Proposals & Project Performance (6 hrs)

Learn the efficient use of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in book form and via the Internet. Learn about the role of solicitation provisions and contract clauses in Government bid documents and resulting contracts. Understand how these clauses are applied to individual contracts via the FAR 52.301 Matrix and the Uniform Contract Format (UCF). Gain an understanding of the contractual elements to look for in making your proposal preparation decisions.  Learn about the role of Incorporations by Reference (IBR) in contract formation. This course includes a practical exercise.

Contract Types (6 hrs)

Learn about the major contract types within the three Contract Type groupings (Fixed Price, Cost Reimbursement, and Time & Materials) in FAR 16, and the manner in which they perform from a financial perspective. Gain an understanding about their respective suites of contract clauses, and an overview of their different payment scenarios.  Learn about task order contracting arrangements such as Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ). Learn about the different ways the Government uses Award Fee Plans, and learn about the recent changes to Time & Materials contracting.

Cost & Price Analysis (6 hrs)

Gain a working knowledge of Public Law 87-653, the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), and the implications of this critical law within the FAR. Learn about “Cost or Pricing Data” or similar requirements imposed by the Government in their bid documents. Understand the role of the “Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data” when the Government requests TINA-related data in proposals. Also understand the key role of Price Analysis in non TINA-related proposals. Learn about all cost element groupings such as Direct Labor, and all indirect cost pools such as General and Administrative (G&A) Expenses. This course includes a practical exercise.

Elements of Federal Contract Administration (6 hrs)

Focuses on the main Contract Administration responsibilities for a Federal Prime Contractor. These would include areas such as government property, contract modifications, payment, contract file management, and contract completions. Many of these same responsibilities also apply to buyers and sellers on major Federal Government subcontracts. Also learn the major Contract Administration functions of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).

Contract and Change Order Negotiation (6 hrs)

Gain an appreciation of the Federal Government negotiation norms as principally contained in FAR 15.3 and Volume 5 of the Contract Pricing Reference Guides (CPRG). Learn about the concept of Competitive Range Discussions after baseline proposal submittal, as contrasted to sole source negotiations.  Understand the requirements for equitable adjustment change order proposal contents and subsequent negotiations.  Gain a further appreciation of the potential negotiation roles of the Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) within the parameters of FAR 42.3. Then understand the seller’s perspective in preparing for negotiations and then conducting negotiations. Finally a familiarization will be gained about certain related skill areas such as Effective Listening during negotiations.

Preparing “Responsive” Federal Proposals (6 hrs)

Definitions are presented for the key concepts of “Responsiveness” and “Responsibility”.  Learning is gained about the early possibilities of “Strawman” proposal activities. An appreciation is also gained about the process of analyzing Government bid documents for purposes of bid/no bid decisions and submitting possible questions to the Government. Then learn about standard contents and concerns within typical proposal volumes such as Cost, Past Performance, Technical, and Management. Gain some basic understandings concerning the techniques for volume outlining, graphics insertions, and proposal writing. Examine the key concepts of “Red Team” review, and subsequent finalization of proposals for “on time” submittals.

Principles of Subcontract Management (6 hrs)

Examines the complexities inherent in a prime contractor seeking value-added work and/or deliverables from subcontractor sources.  Understanding is gained concerning subcontractor selections, teaming agreements, subcontractor proposals, purchase order formation, Government consent, and the subcontract acknowledgement process.  Prime contract flow downs are analyzed and Subcontract Administration issues such as the Defense Priorities Allocation System (DPAS) rating system and Contract Purchasing System Reviews (CPSRs) are explored. Plus an overview of Subcontract Management methodologies is also discussed.

Earned Value Analysis (6 hrs)

Gain an understanding for the way that Earned Value Analysis (EVA) measures project performance by leveraging additional data points that result in cumulative cost and schedule indicators. Learn how the Earned Value measurement concept developed over time, and how it finally became an ANSI/EIA Standard (748-98) known as Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS).  Compare EVA to EVMS, then learn the basics of variance analysis, performance indicators, efficiency indicators, and Estimate at Completion (EAC) generation methodologies. This course includes practical exercises.

Baseline Project Planning & Scheduling (6 hrs)

Gain an appreciation for the fundamental concepts of Project Management planning, which includes technical, cost, and schedule baselines. Learn a basic understanding about the skill areas such as Requirements Analysis and Work Decomposition that lead up to the formation of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Then examine the underpinnings of the WBS which includes WBS Dictionaries and Basis of Estimates (BOEs). Then gain a working understanding of the scheduling key steps along the way to arriving at a Resource-Loaded Schedule (RLS). This course includes practical exercises.

Services Contracting (6 hrs)

Gain an appreciation for the latest policies concerning Inherently Governmental Functions. Learn the differences between Personal & Nonpersonal Services Contracts. Also learn the effects of related federal statutes such as the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003. Then gain an understanding of how the FAR arrived at the current version of FAR 37.6 on Performance-Based Services Acquisition (PBSA). Finally learn the details within the Seven Step PBSA process, both from a DoD perspective and an Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) perspective.

Harry D. Cleaver, Jr., CPCM, CPE

Harry D. Cleaver, Jr., CPCM, CPE

Meet Harry

Harry D. Cleaver, Jr., CPCM, CPE began his Project Management experience in 1967 in the Corps of Engineers on construction projects.  That experience has since included managing a large Project Office for SAIC during the Y2k Programs era.  His Proposal Management and Contracts Management experience began at Hughes Aircraft Company in 1975 as a Senior Negotiator/Cost Volume Expert on high technology programs, and later on as the manager of a Proposal Center at SAIC beginning in 1983.  After 1986, he managed several major proposals for SAIC as a consultant, and then returned to SAIC in 1990 as an assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, and as a Corporate Trainer until his retirement in 2006.  At that time, he shifted away from corporate affiliations, and away from his sideline business as an expert witness in Federal Procurement court cases, and shifted towards a greater emphasis in his various training venues.

 In terms of his teaching credentials, he has been a professional trainer since 1969, and a Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) since 1979, and a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) since 1984.  And he has been conducting training classes for UAH in Huntsville, Alabama since 1981, and for USM and CHL at the Stennis Space Center since 2003.  In terms of his educational credentials, he received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma (1967), and he completed a “Methods of Instruction” course given by the US Army (1969), and he completed two certification programs in Contracts Management from UCLA Extension (1977-1978), and he received an MS from the Florida Institute of Technology (2000).