DOJ Attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver to Quimba: Shouda Had a Time Machine!

June 26, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, despite flurry of activity on the case. The reason? Every time I’ve sat down to write a post, I’ve become deeply depressed because of how the DOJ and the DOD are treating us and literally had to stop writing. Now that I’ve managed to finish writing this piece, let me start with a quick summary of facts relevant to this post.

During FY 2004 (yep, a decade ago), my co-founder and I at Quimba continued to work on a federal contract while pursuing DCAA’s approval of our accounting system. During this time period, we were not permitted to submit a voucher unless as an exception and by prior permission from the DCAA. The only way to continue under the then-circumstances was that Quimba’s founders deferred salaries – in other words, my co-founder and I gave an interest-free loan to the US Government for FY2004.

That was a  f**king stupid newbie mistake on our part in retrospect, as an act that would have made us a preferred vendor with any organization in the public sector, has become a nightmare primarily due the DOJ’s intentional decision to persecute Quimba. I will write more on that “intentional” part later – it is not just my personal opinion.

Anyway, we finally got approval in FY2005, sent in our vouchers for FY2004 costs, got paid, and paid ourselves. In 2007 the DCAA auditor, Mr. Amanat Sulehria disallowed the deferred salaries. In 2011 DCMA ACO Craig M. Studley upheld the auditor’s recommendation and as the result we filed an appeal in the Court of Federal Claims in 2012.

Everyone up to date? Good.

The Government’s Motion to Amend is here, their proposed Counterclaim is here, our Response to the Motion is here, and their Reply is here.

The Court granted the Government’s motion because the Judge could not sort out the facts due to what she called a “truncated record.” We also think that the Judge joined the long line of people who’ve heard our story and their reaction the first couple of time they hear the story has been that “nah… you are not telling me something because the United States of America would not do this to a small business or U.S. citizens.” So the Judge’s decision while frustrating is understandable.

The fact that his case is still “alive” is definitively due to the DOJ Attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver’s impressive writing skills. Mr. Oliver is clearly an expert in using linguistic devices and word gymnastics to muddy the waters. That’s how the Time Machine comes in!

Stripped to its core, Mr. Oliver takes the following position in his Counterclaim:

  1. The Government should be permitted to use payments made to Quimba in FY2005 for FY2004 Costs to cure the mortifyingly defective COFD ACO Studley issued shortly before the good ACO retired. The Government argues that this is permissible because the Government did pay for Quimba’s Incurred FY2004 Costs and, by inference, it is arguing that the date the payment was made is irrelevant.
  1. At the same time (and here is where the root of the problem is) the Government is also arguing that Quimba SHOULD NOT be permitted to do exactly the same thing, i.e., to use the FY2005 payments toward the very same Incurred Costs (salary deferrals) in FY2004.

The only way Quimba would end up owing any money for FY2004 is if both of the above conditions are met. Otherwise, since, as stated in the ACO Craig M. Studley’s decision (posted here), the entire and only reason for finding some of Quimba’s claimed FY2004 salaries unallowable is that Quimba did not pay them in FY2004. Therefore a credit for paying those costs in FY2005 (which we did) would remove the Government’s objection and those costs now become allowable. Once that happens, the Government no longer has a Claim and we’re done.

That is precisely why the DOJ attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver is now attempting to BOTH hold Quimba responsible for the fact that Quimba did not pay some founder salaries in FY2004 (despite the good reason that the Government had not paid us for those costs in FY2004) AND benefit from paying Quimba in FY2005 for the very same FY2004 costs.

Put another way, the Government’s position now is that Quimba should have paid salaries in FY2004 with monies that the Government had not paid until FY2005. So he is telling us that it’s is our own damned fault that we did not have a time machine to go back to 2004 and pay salaries after the Government paid us in 2005!

I find the Government’s position reprehensible. But that may just be my sour grapes? What do you think of how the DOJ and the Government attorneys, DOJ’s Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver and DCMA’s Srikanti (‘Sri’) Schaffner are attempting to win their case? Do you think their actions are fair? Just what lawyers do? Or do you think, because they are or should be representing the Old Glory, we should hold these attorneys and their employers, DOJ and DCMA, to a higher standard of justice and honor as opposed to, say, the lawyers who defend organized crime families, where it is understood that the attorneys will try to win at any cost and by any means?

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, Esq. (DOJ Attorney) – P.Davis.Oliver@usdoj.gov
Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, Esq. (DCMA Attorney) – Srikanti.Schaffner@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.
Amanat Sulehria – DCAA auditor – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

 

 

Government’s Counterclaim Against Quimba

April 21, 2014 2 comments

As I mentioned in my last post, in December of 2013, over 18 months after this litigation began, the Government filed a Counterclaim against Quimba. In his brief, DOJ Attorney Paul ‘P.’ David Oliver made some interesting and unique assertions. Specifically, he wrote:

 “6. The compensation costs at issue are the compensation costs that Quimba incurred in connection with the Contract. Although Quimba reported to the IRS total costs of $114,400 in 2004 for its employees, not all of those costs are compensation costs that relate to the Contract. In addition to the Contract, plaintiff had two other contracts with the Government in 2004, both of which were firm fixed price contracts. Plaintiff’s Final Incurred Cost Proposal identifies the labor costs that it incurred in connection with the Contract and the two firm fixed price contracts. Based upon plaintiff’s Final Incurred Cost Proposal, 54% of the plaintiff’s total labor costs for 2004 relate to the Contract; the remainder relate to the two firm fixed price contracts, which are not at issue. Thus, for purposes of applying FAR 31.205-6 (2003), compensation costs to which that FAR provision applies is $61,560, which is 54% of $114,400.

7. As such, no more than $61,560 of Quimba’s compensation costs for 2004 are allowable under FAR 31.205-6(b)(2)(i)(2003).”

In case that little piece of linguistic gymnastics, in our opinion solely designed to confuse the Court, also confused you, let me explain. The good attorney Oliver is arguing that they should be allowed to use the wages we reported to the IRS and divide that by the number of contracts we had during the Fiscal Year 2004 to determine how much of our costs (not wages) is attributable to the CPFF contract.

If your reaction is What the Franklin, then you are not alone. We had the same exact reaction. Of course, please do let me know if you understand the logic in attorney Oliver’s position, particularly if you can tie it to GAAP or CAS in any shape or form. Oh, another minor detail. DOJ attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver seems to clearly lack even the most basic understanding of how costs are computed – and not just in the Government contracting business. For example, his logic here clearly ignores the fact that the $114K he is quoting is Quimba’s costs before indirect rates would be added. Unless this is yet another evidence of attorney Oliver’s lack of expertise in any topic remotely related to cost accounting, here he is arguing that Quimba is not entitled to collect indirect rates on the wages paid to it’s employees.

We are dying to see how the judge reacts to this little gem of an argument. If the Court buys this, we can’t wait until DCAA is shut down as the result!!! This would follow from a decision to uphold the above argument because if we could simply divide the wages a company paid during the fiscal year by the number of Contracts to determine costs that can be allocated to each contract, then who needs DCAA? If that happens, not only the entire contracting community will celebrate, we will put up attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver for some sort of a national medal because he will have saved the taxpayers the cost of funding DCAA’s 10,000+ employees, not to mention all their operating costs!

In addition to the above, in our Response, we pointed out to the judge that every time the Government proposes a new amount Quimba supposedly owes, the Government comes up with a new final number. In fact, we listed 6 or 7 different “Final Final” Sum Certain amounts the good attorney Oliver and his cohort, attorney Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner of DCMA have come up with since the whole ridiculous process started. What attorney Oliver’s position did was in fact further solidify my personal opinion that we are dealing with two incredibly dishonorable organizations, and in fact individuals, who are determined to continue to persecute a small business, and its citizen founders, to defend the ruling of one incompetent contracting officer, ACO Craig M. Studley. In my opinion, an honorable organization, and indeed individual, would have by now accepted responsibility for Craig Studley’s incompetence, apologized, made amends and moved on – particularly since Craig Studly under oath admitted that he made a mistake, that he knew about it shortly after he made the mistake, but did not correct the COFD in violation of the law. We’ll of course discuss Craig Studley’s deposition soon in this blog.

The Government’s Motion to Amend is here, their proposed Counterclaim is here, our Response to the Motion is here, and their Reply is here. As of this post, we are awaiting Judge’s decision.

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, Esq. (DOJ Attorney) – P.Davis.Oliver@usdoj.gov
Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, Esq. (DCMA Attorney) – Srikanti.Schaffner@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

Categories: Small Business

Back to “Business”

March 9, 2014 2 comments

I’ve been quiet for a while because the case was moving through its busiest stage, depositions, and I had very limited time leftover for blogging. But most of that is over now so I can get back to this and bring everyone up-to-date.

There has been so much activity that I think the best place to start is to give an overview of what has happened. I will then follow with a blog on each item.

1. In December the Government filed a Counterclaim 18 months into the process. In the Counterclaim, the Government attorney, Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver puts forth yet another amount as his new-final-final amount he swears the government can prove Quimba owes. This latest amount is the seventh final sum certain amount the good attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver and the competent DCMA folks have come up with, each time asserting the number as the final-final amount Quimba owes. His Counterclaim filing is itself a testimonial as to how incompetent attorney Oliver believes ACO Craig M. Studley of DCMA actually is – just about the only thing attorney Oliver and I have consistently agreed on. In his Counterclaim, attorney Oliver also proposed a brand new method of allocating contractor costs across contracts and fiscal years that was, to say the least, amusing to read. Those of you who hate the DCAA should pray for the Judge to buy attorney Oliver’s method because it would mean we no longer need the DCAA.

The decision on whether or not the Government can file a Counterclaim is now pending before the Court.

2. Speaking of those snarky little devils in DCAA, in December I filed a Five Million Dollar lawsuit against DCAA under the Federal Tort Claims Act. For those of you who have access to Pacer, you can find the Complaint by searching for case number C13-5984, in the US District Court, Northern California Division. I will of course cover this in detail in upcoming blog posts.

As of today, they have asked for an extension to respond. This should be good.

3. Also in December (yes it was a busy month) DCMA issued two more Contracting Officer’s Final Decision against Quimba, questioning all of our costs in FY 2005 and FY 2006. We are not sure what to make of this because the Administrative Contracting Officer, ACO Delaine Alvarez of the DCMA Northern California branch, did not bother to issue a Letter of Intent to Disallow Costs before issuing the COFD. This, to us, seems contrary to the FAR. We just filed a Notice of Dispute with ASBCA and I am really curious as to why Ms. Alvarez thinks she can issue a COFD without issuing a Letter of Intent to Disallow Costs. Will of course post her COFDs when I blog about this topic.

4. In January we replied to the Government’s response to our Motion for Summary Judgment. I will post this shortly as well.

Quimba’s Motion for Summary Judgment is Pending before the Court.

5. The most interesting event since the last blog post is our Deposition of ACO Craig M. Studley. Most of it was the expected back and forth. However, the good ACO did admit under oath that he knew he made a mistake in his COFD shortly after I notified him but did not correct the error. He says he did not do so because a DCMA attorney advised him not to. You don’t have to have a law degree to understand that the DCMA employees conspired to intentionally break the law, probably, because they wanted to circumvent the CDA’s Statute of Limitation. I intend to explore this and expose those DCMA-Taliban involved in that decision for the incompetent, unpatriotic, dishonorable, un-American, cowards, pension-undeserving leaches that they, in my opinion, are.

Shame on you Craig Studley. You intentionally and willingly wiped your ass with the US flag and betrayed the trust American Citizens placed in you. Anyone who ever mentored you, taught you, or otherwise helped your “career” ought to be proud of you now.

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, Esq. (DOJ Attorney) – P.Davis.Oliver@usdoj.gov
Delaine Alvarez (ACO) – Delaine.Alvarez@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

DOJ’s Yet-Another Extension Request

December 15, 2013 3 comments

Since our saga turned to DOJ, and it began persecuting Quimba – and I do mean persecute – they have repeatedly asked for extension after extension. I was complaining about this “we don’t need no stinking calendar” approach that, at the very least, DOJ attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, and DCMA attorney, Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, have used with us. The person I was talking with is an experienced attorney who has worked in post-award CDA litigation for a couple of decades. Her opinion unambiguously reflected my own impression that DOJ attorneys use repeated extension requests as yet-another method of running up legal fees for the contractor. After all, every extension request must be discussed with our attorney (invoice), and our attorney will discuss with us (invoice), and then the request is submitted to our attorney for review (invoice), and then, assuming no issues, the request is submitted to the Court for approval. The Court subsequently will issue an order, and a copy is sent to our attorney (invoice) and our attorney will notify us (invoice). Of course there are five invoices only if we have no reason to oppose the extension. An opposition will eat up a ton more money.

That brings us to my use of the word “persecute” in opening this post. As I have repeatedly chronicled in this blog, the DOJ attorney, Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver has explicitly admitted in court documents that Quimba WAS NOT paid monies asserted by DCMA ACO Craig M. Studley, and that the debt ACO Craig Studley levied on Quimba was an error. Both the DOJ attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, and DCMA attorney Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner also know, or should know, the error has, for all intents and purposes, barred Quimba from pursuing any taxpayer-funded opportunities, federal or otherwise. See this post for more on how and why.

Yet both attorneys still are intentionally moving this case forward, which at this point I will have to assume is with the full knowledge and support of their respective chains of command. Why is that assumption reasonable? Because we have filed two complaints with the SBA which has brought our grievances to the attention of both DCMA and DOJ leadership, as reported here and here. As such, it is hard to imagine that these two attorneys don’t have full support of their leadership.

Regardless, in my opinion, the only reason for these two attorneys’ insistence to move the case forward is, primarily, their own personal gain; after all both attorneys must have long realized that they have no legal case.

Folks, as we say around here, this is not “rocket surgery!” This is a very simple case: The Government did NOT pay Quimba any money in 2004 for 2004, on the contract in question, as attorney Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver himself has admitted. Therefore, even a five-year-old would understand that Quimba could not have been overpaid. Besides, the DOJ attorney did in fact admit, in writing, that Quimab DOES NOT owe the government the debt ACO Craig M. Studley levied. However, by moving the case forward despite this knowledge and admission, the Government attorneys are hoping to make it so expensive for me that I will walk away with an unfair settlement. So they won’t get a “loss” on their records. That’s the personal gain.

More importantly, if they succeed to bury this case, the impending cases we intend to bring under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) will also go away. Net result? The Government will have been unjustly-enriched, despite committing, through its agents and employees (and with full support and knowledge of DCMA and DOJ leaderships), intentional acts that destroyed a promising small business and inflicted, and continues to inflict significant personal and financial harm on its founders. In my opinion, this is the reason as to why both DCMA and DOJ leadership are supporting attorney Oliver and attorney Schaffner to move this case forward, again, despite the knowledge that there is no case here.

What else would you call this except persecution?

The entire motion for an extension is posted here. If you read it, you’ll note that it says “Joint Motion,” because we did not oppose the new timelines. For the record, however, we did not initiate this extension request.

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, Esq. (DOJ Attorney) – P.Davis.Oliver@usdoj.gov
Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, Esq. (DCMA Attorney) – Srikanti.Schaffner@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

We Heard Back from the SBA on Quimba Complaint Against the DOJ

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

As I reported here, we had filed a complaint with the Small Business Administration (SBA) against the Department of Justice (DOJ). You may recall that the basis of the complaint DID NOT have anything to do with our lawsuit. The basis of the complaint was that the DOJ attorney, Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, admitted in court documents, posted here, that Quimba did not owe the Government the debt erroneously levied by the DCMA employee, ACO Craig M. Studley. Despite the unambiguous admission, we complained, neither Mr. Oliver, nor the DCMA attorney Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner moved to rescind the erroneous levy. Because the levy continues to make it impossible for Quimba to pursue taxpayer-funded opportunities, federal or otherwise, we complained that the DOJ attorney, Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, was using the levy to extort an unfair settlement, and that the DOJ (or DCMA for that matter) supervisory chain of command endorsed this action, albeit perhaps by silent inaction.

As you can read for yourself, the SBA folks did try, and according to their letter, they have escalated the complaint to both DOJ and DCMA management. Will anything come of this beyond yet-another documented evidence of how these organizations work? Your guess at this point is as good as mine!

The unedited SBA response is posted here in full.

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Paul ‘P.’ Davis Oliver, Esq. (DOJ Attorney) – P.Davis.Oliver@usdoj.gov
Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, Esq. (DCMA Attorney) – Srikanti.Schaffner@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

The DOD Inspector General Response to our FOIA Request

November 30, 2013 4 comments

We heard back on our DOD-IG FOIA request. Unfortunately, it seems to be yet another implementation of DOD administrative foot-dragging, designed to frustrate citizens. Although I must allow for the fact that after spending the past three years of, so far unproductive time and  money wasted on trying to convince DCMA that ACO Craig M. Studley made an error, I may be jaded about all things relating to DCMA, DOD or DOJ.  That said, the short and to the point letter from Jeanne Miller, Chief of the DOD Freedom of Information and Privacy Office basically told us not to hold our breath.

There has to be at least two Americas and I am clearly not a citizen of one where DOD policymakers live. Otherwise, I figure, with DOD’s massive budget, they could afford to put a few more people handling Freedom Of Information Requests. Mind you, I am not saying they should grant every FOIA request. I am only saying that it should not take this much effort to get a request reviewed.

I swear I don’t understand the people who put these processes in place.

Their full response is posted here.

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Jeanne Miller, Chief, DOD Freedome of Information (FOIA) and Privacy Office – No email on file.
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

Two More Administrative Notices Filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act

November 26, 2013 1 comment

Those of you who follow this blog know that we have been serving SF-95 notices of our intent to pursue all legal remedies under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The last set of notices, one on behalf of Quimba and one on behalf of myself, were filed against DCMA, citing DCAM attorney Srikanti Schaffner’s specific acts as the cause of action. In particular, the notice cites the fact that we did provide attorney Schaffner with unambiguous and irrefutable proof of ACO Craig M. Studley’s error. We in fact filed the proof, obtained from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) as an addendum to our ASBCA complaint. The DFAS document, a report of all payments on the contract, clearly showed that Quimba had not been paid the monies ACO Craig Studley claimed in his erroneous Contracting Officer’s Final Decision.

Sadly, however, Ms. Schaffner decided to move the case forward after consulting with our then-ACO, ACO Michael Hurrell. I am not sure what they are going to call this when we actually get to file with the court. We call it conspiracy.

The complete and unedited SF-95s are here (Quimba) and here (Dourandish).

People in this post:
Bob Dourandish – bob@quimba.com
Srikanti ‘Sri’ Schaffner, Esq. – Srikanti.Schaffner@dcma.mil
Michael Hurrell (ACO) – Michael.Hurrell@dcma.mil
Craig M. Studley – DCMA ACO – Retired on for-life taxpayer-funded Pension and for-life taxpayer-funded Healthcare. No email on file.

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