Account management policy
This control document outlines how 18F conducts business.
Why we enter into Interagency Agreements
18F provides digital and digital-related services to federal agencies. 18F is funded by the Acquisition Services Fund, which requires reimbursement in full. We therefore charge our clients — the federal agencies who engage us for project work — for our actual time and material costs, plus a fixed overhead amount. To do so, we enter into an interagency agreement (IAA), with each of our clients.
Roles and responsibilities
In addition to software developers, designers, and other skilled positions, every project team has a project lead and an account liaison. (In most cases, both roles are played by the same person.) 18F also has an accounts manager and a timekeeping manager.
For each project, the project account liaison and the 18F accounts manager, together with client agency representatives, develop an IAA to be executed by the authorized officials at GSA and at the client agency.
How we draft and execute IAAs
18F drafts all of its IAAs using the FMS standard 7600A and 7600B forms, with attachments as necessary. Each IAA we draft is based on a standard set of 18F IAA template documents, initially developed and continuously updated jointly by 18F and the GSA Office of General Counsel (OGC). Learn more about the process.
The form 7600A represents an umbrella agreement and sets the general terms and conditions between GSA and the client agency. Each form 7600B is a task order and includes a specific period of performance, an amount of money to be obligated by the client for the project, and a Statement of Work specifying what 18F will do for and with the client.
All our IAAs are fully reviewed and approved by OGC before final signature by the authorizing program and funding officials at GSA.
When we begin working with the client
Before we draft and sign an IAA with a potential client, 18F usually spends a few hours meeting with the client to determine whether 18F is a good fit for their needs and whether the client is amenable to 18F’s methods, and, if there is alignment, to develop the agreed-upon scope and objective(s) of the project.
After this de minimis business development time, 18F does not begin work for any agency client until an IAA is signed by both GSA and that agency. The IAA specifies a period of performance, which usually starts on the date of last signature of the parties; 18F begins work with the client on or after that day.
The client reviews our work continuously
18F is committed to remaining continuously accountable to its clients. The terms of all our IAAs explain that we confer with all our clients at least every two weeks, pursuant to standard agile development methodology. The client is therefore continuously apprised of the status of, and involved in deciding the future direction of, the project.
Our IAAs also allow both 18F and the client to terminate the IAA unilaterally on 30 days’ notice, at which point the client can de-obligate any funds not billed prior to termination.
Per the terms of all our IAAs, we invoice quarterly. We also account monthly for all costs incurred (and to be billed) for each project. The monthly accounting separately indicates labor charges (the predominant cost), web hosting and infrastructure charges, and other/incidental costs. The purpose of the monthly accounting is to provide each client with a sense of whether 18F is on track to charge more or less than the obligated amount for the performance period of the task order, so that the client can adjust the obligation accordingly if they so choose.
The terms of all our IAAs describe the closeout process. When an IAA ends, either because the performance period has expired or because one of the parties terminates the agreement, we provide a final accounting of project costs to the client, close the account, and return any remaining funds so that the client can de-obligate them.
All 18F employees report their hours weekly. They account separately for billable and non-billable hours, and account separately for their work on each project.
Timekeeping is monitored by the timekeeping manager, who verifies weekly that everyone has reported their time for the previous week and directly contacts employees who have not done so.
About this document
When is this reviewed and updated?
This document will be reviewed at least annually, as appropriate, by the 18F Executive Director.
How and when are 18F employees instructed on these procedures?
This document is distributed to all new hires as part of our regular onboarding process.