The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Obama: The Business Acumen of an Aardvark

The Obama Administration has just issued an order declaring that federal contractors are "encouraged" to carry over employees when contracts get changed:

The Federal Government's procurement interests in economy and efficiency are served when the successor contractor hires the predecessor's employees. A carryover work force reduces disruption to the delivery of services during the period of transition between contractors and provides the Federal Government the benefits of an experienced and trained work force that is familiar with the Federal Government's personnel, facilities, and requirements.


It is the policy of the Federal Government that service contracts and solicitations for such contracts shall include a clause that requires the contractor, and its subcontractors, under a contract that succeeds a contract for performance of the same or similar services at the same location, to offer those employees (other than managerial and supervisory employees) employed under the predecessor contract whose employment will be terminated as a result of the award of the successor contract, a right of first refusal of employment under the contract in positions for which they are qualified.

Under this act, if my employer were to be replaced by another contractor on one of the projects we're working on, the new contracting firm would be obligated to try and steal me from my current employer. This activity, unofficially known as "employee poaching," does happen from time to time in the contracting world. The idea is that if the employees on site already know the systems in place, the new contractor will have a better time getting to learn it.

The two problems with this, of course, are that (a) it's not exactly a "seamless" process to replace the entire management structure on the contract with new managers, and (b) it's generally considered harmful to the contracting firm from which the employees were poached. So if Northrop Grumman were to pick up a contract I was on, and they poached me to continue the contract, the company I work for would (theoretically, in my case) be harmed by my loss.

Which, of course, injects a whole lot of instability into the world of Federal Contracting.

One has to wonder if that's not exactly what these benighted buffoons are trying to do.

(h/t Jessica's Well)



#1 Mike 03-Feb-2009
In most cases of a change of government contract, most of the employees look forward to being "poached". Otherwise, they are likely to be laid off by the losing contractor. Most employees are there because of the contract. I worked for 5 different companies for 20 years and never changed my desk.
#2 Brian C. Ledbetter 03-Feb-2009
Good point, Mike! That's definitely another way to look at it!

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