Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sequestration Impact - Contact Your Contracting Officer

Much has been written and discussed about the looming sequestration potential. March 1st is coming up real soon. The impact, if sequestration occurs, will impact many contractors. Those in the service sector will feel the impact more than others.

DoD issued a couple of notices on its website concerning potential sequestration. One posting addressed to the DoD workforce warned that it would be forced to place the vast majority of its civilian workforce on administrative furlough. The other posting stated that if sequestration occurs, furloughs will begin in late April. We also learned that DOE (Department of Energy) has been engaging its major contractors in discussions regarding the potential impact of sequestration.

While uncertainty abounds, contractors need to contact their contracting officers (CO) and gather as much information as possible on the impact that sequestration will have on their own contracts and programs. While contracting officers might not yet have a lot of information, anything and everything will help in planning for the impact of sequestration.

One contractor who contacted its CO got this mighty brush-off; "we don't know anything, and when we do, we'll pass it along". That kind of response is simply unacceptable. COs might not be too sympathetic right now as they are concerned about their own jobs but they are still on the clock, getting paid, and they should be doing their jobs which includes "administering" their contracts. If COs don't know, they should find out. Plans have been made and are being continuously updated. Contractors should be dogged in their pursuit of information. The sooner contractors have information concerning the impact of possible sequestration, the more time it has to plan and manage that impact.

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