Federal News Network: Who ‘owns’ a services contractor’s workforce anyway?

“Like nearly every other employee-employer transaction in the American system of business, the exchanges occur among private parties. It’s not the government’s concern. If the new contractor said ‘we’re only going to take people under 35,’ or ‘we feel only men can do this job,’ why then they’d justifiably have a federal case on their hands. Otherwise, with a switch in companies, some people will have to find other work.

Now a Biden administration executive order would require winning bidders to hire the old incumbent’s employees connected with the contract or project. The EO should look familiar. It’s nearly identical to an EO the Obama administration instituted in 2009, which the Trump administration nullified in 2019. This time the EO refreshes the idea with detailed clause language contracting officers are obligated to use…”

“For work higher on the skills hierarchy — at the professional services level, say — the rule makes less sense. Companies bid with their talent. They win because the government source selectors thought the new company had the wherewithal to do a better job, or at least as good a job for less. Or maybe it was unhappy with the performance of the incumbent. Why would an agency switch to a new company, only to have the people it chose not to work with show up again?

A few other questions:

  • Who is this really fair to, with the potential to displace one group of employees with another?
  • What about the company that spent the effort and money to train and develop a workforce that will now be unavailable to it for other jobs?
  • How does the rule promote competition when only the managers of contracts change but not the workforce doing the work?…” Read the full article here.

Source: Who ‘owns’ a services contractor’s workforce anyway? – By Tom Temin, November 30, 2021. Federal News Network.



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