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Some Things to Consider When Subcontracting on a Federal Government Contract

by Mary Love - September 20, 2017

Are you familiar with the Prime Contractor and his reputation? What other contracts has he completed? Go to the Federal Procurement Data System  website and type the company name in the “easy search." It’s public information. The Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) can help you understand how to get more information from this site.

What is the solicitation/contract number? As a subcontractor your company will be responsible for many of the same technical, legal and wage requirements, based on your portion of the work, as the prime contractor so make sure you are familiar with the requirements. 

Did you get a copy of the Department of Labor Wage Rates provided in the solicitation? It will designate the minimum that your employees shall be paid for the work they will do.

What notices will be required for change orders, claims or time extensions? How will delays be handled? How will they potentially affect your company? You want these details in writing. 

When will you be paid? And by what method? Will you be paid prior to delivery for supplies? Will you be paid for services after the prime is paid by the government? For construction contracts the prime must submit payrolls and a record of subcontractors he has paid, with his invoice. 

The contracting officer will not usually have contact with any subcontractors, however, it may be wise to know who that person is and how to contact them in the event there are unresolved payment and/or other issues with the prime. 

Check out the Potential Subcontracting Opportunities with DHS Prime Contractors on the large business Prime Contractors who are interested in subcontracting with small, small and disadvantaged, women-owned small, HUBZone-certified, 8(a), veteran-owned small, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, complete with tips on how to pursue subcontracting opportunities with them.

Picture of Mary Love, APAC Procurement Counselor