For services contracts, the government understandably wants to know who will be performing the work they require. They frequently ask for staffing plans to assess the contractors’ understanding of the work to be performed. And they often ask bidders and contract holders to detail the individuals who will work on the contract when the agency designates one or more positions on the contract, such as a program manager or primary researcher, as “key personnel.” For these individuals, the solicitation and contract typically identify specific educational qualifications, work experience and/or technical knowledge.
In the post-award environment, agencies acknowledge that, over the life of the contract, there are likely to be changes in the workers performing in these “key personnel” positions. Contract provisions frequently require that the contractor demonstrates to the agency’s satisfaction that any substitute personnel have the same or better qualifications as the “original” staff, and the agencies reserve the right to approve or disapprove nominated candidates.
The same flexibility and permission might not be available during the proposal evaluation phase. In fact, one of the important considerations for vendors when responding to key personnel provisions in their offer is to be sure that their nominated candidate will have a long, healthy and happy life working for the offeror! There are several bid protests that uphold the risk of dire consequences for the bidder if that were not the case.
About Alan Chvotkin
Alan Chvotkin has served as the executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council since 2001 and is responsible for the association’s legislative and regulatory policy activity. Prior to joining PSC, Chvotkin was vice president of Government Services for AT&T. He also served as the corporate director of government relations and senior counsel with the Sundstrand Corporation. He also has 13 years experience as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill and served on the Senate Budget Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
Currently, Chvotkin is a member of the American, Supreme Court and the District of Columbia Bar Associations. He serves as a fellow and member of the national board of advisors for the National Contract Management Association. He co-chairs the operating committee of the Council of Defense and Space Industries Association. Chvotkin also is a founding member and a continuing leader of the federal contracting industry’s Acquisition Reform Working Group.
Chvotkin graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration. He also earned a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.