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  • Question

    When is a consultant a subcontractor and when is a consultant not a subcontractor?


    Answer

    A subcontractor is hired to perform a part of the prime contractor's statement of work (SOW) that emanates from the Government contract/task order/delivery order. The work can vary from providing materials, or finished parts to subsystems on the equipment side, and providing skilled employees on the labor side. On the other hand, a consultant  is usually not hired for a specific contract or to complete a portion of the prime's SOW- the consultant may be a subject matter expert or a business development specialist or a marketeer. Their tasks are generally broader in scope and not tied to an individual contract.
     
    On the occasion when a consultant is hired for a specific contract, I would first look at when the individual was hired (pre-award or post-award). If the person was hired before any DRFP or RFP was issued, they are probably a consultant. The next thing I would look is the contractual vehicle that hired the person- is it tied to a specific contract and are there mandatory flowdown clauses in the document? If the answers are yes, then the person is a subcontractor.
     
    You should contact the prime and ask what the arrangement is for that specific contract.
     

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