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    What if the contract was awarded, then a key person (Guardsman) was called to Active Duty before start of the contract and not be able to return within the 30 days. Would the key person be protected under the SCRA: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, i.e. not be replaced with equal ability and qualifications? What options exist for the organization and the contractor to keep the key person on the contract when returning from Active Duty?


    Answer

    This issue has less to do with key personnel being military on deployment, and more to do with how to deal with any key personnel that will be otherwise unavailable after contract award.
     
    The Contracting Officer would approve, in writing and via contract modification,  the alternate key personnel proposed in accordance with agency regulations, and with any key personnel clause that may have been included in your contract.  If your agency did include a key personnel clause in the contract,  it would usually include language for using alternates, and generally state that the Government reserves the right to require continued performance of previously approved key personnel or to require substitution of acceptable replacements for the individuals specified. The key personnel listed in the clause may, with the consent of the contracting parties, be amended from time to time during the course of the Contract to either add or delete personnel as appropriate.
     
    As for protection for the Guardsman, this is not a contractual issue with the Government, but rather a contractual issue between the Guardsman and his or her employer.  Most employment contracts  do include language protecting service members who are deployed, however, many employers promise A job to come back to, but not specifically their old job.  The reason for this is because if the service member performs a key function for their company, the company will have to hire or replace the service member during their absence, so as not to have a detrimental effect on the company.  And, on the same note, the Government should not be expected to wait for the key personnel to become available, especially if it will impact the mission, which is one of the many reasons alternates are specified for key personnel in Government contracts.
     
    Finally, be careful stating that you want the same Guardsman to return to work on the contract.  The Government is acquiring a skillset, not a specific person (unless you have intentionally entered into a personal services contract).
     
    As always, consult with your contracting officer and agency's legal counsel.

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