Can we - the government - issue a contract to an entity that will have another government agency perform the work?
There is no clear direction prohibiting a contract from one federal agency to a contractor who is in agreement with another federal agency using a CRADA.
Open full Question Details
That being said. One needs to ask whether the research results they are buying under contract will become government property as a result of the research effort under the CRADA. In most cases a CRADA is designed to limit the commercial rights to the resultant research for an agreed upon period of time. If this is the case the information the contracting agency would be buying is the property of the federal government. Why should the government pay for what it already owns? The perception could be that the vendor would be getting benefit twice for the same limited effort. So, although there is not clear direction prohibiting this type of creative arrangement, prior to entering into a contract with this arrangement you will really need to get your legal department involved in a decision of this complexity.
Even though it is not directly prohibited and the contractor is being up-front about this proposed arrangement that doesn't mean that this contract would be appropriate.