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Scenario: Lower-tier subcontractor performing on a DO issued under the restricted suite of an IDIQ MATOC for maintenance and services. The DO contained 2 types of CLINS: 1. FFP (for preventative maintenance) and 2. T&M (for corrective maintenance). Prime contractor (Company A) submitted hourly labor rates to Govt.; the resulting award contained the hourly rates but no details are given regarding whether the rates for each labor category are for the prime or its subs. NOTE: lower-tier sub was not involved with prime contract in any capacity until well after the award. As such, it was unable to participate in the hourly rate discussions/negotiations between the prime and first-tier sub. In addition, the lower-tier sub was not given any information about said discussions/negotiations. First-tier sub to Company A issued subcontract to lower-tier sub for both CLINs. Beforehand, lower-tier sub quoted its GSA FSS contract hourly rates to first-tier sub; the first-tier sub accepted said rates. Lower-tier sub hourly rates accepted by first-tier sub were was much as $14.00/hr higher than those in listed Company A's prime contract. To the best of this writer's knowledge, the rates in Company A's prime contract had not been disclosed to the lower-tier sub prior to it submitting its proposal to, or receiving its subcontract from, the first-tier sub. CAVEAT: the lower-tier sub is also a contract holder under the same MATOC (lower-tier sub's award was in the unrestricted suite) and most likely has the same KO administering its contract as Company A. The lower-tier sub's hourly rates negotiated with (and accepted by) the Govt. on its award are the same as above - its GSA FSS contract hourly rates. The Govt. is definitely aware the lower-tier sub is also performing under Company A's award as a lower-tier sub. Issue: Lower-tier sub performed multiple CLIN 2 corrective maintenance services over several months, during which time it invoiced its labor at the $14.00/hour higher rate. Govt. accepted all invoices and lower-tier sub was paid at the higher rate. During this time, the lower-tier sub is still unaware of Company A's negotiated rates. Out of the blue, the Govt. decides it no longer wants to pay the lower-tier sub's higher rates and directs Company A to pay the lower-tier subs at Company A's lower negotiated rate. Argument: Lower-tier sub is well aware of the regulations governing T&M work and concurs it must abide by the rates in Company A's contract. The lower-tier sub does, however, take issue with the Govt. changing its position "midstream" on the hourly rates. Does the lower-tier sub have any valid arguments to make? If so, what are they?