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I am working on a contracting action for the development of a transportable radar and am encountering an odd prime/sub relationship. The prime will develop the radar. The sub will provide the transport vehicle (flatbed,power supply, and shielded housing assembly) and will design the interface between the radar and the vehicle/power supply/housing assembly. The sub is asserting that it needs to have the prime perform engineering work to assist with the interface design and is proposing to subcontract back to the prime for this work. Can a prime also be a sub on the same effort?

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Guest Vern Edwards

Sure. Why not? I don't know of any law or regulation that precludes such an arrangement.

I assume that you work for the government. If so, why do you care? Such an arrangement will not relieve the prime of its obligations to you.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Yes, I suppose so, but why tell them how to do the job? Just tell the prime that you are not going to pay what you think is too much because of doubling up of its overhead, G&A, and profit or fee. Negotiate a price or estimated cost and fee that you think is fair and reasonable. If the contract is cost-reimbursement, negotiate an advance agreement that excludes doubled-up overhead, G&A, and profit or fee.

The proposed arrangement between the prime and the sub strikes me as silly, but why get involved? Just don't pay too much.

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