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Government Pay for Contractor Training

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Scenario: IDIQ contract w/ pricing on a FFP and LH basis for services [staff augmentation] to perform X. However, 'X' often changes as new technology is released. Contract is silent on paying for training. However, contract includes language that mentions contractor traveling to agency to participate in meetings, vendor sponsored training and workshops.

Question 1: Under LH orders - Is it common practice in your agency to pay (e.g. directly for cost of training, or labor hour rate for time in the training, or both) for contractor personnel working under contract to perform 'X', to attend agency-specific OR 'commercially available' training, workshops, seminars, etc.?

Question 2: Under LH orders - Are cost for things such as training contractor personnel already built into the contractors fixed hourly rate?

Question 3: Same as above, only under FFP orders.

Question 4: Does anyone have language they would share where, 1) Training is not allowed; and 2)

Feedback greatly appreciated!

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I suspect that your technical people want the contractor's employees to attend specific training, so they will be able to do the work the government wants them to do. The contractor wants the government to pay for them to do so at the contract rates. Your technical people think they should do that at no additional cost to the government. Unless the contract expressly states otherwise, the contractor is not obligated to send its people to specific training at its own expense.

I don't know what is common practice. However, I do know that under an IDIQ contract, the contractor must perform only work the government orders under the Ordering clause, and when the government orders work it must pay the contractor to do it. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the contractor does not have to do any work that the government does not order it to do, and the government can order it to do only the work that the contract permits it to order.

The government awards a contract in order to have certain work done acceptably. Unless the parties agree otherwise, being able to do the work acceptably is the contractor's responsibility at no additional cost to the government. However, that does not include sending its people to specific training at the government's request or insistence and without additional compensation.

Unless the parties expressly agree otherwise, if the government wants the contractor to send its people to specific training, then the government must order the contractor to do that pursuant to the Ordering clause, and then the government must pay for it. If the government doesn't order the contractor to send its people to training, then the contractor does not have to do that.

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Scenario: IDIQ contract w/ pricing on a FFP and LH basis for services [staff augmentation] to perform X. However, 'X' often changes as new technology is released. Contract is silent on paying for training. However, contract includes language that mentions contractor traveling to agency to participate in meetings, vendor sponsored training and workshops.

Question 1: Under LH orders - Is it common practice in your agency to pay (e.g. directly for cost of training, or labor hour rate for time in the training, or both) for contractor personnel working under contract to perform 'X', to attend agency-specific OR 'commercially available' training, workshops, seminars, etc.?

Question 2: Under LH orders - Are cost for things such as training contractor personnel already built into the contractors fixed hourly rate?

Question 3: Same as above, only under FFP orders.

Question 4: Does anyone have language they would share where, 1) Training is not allowed; and 2)

Feedback greatly appreciated!

In addition to what Vern said, if "X" is specifically described in the contract and "X" changes from what the contract describes it as, then I think that this is a "contract change" to either the main contract or to the specific order. If it is a change, the additional cost to adapt to the changed contract requirement should be reimbursable under the Changes clause.This assumes that the contract is otherwise silent regarding changes to "X" or with respect to any required training of contractor personnel.

You said "Contract is silent on paying for training. However, contract includes language that mentions contractor traveling to agency to participate in meetings, vendor sponsored training and workshops." I think that means - assuming that the Contractor is the "vendor" - that the scope includes paying for personnel and expenses when the Contractor is providing training. That would appear to be certain for labor hour tasks and possibly for FFP orders, assuming that someone identified some vendor provided training in the order.

(EDITED:) But I don't read it as the government paying for personnel or travel to cover "non-vendor sponsored training" to train the vendor. It would then appear that there must be a change to the contract or to the specific order in order to recover those expenses.

So - is the Contractor the "vendor"?

(EDITED: Sorry, I didn't specifically answer the original questions. I will leave that to those who are writing these type orders or contracts.)

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I suspect that your technical people want the contractor's employees to attend specific training, so they will be able to do the work the government wants them to do. [Yes. The training is often non-agency specific; moreover, commercially available open to both Government and contractors. The training deals with new technology that replaces the old, new releases, or upgrades to current technology, and the like.] The contractor wants the government to pay for them to do so at the contract rates. [Potentially, if we [agency] request contractor personnel be trained on the non-agency-specific training (to include seminars, workshops, etc.). Depends on how we priced the contract, whether FFP, or LH. For LH, some say we should pay for 1) training fee(s); 2) contractor personnel time (current contract labor rate X however long the contractor sits in training); and 3) travel expenses. If contractor attends training, then task(s) aren't being completed, because contractor is in training. Conversely, there are some within that say if the training is non-agency specific, but could benefit the agency if contractor attends, then the contractor should cover costs associated with keeping up with current technology and provide training to their staff to meet Govenment needs.] Your technical people think they should do that at no additional cost to the government. [Program office has no issue with paying for training, whether agency-specific or not. It is mainly working it out with the CO; absent language in the contract that precludes training.] Unless the contract expressly states otherwise, the contractor is not obligated to send its people to specific training at its own expense.

I don't know what is common practice. However, I do know that under an IDIQ contract, the contractor must perform only work the government orders under the Ordering clause, and when the government orders work it must pay the contractor to do it. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the contractor does not have to do any work that the government does not order it to do, and the government can order it to do only the work that the contract permits it to order.

The government awards a contract in order to have certain work done acceptably. Unless the parties agree otherwise, being able to do the work acceptably is the contractor's responsibility at no additional cost to the government. However, that does not include sending its people to specific training at the government's request or insistence and without additional compensation.

Unless the parties expressly agree otherwise, if the government wants the contractor to send its people to specific training, then the government must order the contractor to do that pursuant to the Ordering clause, and then the government must pay for it. If the government doesn't order the contractor to send its people to training, then the contractor does not have to do that.

Thanks Vern for responding. See comments within your response. Bottom line is I'm trying to see how other agency's pay for unknown training that pops up under a LH contract. Do agency's pay for the contractor's time and cost of training? One or the other? None? Is contractor responsible for back-filling the personnel attending training, so no lapse in service happens? Guess it boils down to what we said in the contract. Well, what if we establish a new contract?

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Relative to training, my experience in working with the Government is that if the training is for a contract specific type of training, the Government will allow it, upon request to the Contracting Offier. If it is training for a generic program used in multiple contracts, it is on the contractor to pay the cost as it is part of keeping the workforce current.

As an example, an Agency is the only agency running software X. Training for use of this software cannot be charged to another contract or even overhead since it benefits one cost objective. In these cases I have found the Government willing to pay for the training. Hpowever, if we are talking about an application that runs on, say, Oracle, the Government generally takes the position that it is an overhead function since it does (or can) benefits multiple cost objectives.

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