Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Sign in to follow this  
teemdee

Subk - Prime requires our employees to use Prime co. name

Recommended Posts

One of our prime contractors requires our employees (W2s, not consultants/1099s) to use the prime contractor's name in their e-mail signature. I've never heard of this before. It's not in our contract with the prime, but I don't know if it's in the contract for the prime from the customer. Has anyone seen this before? Seems to be fraudulent to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never seen it, but that doesn't mean anything. Two questions:

First, have you told the prime that you are worried about being accused of misrepresentation or participating in a misrepresentation and asked them their purpose in making such a demand?

Second, have you asked them if they have made you their agent in interactions with others?

A third question: If have not asked the above questions, why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not asked the prime about it, because I thought I'd check to see if this is something that has been used previously, albeit probably infrequently. Sounds from your experience that this is atypical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the early days of establishing my consultancy, I was contacted by another consulting firm to act as a "subject matter expert" to help that firm address some government contract-related issues that were rather arcane for GAAP accountants. As discussions continued, the "prime" consulting firm told me that I was going to be required to use the prime's email address (and server), as if I was a consultant of the prime. I would be unable to identify myself as a sub-consultant in any fashion whatsoever.

I didn't ask why and I didn't argue. I just said "no".

It was very easy to walk away from that business relationship.

H2H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The prime is probably worried that if its customer hears from you too often it will begin to wonder why it needs the prime. The customer would be asking itself a good question. That kind of fear is very common in the world of consultancy.

If the prime had wanted you to do such a thing it should have discussed it with you before signing the contract. What you do now is a business decision. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience as both government employee and as a subcontractor, the government would generally not directly correspond with or directly conduct oral conversations with subs. That might be the prime's reasoning...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I shouldn't have said "generally". For official verbal communications (oral or written), we were "often" told to include the prime. We did make shop inspections at fabricator/manufacturer's facilities, with or w/o the prime being present. At any rate, the OP's goverment customer might not want to deal directly with a sub or the prime might not want the government to know that they are dealing with a subcontract employee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I understand the relationship of the prime with the customer, and we totally respect that. My question is how common is it for our employees to put the prime contractor's name in their signature? Example:

Joe Schmo

Chief Engineer

Blah Blah LLC

Where Blah Blah is the prime, but Joe Schmo is our employee. It appears to everyone with whom our employee responds is an employee of the prime. This seems totally bizarre to me. Therefore, our employee is falsely advertising their association. They are not even permitted to put in the words "subcontractor."

Any further thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on a prime contract, working for the prime, we had retired Lt. Colonels working as trainers. The ARMY and my company worked side by side, shared many duties, but of course, the ARMY was the customer. The ARMY required to standardize due to the myriad of ways our trainers chose to represent them self, for example, " retired Lt. Colonel 89th airborne, etc.."

Why don't you comply with your primes request but standardize the emails with name, title, prime company name, and the word....(Contractor) in parenthesis.

I would like to hear the argument your prime puts forth if they believe that to be unreasonable. This way, anyone receiving emails have an accurate, and factual representation of the sender of the email. When questions arise as to "who this contractor may be"....well, so be it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

teemdee:

All you are going to get from your request to know how common the practice is a little anecdotal information from the very few Wifcon members who post here. People you don't even know. I don't know what you think you'll learn from that or what good it would do if the responses indicate that the practice is unheard of. There could be thousands of people out there who see the practice all the time, but who haven't seen your question or who have seen it and don't care to respond.

Look, you will either comply or you won't, based on what you think is good or bad for your company. Right? That's what matters, not what other people have or have not seen. As far as I know, the practice is not illegal. Besides, won't your employees' email addresses indicate who they really work for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Vern - true.....not everyone replies here, but the purpose of forums is for learning and engaging, so it never hurts to get everyone's opinion and/or experience before discussion with a prime (in this case).

And, to answer your question, the employees are required to use their agency address (with CTR in it) and the prime's e-mail they set up for them. Again, this is unusual in our experience.

I'll make the inquiry, and if of any interest/value, I'll repost here.

Appreciate all the commentary!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post-mortem. The customer issued a standardized statement regarding what to insert for signatures in e-mails. The prime's lower level managers took it upon themselves to make a decision to make all staff, regardless of prime/sub association, put their company name in the signature in an extreme interpretation. Hence, I am working with the prime to remedy this. Go figure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×