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I moved over to the IT program side a number of years ago. The new West Coast office I’ve been assigned to conducts a massive amount of market research year round with sources sought notices, RFIs, conferences, and demos. Previously, the program office had a penchant for almost trying to evaluate or down-select a vendor during the market research phase. The biggest thing I recall from my 1102 days at my old agency was that there was a policy in place where third-party contractors couldn’t even attend product demos. The new agency doesn’t appear to have a policy, but I don’t even recall TPCs being present at vendor demos. This team has a huge number of TPCs - is it allowable for a TPCS to attend a product demo? I assume that if so, they wouldn’t have to identify their contractor status.

Perhaps posters could share their experience on conducting vendor demos and offer suggestions on what works and what doesn’t?

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I believe there a few contractors serving in highly-specialized professional staffing roles that aren’t considered to be inherently governmental. I don’t believe the companies they work for would even be able to compete on any future requirement related to the demos. 

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Motorcity,

The nature of the risk boils down to what economists term an "Agency" problem. Checks placed on what is sometimes called in DoD a government support contractor (what you termed the third party contractor) can be effective or if unaddressed, the risk can turn out to be a huge blind spot attracting opportunistic unethical behavior.

These checks include many tools and they are not all found in one place or wielded by one individual. Organizational Conflicts of Interest, Non Disclosure Agreements, and Contractor identification are three of the more obvious aspects to consider. Applicability of Trade Secrets Act might not be understood and at some point in the generally well understood  strictures on Source Selection Information will apply (see FAR definition of Source Selection Information at FAR 2.101 and see FAR 3.104), but exactly when that occurs might be less understood (see for example, Past Performance Information that is labeled as Source Selection Information long before an actual source selection has begun).

Additionally, you might find that the government support contractor's contract has  language about contractor identification, such as that found in paragraph (a) of the Air Force Supplement to the FAR, AFFARS  5352.242-9000 Contractor Access to Air Force Installations.

You have my best wishes as you move forward.

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