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Having separate legal agreements for consultants/subcontractors versus incorporating the terms and conditions into the Purchase Order


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Good afternoon,

Interested on everyone's opinions on the following subject: Having separate legal agreements filled in/signed/completed versus incorporating those terms into a PO that is signed/agreed upon.

Current company issues a Consulting Agreement or Professional Services Agreement to every single subcontractor on a government contractor before issuing a purchase order to them. After my previous company, that had passed multiple CPSR', we would only use a master service agreement or terms and condition with large defense companies that we planned to do a lot of work with over various contracts/projects. I personally feel it more efficient to incorporate terms and conditions at the PO level for one off subcontractors that are agreed upon when they sign the PO then making them sign another document before issuing a PO. What are your thoughts on this?

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In my experience, consulting Agreements for advice (not providing goods or services for a government contract) are not handled by supplier management at all, but are handled by contracting personnel on the program/sell side of the business. I can't imagine an advice consultant accepting say 50-100 FAR subcontract flowdowns from the government or a prime contractor. They make no sense in context. If the work is providing goods or services required to support a government contract or subcontract, a Purchase Order or Professional Service Agreement makes sense.

Discussing a Consulting Agreement, Professional Service Agreement and Purchase Order titled document are highly dependent upon the contract language included in each. Despite that, my experience in reviewing tens of thousands subcontract deals is that I have never seen, heard or recommended a contractor doing what your company does.

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