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Continuation of Essential Services clause

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A read through a Congressional Research Service report on the effects of the virus on contracting.

This one section on this clause caught my attention.  I completely forgot about it and it’s pertinent to the prior discussion we had here



Continuation of Contractor Services to DoD
The COVID-19 pandemic also could trigger contractor responsibilities under a Continuation of Essential Contractor Services clause included in certain DoD contracts. The clause generally requires contractors that perform an essential contractor service or mission-essential functions for DoD to execute plans to continue providing those services, “during periods of crisis,” which potentially could include the COVID- 19 pandemic. The clause defines “essential contractor service” as a “service provided by a firm or individual under contract to DoD to support mission-essential functions, such as support of vital systems.” Under the clause, “services are essential if the effectiveness of defense systems or operations has the potential to be seriously impaired by the interruption of these services.” The clause defines mission-essential functions as “those organizational activities that must be performed under all circumstances to achieve DoD component missions or responsibilities.” A contractor that may not be able to continue performance of these essential functions must inform agency personnel “as expeditiously as possible and use its best efforts to cooperate with the Government in the Government’s efforts to maintain the continuity of operations.” The DFARS authorizes the parties to make reasonable cost adjustments to the contract to account for any increase or decrease in “costs incurred in continuing performance of essential services in a crisis situation

I remember a similar clause is used in many civilian agency contracts as well, especially for DHS and HHS contracts.  It seems this where contract price adjustments are appropriate for telework as well.

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