Service contractors now required to identify themselves

Officials say difference between government employees, private-sector workers should be obvious

"Hi, I’m a service contractor."

The Defense Department now requires service contractors to identify themselves as contractors and also wear badges that distinguish their status, as officials attempt to clearly point out who is a contractor employee and who is a fed.


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Contractors must identify themselves as such in in-person conversations, while on the phone, and in formal and informal correspondence, according to a notice in today’s Federal Register.

DOD acquisition officials issued the interim rule today, and it goes into effect immediately. They instituted the rule without prior comment because they believe there are urgent and compelling reasons, the notice states. They will accept comments through Nov. 8, however.

Regulators amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement regarding the requirements in personal services contracts from now on. A contract must include a provision that obligates contractors to identify themselves as contractors and wear the badges or another visible identification for meetings with government employees, the notice states.

Officials reviewed guidance from various defense agencies and formed this rule based on their best practices, according to the notice.

Congress ordered defense officials to make contractors distinguish themselves in the fiscal 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law in October 2008.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Fri, May 6, 2011 Bill Clardy Farawayland

Maybe I'm just a bit more upfront about the agency-contractor relationship than most folks. I've never had any problem introducing myself as a blood-sucking war profiteer. Of course, I've also never had any problem telling government folks that I'm perfectly willing to let them piggyback on whatever work I'm being paid to do unless the paying client objects, in which case they need to be ready to fling appropriately sized wads of cash at my boss so he can pay for me doing more work.

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

I have managed many contracts where the senior govt managers told us not to identify ourselves and our employees as contractors. Why? The Govt managers wanted to pass the contractor personnel off as government employees because we were better trained for customer service and handling the public.I will wera whatever color my client wants me to wear I always liked PINK!

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

Most comments here are disappointing in that they do not see the fundemental issue with this problem and how it affects DOD purchasing. I routinely receive emails, get phone calls from contractors who DO NOT identify themselves as such unless pointedly asked to do so. This clouds the water on a daily basis and causes delays and delivery of substandard technology and products to the DOD. A contractor requests inappropriate technology via an email ending in .mil, that technology is delivered to his client engineer, the engineer condemns the vendor and the vendor thinks the DOD is clueless. This happens all the time. Some companies are actually brazen about this and I have been in a situation where a contractor actually implied that they were the end all and be all and that he would not provide the name of his requesting client. This was quickly resolved with a call to the responsible purchasing group. Anyone not seeing this as a problem with the current procurement system is a victim of ".mil" envy and will hopefully be trashed out in Gates first round of 10%. And Skully says this may cause division? How about it may cause an understanding of who is actually at fault when something goes wrong as opposed to a convenient way to not be held responsible for ones own incompetence which is where we see it used most frequently.

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

Pink badges are pretty obvious and I haven't been to a well run Civlian meeting in years.

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 Eddies Air Patch

I have been a service contractor for 20 years and we have always been told to wear company badges, answer the phone and have a line in our email with the company name. This is old news! Maybe elsewhere there are an issues.

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