Checking Contracts for Clearance Requirements

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Servicemember signing a contract

If you're looking for work that may require a security clearance, make sure you study the fine print. Usually, employers will let you know that the work requires a security clearance. However, sometimes rather than stating in the contract that a security clearance is needed for the job, they'll include it as part of the work order requirements. This can be a potentially messy situation for both parties, but we found a Q and A from Ask a Professor on the Defense Acquisition Portal that addresses this potential issue.

Question - Do we need to modify the contract to include the DD254 Security Clearance into the basic contract, or are we able to issue a task order with a DD 254 (SECRET Clearance) for the task order, and a corresponding Performance Work Statement which states all work associated with this effort will be Classified? The labor category and the duties are unchanged from the original requirement, except that now the individual will have access to classified information, requiring a Secret Clearance. Would requiring a secret clearance for this task order be out-of-scope? The PWS on the basic contract does state the contractor personnel shall have the appropriate clearances prior to working on the task order. If we are required to mod the contract prior to issuing the task order, what would this entail?

Related: Search for Security Clearance jobs.

Scenario - We issued a Solicitation for a multiple award IDIQ Contracts for Services, and subsequently awarded two (2) contracts. The CLINs state the Security Class is UNCLASSIFIED, and the Performance Work Statement (PWS) on the Basic Contract states: All the work associated with this effort will be unclassified. Hence, a DD 254 was not applicable to this requirement. The PWS also states: Contractor personnel shall have the appropriate level of investigation and/or security clearance for each site of performance of work prior to beginning work under a task order. We received a request to compete a task order under the IDIQs for a services requirement, which requires SECRET clearance and a DD 254 - Contract Security Classification Specification.

Answer - The basic contract needs to be modified, as a security requirement is a material change to the existing contract. Not modifying it and including the DD Form 254 only as an attachment to the task order would not pass legal muster, and could present the Government with a problem if the contracting relationship between the Government and the contractor were to deteriorate. The contracting officer needs to add FAR clause 52.204-2 (Security Requirements) to the contract, update the PWS, and include the DD Form 254. Your agency may have additional requirements pertaining to contracts involving classified work, so please consult any applicable FAR supplement.

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