The purpose of this series of articles is to inform NGA service contract candidates as to the best jobs and careers. Recruiting NGA Jobs Step 3 is the third article in a four article series addressing the process of NGA jobs recruiting.
The first article (Step One) reviewed the IDIQ contracting process at NGA. The second article (Step Two) addressed the need for participation on a winning team. This article describes the opportunities inherent in the transition of contracting opportunities.
Generally speaking the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) requires expert services from contractors in order to meet agency intelligence collection and interpretation missions. To obtain the support it needs NGA relies on multi year acquisition contracts. These contracts usually consist of a base year statement of work with four one years option period.
This contracting procedure allows the agency the ability to procure the latest technology at the best current market prices. As a result there are continuous opportunities and risk as contracts mature and are rebid.
Transition Career Opportunities
As existing contract transition either through the exercise of options under existing contracts or through the rebid process, new career opportunities emerge as the agency reprioritizes support requirements to meet current technology and mission needs. In addition the option and rebid process allows the agency the option to reestablish prices to meet current market conditions.
Whenever there is transition however, risk for current careers is a factor as well as the emergence of new opportunities.
Transition Risk for Existing Careers
Option Years – Each option year includes risk as priorities change and tasks are added or eliminated for the next year. Often the agency tries to renegotiate pricing in order to meet budgetary restrictions and push rates down.
As a result existing jobs may be eliminated, downgraded or changed in scope. Many times contract employees may face negative change even though their performance on existing tasks may be superior
Contract Rebids- When a contract is rebid, the entire competitive scène changes. Incumbent teams may lose the rebid to another, more competitive team. So no matter the quality of an individual’s performance on the existing contract, that individual may be unemployed if they are on the wrong (losing) team.
Small Business Set-Asides – With few exceptions small business set asides are required on DOD contracts and NGA, as an agency of the DOD, follows this requirement. Each prime contractor is required to have an approved small business development plan.
In addition small business can participate as subcontractors as well as providing services set aside for small business only.
As an example, on the Emerald rebid of the SETA contract, NGA changed the contracting rules in favor of very small businesses.This rebid required that only very small contractors could bid as prime contractors and resulted in a major reshuffling of existing teams.Small contractors that were originally subcontractors will now be leading large contracting teams. Many small prime contracting candidates do not have the financial or organization resources to lead large teams. This is particularly true now that, as prime contractors, small businesses are faced with strict Organizational Conflict of Interest Rules
The objective of the OCI regulations is the avoidance of situations where service contractors gain inside information that is used to influence later procurements.
In general the OCI was used to ensure that bidders on development contracts that were on related SETA or engineering services contracts did not gain inside knowledge that could be used to exert unfair influence.
Affected contractors were required to either avoid conflicts by choosing one contract over another or mitigate conflicts through firewalls and other mechanisms. The agency tends toward avoidance for prime contractors.
The regulations reached further however and OCI issues have become material for conflicts between service contracts. This affects the employees of large prime contracts and subcontractors who are now bidding service contracts as prime as a result of small business rules changes.
The impact of OCI on newly emerging prime contractors may cause these new primes to remove their teams from existing service contracts.
How to Reduce Risk and Maximize Opportunities – Recruiting NGA Jobs Step 3 Transition Recommendations.
In order to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid risk in a changing contract environment, a qualified career candidate needs to do a certain amount of due diligence when selecting the right team. A wrong decision could result in career impairment.
Some questions to ask when selecting a contractor to work with:
- Is the team an experienced, successful and respected NGA contracting team?
- Does the team have a history of winning contracts at NGA?
- Are small business rules affecting and influencing new procurements?
- Is OCI a factor in winning the contract and subsequent task orders?
- Does the prime contractor and team have an employee oriented culture?
- Does the NGA culture meet the needs of the career candidate?
- Do the job specifications and labor categories of the project meet the career need of the job application?
- Will the contractor assist in the recruiting process by providing success oriented coaching and security clearance crossover support?
- As a candidate does the contractor recognize your individual skills and accomplishment or are you just another applicant for a career opportunity?
Proper research and due diligence will answer many questions of the individual candidate and will enable advancement in a successful NGA career.
Since 2002 Aspiration Software has served NGA and the Intelligence Community. With competitive compensation and benefits and a growth oriented culture we offer career opportunities for the right candidate. For a current list of our current Recruiting NGA Jobs Step 3 – Transition see: Aspiration Current Career Opportunities
If you are interested in pursuing funded opportunities on NGA Jobs SETA Financial Management contracts please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon M. Stout is Chief Executive Officer of Aspiration Software LLC. Aspiration Software LLC is an Information Technology/Cyber Security services provider focused on the Intelligence Community (IC). For more information about Top Secret/SCI jobs go to https://integratedintelsolutions.com/careers