Contractors Negotiate Arrangements With Intell Agencies to Continue Classified Work During Pandemic

Some contractors working with agencies within the intelligence community are negotiating arrangements with contract officers on a case-by-case basis to continue to perform classified work during the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Business Journal reported Wednesday.

“I would say [at this moment], it’s pretty much episodic. There’s not really a one-size-fits-all, but there’s also not universal guidance being applied,” said Chris Bellios, chief operating officer for Hexagon US Federal.

The $2.2T Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act authorizes agencies to facilitate contractor telework but Larry Hanauer, vice president for policy for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, said the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence should issue guidance to clarify issues related to such arrangements.

Hanauer noted that intelligence agencies should permit modifications to contract terms to allow vendors to continue to carry out classified work during COVID-19

“There are some flexibilities that make it easier to do classified work. There’s no reason why work can’t be done at a secure site at a contractor facility,” Hanauer said. “By modifying contracts to allow companies to use their own secure spaces, you can let people be spread out less densely to minimize the risk and provide greater flexibility in getting the work done.”

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