The Government Accountability Office denied Paragon‘s (parent company Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services) bid protest this past week, following a lot of speculation about the path forward for the government’s largest background investigation support contract. With the protest decision complete, the contract award should be imminent, and is expected to be awarded to Peraton and CACI, the current largest awardees under DCSA’s current task orders.

Yo-Ho, a Contractor Life for Me

And such is the life of the defense contractor providing ongoing support to the federal government. Contracts go up for rebid, and for whatever reason, your company doesn’t win the recompete. You then make the decision of whether or not to find a different job, pursue a new career, or jump ship to the new prime contractor. While simply taking a similar job with a new contractor may seem the easiest route, it can be challenging to navigate a new company culture and switch healthcare, retirement plans, and more. Depending on how long someone has worked in the industry, that professional services contractor life can take a toll.

One look at discussion boards and you’ll find talent nervous about pending changes and how they will impact them personally. The word has been out on the street for a while about the pending reduction to two prime contractors. As the award announcements come out, Paragon may be positioned as a sub contractor underneath one of the main players – a situation already in place for the other prime contractors today. Not every investigator may need to jump ship in order to stay on the BI boat, but we can hope that today’s reshuffle doesn’t result in a wave similar to the one that hit the industry after the elimination of the USIS contract.

Security clearance timeliness remains a key metric for DCSA. And part of keeping the numbers ever-decreasing (and not just for the fastest 90%) is having the right talent behind the scenes. Whatever comes of the current background investigation contracts shuffle, the industry will continue to need qualified, experienced investigators behind the scenes moving investigations forward.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.