Business as usual (fieldwork services draft RFP)

OPM released a draft RFP for the field work services contractt last week. Click the link below to see it. It looks like our fringe benefit rate in our SCA wage group is going up. I’m curious to see if anyone else finds anything interesting.

Unfortunately - the RFP is only citing equivalent Federal pay for the position and the salaries stated are the lowest GS for each with what the Federal benefits are and not regionally adjusted. The SCA requires compliance with the DOL Wage Determination 2000-0309 minimum with the current SCA fringe benefit of $4.20/hr.
The current WD revision #27 dated 7/8/2015 is Level I $15.15, Level II $18.77, Level III $22.96 and Level IV $27.78. These are the minimums. The WD goes on to describe each Level. In short, Level I & II are trainee positions.
If you want to compare the contractor employee salaries to GS, you must factor in the geographical adjustment.
ie - Level III - GS 11 is from $51,298 - $66,688 plus geo. NYC area is $66,231- $85.841.

A CACI or KGS Level III can get $47,756 and half the fringe benefits a GS no matter if he is working in Manhattan, KS or Manhattan, NY.
Try making a living in the Bronx on that when your OPM counterpart is making $35k more.
OPM stacked the deck as this is the only Wage Determination in all of the US DOL that is not regionally adjusted. It is totally unfair to the contracting companies to bid on a nationwide contract without a regional adjustment.

discrepant - just to add my opinion. The RFP does not require the pay or benefits cited as it is for “information only” and “not a Wage Determination”.


In compliance with the Service Contract Labor Standards statute and the regulations of the Secretary of Labor (29 CFR part 4), this clause identifies the classes of service employees expected to be employed under the Contract and states the wages and fringe benefits payable to each if they were employed by the contracting agency subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5341 or 5332.

This Statement is for Information Only:

It is not a Wage Determination

Employee Class Monetary Wage Fringe Benefits
Background Investigator 1 GS-7 $16.61 $6.64
Background Investigator 2 GS-9 $20.32 $8.13
Background Investigator 3 GS-11 $24.58 $9.83
Background Investigator 4 GS-12 $29.46 $11.78

Well that’s a bummer! Thanks for the explanation! Hopefully the contractors push back however there’s probably some other USIS waiting in the bush to undercut all the others with a low bid.

Does anyone understand how is it that contractors are allowed to use 1099’s on a contract with an SCA wage determination? Doesn’t the Wage Determination dictate the hourly wage? I am not a wage and hour investigator but it seems that paying investigators via 1099 on a per item basis vs an hourly wage is in direct violation of the wage labor determination. I enjoy the 1099 relationship but just curious if anyone else thinks this may be a USDOL wage and hour violation.

Just between you and me, discrepant, there more than a few 1099ers making six figures doing this job. There are more than a few making over $150k. You can imagine the quality of all these box-checking, patching-up, and filling gaps investigations.

Ya right! No way people are making that much working the OPM contract. 500 ESI’s a year - that’s impossible. Especially with these reporting requirements. If you ask me the 1099 OPM game costs more than its worth for the investigator.


I agree with discrepant. There is absolutely no way to make 150K only contracting with KGS with this fee structure. No way in hell!! Believe me I’m a contractor and it is possible to make 70K to 80K and this is the absolute best you can do and that is with working a bunch of reinvestigations and confrontational interviews with maybe…maybe only taking off 2 to 3 weeks per year. Heaven forbid you get a case that blows up on you as a contractor and then you are making only $5.00 to 10.00/hr conducting an issue laden case and typing up a 60 page report which has happened to me more than once as a KGS contractor.

Now, I can tell you if you get on some of these direct federal contracts with the State Dept. or with ATF and work in an area with a high demand of this type of work such as DC and Northern Virginia area, then YES I personally have heard of people that earn over 120K to 150K. That’s the best you can do in this industry.

@Joe Hackett

These numbers I cited come from someone in the know, and whom I trust. The trick is they get a bucket of PPRs with a good differential on them. So, with differentials starting at just 50% you are getting $500 a PPR. Some TDY locations have premiums over 100%. If you knock out 2 easy PPRs at the same locations and type up the ROI that day, you are looking at $1350 for an easy day. And about 1000 times easier than those days you spend driving downtown to meet a source at 9 am (and after the source no-show, you call and he’s apologetic and forgot and can get together the following week) and then you drive through heavy traffic to get an EDUC record and all is good, except the person who handles dean’s records is off that week and should be in next week, etc…

I’ve heard some guys say that they can knock out 4 PPR’s a day at some military facilities and have them typed and transmitted by 5pm and never break a sweat. And they stay away from RESIs, MEDIs, EDUC, etc., which can require multiple trips, SUBCs, et.

Talking about production, I had a guy tell me his record for one day on a TDY was 30 SU’s. 30 SU’s! In one day! This is the one good thing of highly bureaucratized investigations. They’re like factory produced investigations so you can just focus on efficiency of production.

I’ve been doing this for over five years and typically average one clean PPR a year. maybe it’s all about location. My point about the wage determination is that one of the reasons these are included on contracts is to keep the playing field level for all contractors. How can the field be level if one prime has been allowed to use 1099’s and the other prime does not. I think the 1099’s are due additional monies since the contract includes this wage determination. The fact that they are including H&W payments to 1099’s further confuses this relationship.

Trying to understand the SCA wage determination for this investigator industry is frustrating to say the least. It’s like trying to read reformed Egyptian. As discrepant pointed out, the SCA wage determination makes no sense especially considering how KGS doesn’t pay their contractors an SCA fringe benefit of the $4.0/hr as full timers are paid. Even CACI’s p/t workforce is given the SCA fringe benefit. I see on my KGS invoice that they calculate the SCA benefit automatically when fees are submitted. I have queried my CL about this and got very little to no explanation except that the contractor workforce are exempt from being paid the SCA benefit.

Someone ought to contact DOL and get the skinny on whether an ind. contractor on the OPM contract is due an SCA benefit. Let me put it this way, I also do work for Omni and ADC, LTD and they do pay the SCA benefit for each hour worked on this contract.

If anyone happens to find out the answers to these questions, please advise the group.

Joe, I think the fact that the H&W payment shows on your statement from KGS means that H&W is required to be paid to 1099’s. Now the question is how did they come up with the H&W amount to pay per item when the Wage Determination is clearly laid out on a per hour basis.

I am no longer at KGS but I was there when they started adding this H&W on the statements. They said that they were always paying it us but now needed to show it on the statement and this is why the compensation never went up.

The really scary thing is that OPM is HR and they can care less how the contractors treat and pay their employees or 1099’s. Employees in California had to sue for these contractors to follow labor laws.


“Joe, I think the fact that the H&W payment shows on your statement from KGS means that H&W is required to be paid to 1099”

Then why doesn’t KGS pay this H&W benefit to 1099’s? Is there some loophole in the SCA that they get out of since we are 1099’s? Makes absolutely no sense when other companies like ADC and Omni are paying the SCA benefit. I cannot imagine KGS not playing by the rules after they were sued by an ind. contractor for O/T pay a couple years ago when he argued the employee and ind. contractor relationship was too close and he felt he was treated more like a F/T then an ind. contractor. KGS must argue that the SCA is built into the fee pricing. Here’s another thing, how do they get away with not paying mileage? But then again, nothing would surprise me in this industry anymore.