Legal Considerations for IT Subcontractors in Government Contracts

In federal contracting, Information Technology (IT) subcontractors serving prime contractors face a unique set of legal and regulatory requirements. Ensuring compliance with federal laws and regulations is not just a matter of legal obligation; it is also critical for maintaining a good standing, securing future contracts, and business growth. This post gives a high level overview of legal compliance for IT subcontractors in government contracts.

Key Legal Considerations

  1. Compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): The FAR is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulations System. It governs the acquisition process by which the federal government purchases goods and services. IT subcontractors must understand and comply with FAR clauses that are flowed down from the prime contractor, covering aspects such as cybersecurity requirements, intellectual property rights, and confidentiality. Understand that the FAR is non-negotiable.
  2. Cybersecurity and Data Protection: With the increasing reliance on digital infrastructure, cybersecurity is extremely important in federal contracts. IT subcontractors are often required to adhere to specific cybersecurity standards, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to protect sensitive federal information.
  3. Intellectual Property (IP) Rights: Federal contracts frequently involve the development or use of IP. Subcontractors must navigate complex IP issues, ensuring they protect their own innovations while also respecting the government’s and prime contractor’s rights. Understanding the allocation of IP rights and obligations under the contract is crucial.
  4. Conflicts of Interest: IT subcontractors must be vigilant about avoiding conflicts of interest, which could jeopardize their eligibility for future contracts. This includes ensuring that their business practices do not unfairly benefit from proprietary or sensitive information gained through federal contracts.
  5. Employment Law Compliance: Subcontractors must also comply with federal employment laws, including those related to equal opportunity employment, wages, and benefits. The Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Davis-Bacon Act are examples of legislation that may apply, depending on the nature of the contract.

Best Practices for Compliance

  • Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence before entering into a subcontract. Ensure that you comply internally and understand the legal requirements and ensure that your business processes and practices are equipped to comply.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Federal regulations and requirements can evolve. Implement a system for continuous monitoring of legal developments that impact your sector.
  • Training and Awareness: Regular training for your team on compliance matters, especially focusing on cybersecurity, IP rights, and ethics, can help mitigate risks.
  • Legal Partnership: Consider partnering with a law firm that specializes in federal government contracting. Legal experts can provide guidance tailored to your business, helping navigate complex regulations and avoiding pitfalls.


This post is providing a high level overview of legal compliance for IT subcontractors in government contracts and is not to be taken as comprehensive overview. There are many more nuances and specifics, and you should have an experienced attorney assist you. Kader Law can help. If you’re interested, feel free to contact us.

This post is not legal advice, and does not establish any attorney client privilege between Law Office of K.S. Kader, PLLC and you, the readerThe content of this post was assisted by generative artificial intelligence solutions.