Defense industry executives are being forced to choose between risking employees’ health by sending them into factories amid the coronavirus outbreak, or missing the delivery deadlines in their Pentagon contracts.
Initially, many contractors welcomed the federal government’s March 20 declaration that the defense industrial base is a critical part of America’s infrastructure, and that a good portion of its employees would be “expected to maintain their normal work schedule.” But just four days later, as the COVID-19 death toll rises and state after state announces stay-at-home orders, it has become clear that normal work schedules aren’t generally advisable — or even possible.
On Wednesday, Boeing will shut down its massive assembly factories in the Seattle region that build commercial airliners and military tankers and submarine-hunting aircraft. While some work can be done remotely, such as the re-engineering of the KC-46 refueling system, assembling the planes and their unique components cannot.
The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech has established a webpage where all contract-related developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) are summarized. Find the page at: https://contractingacademy.gatech.edu/coronavirus-information-for-contracting-officers-and-contractors/