Re: Status of the Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Status of the Technical Writer
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>, "'Techwr-l'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 12:07:32 -0700

I can't speak for every form of documentation produced by or for a government
agency, but when I was employed by DoD contractors (as an engineer), the
contracts for equipment had voluminous requirements for documentation of
many kinds (plans, procedures, reports, etc.), all of which had to be submitted
and approved before contracts could be billed. There was no "technical writing"
as a billable service, as the documents were a part of the list of deliverables.
There were charge categories for design, test, production, etc., but within each
category there was not anything that singled out the writing, so the hours I logged
documenting my designs and/or tests were the same as the hours logged doing
the designing and testing. They were always billed to contract.

As far as what constitutes "technical writer" work, I would say that anything
you might have to do to get the documents done qualifies. And anything that
is complicated enough to make my head hurt meets my definition of "technical."

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>

> The contracts on GSA are the private-sector contracts with the government.
> The companies cannot bill for a service that they do not provide in the
> contract. The companies can pay for the overhead to maintain themselves,
> like administrative costs, office staff, and so forth, but they cannot
> provide (and bill for) technical writing if it isn't in the contract.
> Are you saying the technical writing that these companies provide is
> something that they pay for in overhead? The way I see it, it is something
> that they do not even provide.

> I have completed quite a few "technical writing" contracts as a
> sub-contractor for the State of California. I had a good rate most of the
> time. I am starting to learn that the work that I provided was way beyond
> the description of Technical Writer because there was a lot of business
> analysis and an FSR. I want avoid sub-contracting to a CMAS contractor that
> is generally an employment agency that takes 40% of the bill rate and I want
> to be the CMAS contractor.


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RE: Status of the Technical Writer: From: Lauren

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