DOD wants truer picture of former feds' jobs

The Defense Department has proposed to crack down on contractors that aren’t being fully open with the government about the former federal officials they have hired.

Officials have proposed a rule that would require companies to assure DOD that they comply with regulations that govern former federal officials before the companies receive a contract award, according to a June 6 Federal Register notice.

The proposal applies to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. Read the proposal.


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Companies must already comply with post-employment restrictions, which regulate, for example, how a former official can represent a contractor with the official's former agency on particular matters. Companies also must satisfy the Procurement Integrity Act, which limits how former officials can influence an agency as a contractor after working there on a large federal contract.

According to the new proposal, companies would include a statement of compliance when they bid on a contract. Companies would not be allowed to submit an offer if they could not stand by their compliance assertion.

The proposal stems from a 2008 Government Accountability Office investigation on post-employment concerns.

GAO found that contractors underreported the employment of former DOD officials. They employed almost twice as many as reported. Information from contractors showed they employed 1,263 former DOD officials in 2006, while Internal Revenue Service data showed the contractors employed 2,435. GAO concluded that defense contractors might employ a substantial number of former defense officials on assignments related to their former positions, according to the report. Read the report.

More specifically, GAO estimates that in 2006, at least 422 former DOD officials could have worked on defense contracts related to their former agencies and that at least nine could have worked on the same contracts for which they had oversight responsibilities or decision-making authorities while at DOD.

“The proposed provision will remedy this deficiency,” officials wrote in the notice.

Regulators are accepting comments through Aug. 5.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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