SUMMARY OF THE PROCUREMENT INTEGRITY ACT

The Procurement Integrity Act (41 U.S.C. §423, implemented at FAR 3.104) has four basic provisions:

  • A ban on disclosing procurement information;
  • A ban on obtaining procurement information;
  • A requirement for procurement officers to report employment contacts by or with a competing contractor; and
  • A 1-year ban for certain personnel on accepting compensation from the contractor.

 

The Ban on Disclosing Procurement Information

  • The Act prohibits the disclosure of "contractor bid or proposal information" and "source selection information."
  • The ban applies to:
    • Current Federal employees;
    • Former Federal employees;
    • Individuals (such as contractor employees) who are currently advising the government regarding the procurement; and
    • Individuals (such as contractor employees) who have advised the government regarding the procurement, but are no longer doing so.
  • The ban applies until the contract is awarded.

 

The Ban on Obtaining Procurement Information

  • Individuals are prohibited from knowingly obtaining "contractor bid or proposal information" or "source selection information" before the award of the contract to which such information relates, other than as provided for by law.
  • The ban applies to everyone (including Federal employees and contractor personnel).

 

The Employment Contact Reporting Rule

  • If a Federal employee who is participating personally and substantially in a procurement contacts, or is contacted by, a bidder or offeror in that procurement regarding possible employment for that employee, the employee must:
    • Promptly report the contact in writing to the employee’s supervisor and to the designated agency ethics official (or designee), AND
    • Either: (a) Reject the possibility of employment, OR (b) Disqualify himself or herself from further personal and substantial participation in the procurement until the agency has authorized the employee to resume participation in the procurement on the grounds that: (1) the company that the employment contact was with is no longer a bidder or offeror in the procurement, or (2) all discussions between the employee and the company regarding possible employment have terminated without an agreement for employment.
  • This rule applies only to contracts in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold ($100,000).

 

The 1-Year Ban on Accepting Compensation from the Contractor

  • The 1-year ban applies to people who serve in any of the following seven positions on a contract over $10 million:
    • Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO)
    • Source Selection Authority (SSA)
    • Member of the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB)
    • Chief of a financial or technical evaluation team
    • Program Manager
    • Deputy Program Manager
    • Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO)
  • The 1-year ban also applies to anyone who "personally makes" any of the following seven types of decisions:
    • Decision to award a contract over $10 million.
    • Decision to award a subcontract over $10 million.
    • Decision to award a modification of contract or subcontract over $10 million.
    • Decision to award a task order or delivery order over $10 million.
    • Decision to establish overhead or other rates applicable to a contract or contracts that are valued over $10 million.
    • Decision to approve issuance of a contract payment or payments over $10 million.
    • Decision to pay or settle a claim over $10 million.
  • The 1-year ban can apply to officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees. The ban can apply regardless of whether one retires, resigns, or separates from the government. The 1-year ban applies to accepting compensation as an employee, officer, director, or consultant of the contractor. The ban does not apply to accepting compensation from any division or affiliate of a contractor that does not produce "the same or similar products or services" as the entity of the contractor that is responsible for the contract the employee was involved in (such as a commercial division of the contractor).
  • Current and former employees can request a legal opinion on whether the 1-year compensation ban applies to them with regard to any company (30-day letter).

 


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