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Contractor ethics rule is proposed.

Federal contractors receiving awards worth more than $5 million would be required to establish a written code of ethics and to provide ethics training for employees under a proposed rule issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulation councils.

The rule would establish unspecified "remedies" if a contractor falls to comply.

Release of the proposed rule follows several highly publicized cases of procurement irregularities, including bribery, and comes as the Democrat-controlled Congress is stepping up oversight of federal contracting.

A company would be required to have an ethics code and training if it receives a contract worth more than $5 million that has a performance period of 120 days or more.

Those companies would be required to display in their workplaces a poster advertising the contracting agency's fraud hotline.

The same requirements would apply to subcontractors.

The FAR councils said the rule would not apply to commercial item contracts under FAR Part 12 "because ethics programs and hotline posters are not standard commercial practices."

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency already have policies for contractor codes of ethics and business conduct.

The proposed rule is FAR Case 2006-007. Comments are due April 17.
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Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Date:Feb 23, 2007
Words:197
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