Final Rule Issued on “Contractor Business Ethics Compliance”
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council on November 12 issued a final rule on its "Contractor Business Ethics Compliance Program and Disclosure Requirements." The rulemaking becomes effective on December 12, 2008.
The rule amends the FAR to amplify the requirements for a contractor code of business ethics and conduct, an internal control system, and disclosure to the Government of certain violations of criminal law, violations of the civil False Claims Act, or significant overpayments. Specifically, the rule requires Federal contractors to:
• Establish and maintain specific internal controls to detect and prevent improper conduct in connection with the award or performance of any Government contract or subcontract; and,
• Timely disclose to the agency Office of the Inspector General, with a copy to the contracting officer, whenever, in connection with the award, performance, or closeout of a Government contract performed by the contractor or a subcontract awarded thereunder, the contractor has credible evidence of a violation of Federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, or gratuity violations found in Title 18 of the United States Code; or a violation of the civil False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729 3733).
The rule also provides as cause for suspension or debarment, knowing failure by a principal, until 3 years after final payment on any Government contract awarded to the contractor, to timely disclose to the Government, in connection with the award, performance, or closeout of the contract or a subcontract thereunder, credible evidence of:
• Violation of Federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, or gratuity violations found in Title 18 of the United States Code;
• Violation of the civil False Claims Act; or
• Significant overpayment(s) on the contract, other than overpayments resulting from contract financing payments as defined in FAR 32.001, Definitions.
For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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