President Biden on Dec. 27, 2022, signed into law legislation that addresses conflicts of interest within the Federal contracting community.
The Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act – introduced by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa – features proposed revisions to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the primary Federal regulation used by executive agencies to buy supplies and services with appropriated funds.
This legislation includes new contract clauses and solicitation provisions, so contractors are less likely to develop conflicts of interest while working with the Federal government. In addition, the bill applies to private companies already under contract with the Federal government.
“Government agencies should know about whether Federal contractors’ outside business interests might conflict with their work for [Americans],” said Senator Peters in a statement. “This new law will ensure Federal contractors are providing transparency about potential conflicts before they are awarded taxpayer dollars.”
According to the senator’s office, many contractors also conduct business with the private sector or other outside entities, and this can raise questions about the reliability of consultations, advice, or projects under Federal contracts if not handled appropriately.
“The bill requires Federal agencies to identify conflicts of interest early in the process by requiring contractors to disclose relationships with entities that would present a conflict of interest with the work the agency has tasked them to do,” the senator’s office said.