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It’s hammer time – keeping defense contractors in check

Will 2011 be the year that we see the USG grow a set and begin enforcing the laws on errant and corrupt contractors?  In the last few months new legislation has been enacted that seems to point in that direction.  However, as the loyal readers of Ms Sparky know,  new rules generally invoke new methods of  cover up by the criminal elements committing these misdeeds and acts of malfeasance.   Also, what about the old rules?  When is the USG going to enforce them?  Has anyone been debarred, sanctioned or otherwise called on the carpet for violating or covering up crimes in the past?  I am not talking about the smattering of indictments, convictions and plea deals against individuals that have made headlines.  I am talking about the dirty rotten scoundrels laughing all the way to the bank to deposit billions of taxpayer dollars into their corporate coffers!  ~Forseti

Defense Authorization Bolsters Foreign Contractor Accountability and Expands FAPIIS

Neil Gordon – POGO – January 14, 2010 – Earlier this week, POGO submitted a public comment about a new Department of Defense interim rule permitting the reduction or denial of award fees if contractors jeopardize the health or safety of government personnel. Since then, POGO became aware of a provision tucked into the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 that could send the rule drafters at the Pentagon back to the drawing board. In addition, it will also provide the public with a new source of contractor accountability data.

Section 834 of the authorization bill, signed into law by President Obama last Friday, gives the Secretary of Defense the authority to reduce or deny award fees through a special administrative proceeding. After conducting an “expeditious independent investigation,” the Secretary will determine the fault of a contractor alleged to have caused harm and decide if it merits clawing back some of Uncle Sam’s money. Like the interim rule, the incident would have to involve “gross negligence” or “reckless disregard” for health or safety that causes “serious bodily injury or death” to U.S. government civilian or military personnel. Thus, most of POGO’s criticism of the interim rule still stands. (Click HERE for article)

Federal Contractors and Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims

 As reported in the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) Federal Contracts Report (subscription necessary, alas) — and nowhere else that I can find on the web — on December 8, 2010, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued its final rule implementing Section 8116 of the 2010 Defense Appropriations Act, known as the Franken Amendment.  The Amendment applies to DoD contracts of more than $1 million and provides that contractors awarded such contracts must not require employees to arbitrate their Title VII claims or “any tort relating to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment.”  (Click HERE for article)

New federal database is one contractors will want to avoid

FY2011 defense act puts a contractor’s reckless behavior to the Web.
Matthew Weigelt – January 14, 2010 – On the heels of an interim rule to withhold award fees for putting a government employee’s health or safety in danger, a new law will put that information in a database of contractor work history.

In November, the Defense Department amended its own acquisition regulations to require contracting officers to consider reducing or even denying a company’s award fee if it jeopardizes a federal employee. A company also possibly can lose award money for a subcontractor’s negligent behavior.

The interim rule was required by the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law Oct. 28, 2009.

Now though, the fiscal 2011 defense authorization act, which became law Jan. 7, takes the reckless behavior to the Web.

If DOD officials conclude a contractor put a federal worker’s life in harm’s way, the information can be added to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System, or FAPIIS. (Click HERE for article)

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