Proposal Would Make Business Ethics Rules Mandatory for Companies

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The federal government has recently proposed a rule that, if it becomes final, will impose additional compliance obligations on most companies doing business with the federal government.

On November 14, 2007, the Civilian Agency Acquisition and Defense Acquisition Regulation Councils (“Councils”) issued a proposed government-wide rule that would require federal contractors to notify contracting officers and agency inspectors general of suspected violations of criminal law

committed in connection with the award or performance of federal contracts and to fully cooperate with federal investigators. Several of the Councils’ proposed changes come at the request of the Department of Justice. The public comment period for the proposed rule will expire on January 14, 2008. The proposed rule builds upon recent amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation

requiring contractors to have a written ethics code and internal control system.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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