New Organizational Conflict of Interest Proposed Rule Continues Trend in Transparency and Competition


On April 26, 2011, the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") Council issued a proposed rule that would amend the rules governing organizational conflicts of interest ("OCI"). 76 F.R. 23236-54 (Apr. 26, 2011). Parties interested in submitting comments on the proposed rule must do so no later than June 27, 2011, to ensure that the FAR Council considers them.

The OCI rules at Subpart 9.5 are designed to help the Government in identifying and addressing circumstances in which a Government contractor may be unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the Government, or might have an unfair competitive advantage based on unequal access to information or prior involvement in setting the ground rules for an acquisition. In recent years, trends in the Government and contractor industry-industry consolidation, increased government reliance on contractors, and the like-have led policymakers to conclude that existing OCI regulations are inadequate.

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