On February 24, 2020, following Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s call on the private sector to work with the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop principles for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a “lawful and ethical manner,” (as we previously reported on here), the DoD announced its adoption of ethical principles for AI. The
On November 18, 2016, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) issued a final rule revising the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (“Standards”) applicable to the solicitation and acceptance of gifts from outside sources. See 5 CFR § 2635. The final rule imposes a duty to decline otherwise permissible gifts when the appearance of impropriety is present, adds new examples of how to apply the rules, codifies previous interpretations of the gift rule, and retains the $20 de minimis exception (despite pushback in comments to the proposed rule to raise the standard commensurate with inflation. ) Although Government employees are the primary subject of the final rule, the changes will have a direct impact on how contractors, referred to as “prohibited sources” can interact with Government officials. It is important for government contractors to understand that being implicated by a Government official’s violation of these Standards can lead to various consequences, such as facing public embarrassment, a tarnished reputation in the marketplace, suspension and debarment, or penalties for violating the bribery or illegal gratuities statutes.
The rule becomes effective on January 1, 2017.
Continue Reading OGE Finalizes Rule Regarding Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts for Executive Branch Employees
There are always clues.
After-action reviews nearly always identify signals that a crisis was about to begin. Small hints, tips, strange comments, or different attitudes from a customer. Something will be there. But these clues can be difficult to spot in the moment by busy in-house counsel or senior executives on the front lines of the business.
While skilled lawyers and professionals are available to support companies in full-blown crises, these teams with their cross-cutting skills are often engaged too late to shape the narrative before an all-consuming defense effort begins.
So the question becomes, how do government contractors get out in front of emerging issues, manage their risk, and mitigate as much of an impending crisis as possible? One possible answer is that systematic risk assessments and response protocols need to evolve to consider the emerging risk of parallel enforcement proceedings—to include suspension and debarment from further government contracting work—as well as the changing dynamics involved in settling a matter with the Department of Justice without a fulsome disclosure of misconduct by individuals.…
As published in LAW360, here: http://www.law360.com/articles/511084/a-false-sense-of-security-from-less-suspension-debarment
A False Sense Of Security From Less Suspension, Debarment
We are heading for a period of decreased suspension and debarment activity. I don’t mean the exclusions of individuals after mandatory disclosures, immigration violations or following news stories. Those will continue. I mean agency-developed, field-referred cases that evolve through partnerships
Please check out my article that ran today in LAW360: http://www.law360.com/articles/511079/print?section=governmentcontracts
Don’t Believe That All Gov’t Contractors Are Corrupt
We are wading through another period where we are told in one news story after another that all government contractors are corrupt.