Venable Partners Robert A. Burton and Ron Jacobs spoke at TechAmerica Procurement Policy Webinar Series on Tuesday, June 23, 2009. Their topic covered "New Contractor Ethics Requirements and Obama Administration Lobbying Restrictions."
Government contracting has entered a new era of increased oversight, transparency, and contractor accountability. At the forefront of contractor concerns are the new mandatory ethics and fraud disclosure rules, as well as the lobbying restrictions imposed by the Obama Administration. Contractors now face an increased risk of suspension or debarment if they fail to comply with some of these new rules.
This session will provide insight into the government's rationale for the new fraud disclosure rules and discuss some of the challenges facing contractors as they implement these and other new ethics requirements. Also, for the first time, contractors must have internal control systems with specific, mandatory features. Contractor misconceptions regarding these rules will be discussed, as well as the new ethics-related provisions of the Recovery Act. The establishment of a robust and compliant ethics program is more important than ever for government contractors.
In a related development, President Obama imposed a number of restrictions on how lobbyists interact with the government. These restrictions include changes to the Executive Branch gift rules, prohibitions on lobbyists contacting the government about stimulus funding, and restrictions on the "revolving door" between government and the private sector. These changes have had a significant impact on companies that interact with the government, including contractors. This session will provide insight into how companies can adapt their procedures to comply with these new rules to maximize their effectiveness.
The new ethics requirements, fraud disclosure rules, and lobbying restrictions are changing the way contractors do business with the federal government. This is a challenging time for government contractors, and it is critical for contractors to clearly understand and properly comply with the new rules.