Three Fundamental Questions Must Be Asked Of The Corporate Compliance Program:
The answers to the above questions are what the Justice Department uses when determining charging decisions, resolution format, monetary penalties and whether to impose compliance obligations such as monitoring or continued reporting when addressing non-compliances.
Sba Size And Affiliation Consulting
Does your company have a SBA size standard problem? The SBA size and affiliation rules can be complex and confusing, leading some companies to wonder whether they truly qualify as small.
Koprince McCall Pottroff can help reduce your SBA affiliation risks by performing a top-to-bottom audit of your companys ownership, management, and contractual relations. Based on our experience with SBA size protests, SBA size appeals, and SBA size determinations, Koprince McCall Pottroffs attorneys can review your companys size much like the SBA would, and offer you strategies to correct any size or affiliation problems, before they result in an adverse SBA size determination.
Find out more about Koprince McCall Pottroffs SBA size and affiliation consulting services.
Can Contractor Code Of Conduct And Business Ethics Prevent Government Contract Fraud
No. There is no absolute guarantee that fraud will not occur in your company. However, has a viable contractor code of conduct and business ethics can help to reduce the adverse impact of any criminal allegations to your company. Federal law enforcement offices are aggressively targeting small businesses and large DOD companies for government contracting fraud. You want to take the time to invest in strong ethics and code of conduct. When fraud is alleged and you have valid programs in place, it may be that you may have an isolated employee who was acting outside of his or her authority.
Make mandatory that you revise your contractor code of ethics at least every twenty-four months. Also, have your employees take annual training. This can help your company in the event of a government investigation.
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Government Contractors Follow A Written Code Of Business Ethics And Conduct
A companys code of ethics are policies based on law and intrinsic values important to the business. While this code varies from company to company, is it vital to have a code in writing to help all employees understand expectations and the rules they have to follow. This is no different for government contractors.
According to Federal Acquisition Regulation 3.1002 Policy, contractors should have a written code of business ethics and conduct, an employee business ethics and compliance training program, and an internal control system adhering to the following best practices:
If the contract is expected to exceed $5.5 million and the performance period is 120 days or more, the above requirements are mandatory, according to FAR 52.203-13 Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
Realistically speaking, while a contract exceeding $5.5 million to a small government contractor would be a significant contract win, it is not unobtainable and a contract with a performance period of 120 days is only four short months. This means, government contractors of all sizes will likely need to meet the requirements.
Government Contractor Ethics Far Basic Statutory Requirements
Under FAR 3.10 Contractor code of business ethics and conduct, government contractors should have a written policy in place. To promote compliance with the statutory requirements, you should have a code of ethics for government contractors and compliance training program plus an internal control system that
Are suitable to the size of the company and the extent of its involvement in Government contracting
Facilitate timely discovery and disclosure of improper conduct in connection with Government contracts and
Ensure corrective measures are promptly instituted and carried out.
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What Is The Requirement
Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation , section 203.10, federal government contractors are required to conduct themselves with the highest degree of integrity and honesty and to have a written code of business ethics and conduct, an employee business ethics and compliance training program and an internal control system. These programs and systems should:
- be suitable to the size of the company and extent of its involvement in government contracting,
- facilitate timely discovery and disclosure of improper conduct and
- ensure corrective measures are promptly instituted and carried out.
This compliance program requirement is implemented by FAR 52.203-13 , which must be included in solicitations and contracts if the value of the contract is expected to exceed $5.5 million and the performance period is 120 days or more.
The scope of this requirement depends on the size of the contractor and whether its government contracts are limited to commercial items. For all contractors:
Additional requirements apply to large businesses that engage in noncommercial items contracting, including:
In short, a covered contractor must have a code of business ethics, a training program, internal controls and a culture of compliance. The regulation provides structural parameters but no template it recognizes that one size does not fit all.
Online Code Of Conduct Training
WithTraliants modular approach to Code of Conduct training, organizations can choose from over 25 topics to ensure the course reflects the issues that are most relevant to their business and workforce. The course can also be customized with a companys unique branding, images and video message to reinforce leaderships commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of integrity.
Topics are presented in bite-sized episodes, with a host who guides learners through interactive video scenarios depicting real-world situations. eLearning exercises, knowledge checks and assessments are integrated throughout the course, challenging employees to think about what it means to make ethical decisions and the consequences of misconduct.
Traliants Code of Conduct training can be translated into 100+ languages and is mobileoptimized for any device or platform. The course includes an acknowledgement form and link to the organizations written Code of Conduct policy. Traliant also offers Code of Conduct for Healthcare Employees, Supplier Code of Conduct and Federal Acquisition Regulation Code of Conduct for federal contractors and subcontractors.
|Code of Conduct Edition|
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Federal Acquisition Regulation Training
Complying with the Federal Acquisition Regulation is a must for any government contractor. But the FAR is more than 2,000 pages in printed form, so how can any businessparticularly a small businessbe expected to know all the rules?
Our attorneys know the FAR, and they have counseled clients on meeting its requirements. If your company requires FAR training, we can help provide it.
Government Contractor Code Of Business Ethics And Conduct
In 2008, under FAR 52.203-13, Contractor Code of Conduct and Business Ethics and Conduct the clause promulgated that appears in all Federal prime contracts that exceed $5 million and have a period of performance of 120 days or more and is required to be included in subcontracts of that dollar amount and period of performance.
As a matter of practice, the Federal government has initiated greater scrutiny on government contractors for lack of sufficient internal policies and controls.
Your code of ethics is especially important when your company is targeted for suspension and debarment or some level of a federal government investigation. Having one shows a mitigating circumstance that can also have some impact on the outcome.
If you are doing business with the government, you should have already implemented your contractor code of business ethics and conduct Policy, code of ethics in contracting and internal contract compliance program. When issues arise or audits occur, having some level of ethics control can help to mitigate adverse results. Find out how to avoid mistakes with SDVOSB joint ventures.
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Organizational Conflict Of Interest Training
Avoiding organizational conflicts of interest is essential to success as a government contractor, but sometimes, a written OCI mitigation plan may not be enough. Koprince McCall Pottroff can provide your employees with training on the FARs OCI restrictions, GAO and federal court case law interpreting those restrictions, and best practices and policies for avoiding, neutralizing and mitigating OCIs.
Giving your employees formal OCI training not only helps avoid OCIs, but may help demonstrate to procuring agencies that your business takes its OCI obligations very seriously.
Find out more about Koprince McCall Pottroffs Organizational Conflict of Interest training.
Far Codes Of Ethics And System Of Internal Controls
The FAR states that all contractors should have a written code of ethics, but does not tell contractors what to include. Koprince Law can prepare a thorough, comprehensive and effective code of ethics for your company, including such things as:
- Your companys ethical mission statement
- Prohibitions on particular unethical activities
- A policy of internal and external disclosure
- Disciplinary action to be taken against those who commit violations
- Employee acknowledgement of receipt
- Much more
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Government Contracts Training & Consulting
Koprince McCall Pottroff attorneys provide individualized training and consulting services to federal government contractors. Our attorneys are regular speakers and consultants on SBA size and affiliation issues, FAR compliance, SBA size protests and appeals, GAO bid protests, and many other government contracting matters.
Compliance Checklist For Federal Contractors
Although they’re not often thought of in this way, government contractors are the sector of the economy that is the most heavily regulated. Any company that wants to work continuously in this field should know there are dozens of statutes that control its behavior. It’s smart for companies in this area to take formal compliance training to make sure they’re on the correct side of the law. They should also maintain and update reports, codes, and logs.
Many times they’ll need to publish not only the Codes of Conduct and Business Ethics and Disclosure Policies, but educate their employees when it comes to compliance. This means they should positively engage all employees in matters of compliance and report potential problems or suspected misconduct. The context of the rules needs to be complied with in order to comply. A helpful starting point is the FAR, which applies to the contracting community and the government itself. It sets the rules for the acquisition process that executive agencies in the federal government acquire services and goods with appropriated funds.
The other type of knowledge for government contractors is related to criminal regulations and laws that go into being a contractor. They relate to corruption, espionage, and fraud, and many are found in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement.
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For Contractors Who Must Comply With Federal Acquisition Regulation Rules
The Federal Acquisition Regulation or FAR is a set of rules to ensure that contractors and subcontractors who do business with the federal government comply with standards for honest and ethical conduct. FAR is designed to address waste, fraud and abuse, enhance the integrity of the procurement system, and promote regulatory clarity and consistency.
FAR Code of Conduct training is an important step in helping contractors and subcontractors stay FAR compliant and meet the requirement to adopt a code of business ethics and conduct, implement internal controls and encourage individuals to report misconduct.
Contractor Code Of Business Ethics And Conduct
Though not required, the benefits of a code argue for the code being company-wide, including the contractors total mix of government and commercial business. Contractors with a global workforce may find it appropriate to have geography-based modules. While there is no prescribed template, a code will usually include the following components:
The introduction sets the tone. Most codes start with an endorsement from the highest level of the company, statements of the companys ethical principles , and a guide as to the scope of the code and the responsibility of employees to follow it.
Companies must decide how much detail to provide. Greater detail will answer more questions but can be counterproductive if volume discourages employees from reading it. Companies must also decide how much discretion to allow should employees be encouraged to exercise judgment, or will it be easier for them to understand and comply with black-and-white rules?
Many codes will set forth questions that employees should consider when facing ethical choices, such as:
- How will this action look to a government investigator or prosecutor?
- How would this action look in the newspaper?
- Am I treating others the way I would want to be treated?
- Does it feel appropriate in my gut?
Procurement Integrity. The code should alert all employees to the rules and risks and provide guidance when encountering sensitive procurement information that could give the company a competitive advantage.
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S Government Contractors Can Take To Ensure Compliance
There are a number of steps your organization can take immediately to ensure compliance with the FAR rules:
Review your programs at least once a year and update them as necessary.
Training Employees To Recognize And Raise Concerns About Ethical Workplace Issues
Code of Conduct training, especially during uncertain times, is an essential step in communicating an organizations core values and principles and ensuring employees understand their responsibility to act with honesty and integrity inside and outside the workplace.
From avoiding conflicts of interest to protecting confidential information to preventing discrimination and harassment, Code of Conduct training teaches employees how to recognize and respond to potentially unethical or illegal situations that can harm an organizations reputation and result in costly violations.
As part of an effective compliance program, Code of Conduct training provides a flexible way for organizations to demonstrate how ethical and compliance issues apply in everyday situations, and motivate employees to speak up and raise concerns.
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Far Compliance Policies: Everything You Need To Know
Far compliance policies stand for the Federal Acquisition Regulation , which serves as the guidebook government contractors use.3 min read
Far compliance policies stand for the Federal Acquisition Regulation , which serves as the guidebook government contractors use. It outlines the regulations, rules, and processes that need to be followed by contractors throughout contract formation, contract administration processes, and the acquisition planning phase when the government is acquiring services and goods. It’s easy to overlook the FAR as many of the rules are about the finance departments and contracts within an organization. One part of the FAR that’s related to the Human Resource department is the Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
Need Ethics Training For Government Contractors
If you find that your companys day-to-day operations and you later become subject to suspension and debarment actions, showing that you have undergone ethics training for government contractors could potentially reduce the adverse impact in your specific case.
Call our government contract compliance lawyers for help with your contractor code of ethics and business conductat 1-866-601-5518 for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.
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Getting Help With Meeting Government Contracting Ethics And Compliance Requirements
As mentioned, creating a code of conduct is a necessity for just about any organization involved in government contracting. If you need assistance in crafting a code for your company, please refer to the Lighthouse Services white paper Developing a Code of Conduct: A Step-by-Step Guide. To learn more about our wide array of training services that can help you fulfill the FAR ethics and compliance training requirements, please click here.
Far Compliance: Code Of Business Ethics And Conduct
According to the FAR, all contracts must keep up business practices that have the highest level of honesty and integrity, and it’s mandatory that they have a written code of business conduct and ethics. The FAR suggests an internal control system and training program that’s related to the code of business ethics and conduct that should do the following:
- Be appropriate for the size of the involvement in government contracting and the organization’s size
- Allow disclosure that’s timely for improper conduct to the client
- Make sure that corrective measures are followed and in place when needed.
Government contracts that go over $5,000,000 within 120 days have more defined guidelines on the language that should be used in the contracts. Once that language is in the contract, it’s up to the organization to make sure the terms and conditions are carried out. It’s smart to have an ethics officer to look over the ethics program in the organization and make sure all of these requirements get met on a thorough and consistent basis. Ideally, the ethics officer is someone who’s a senior member of the organization and isn’t directly tied to the contracts administration.
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