DVIDS - News - Government contract defines working relationship with contractors
(a) The Government and the Contractor understand and agree that the services to be delivered under this contract by the contractor to the Government are. Trust Must Be Restored in the Contractor-Government Relationship. What is the federal IT community to make of the revelations coming out of. For the Federal Buzz question of the week, The Federal Eye and GovLoop asked government workers and contractors about their relationships.
It is the responsibility of all government personnel to be on the look out for conflicts of interest, before they get out of hand. This includes speaking to and coordinating with the Contracting Officer, who is responsible for identifying and neutralizing conflicts of interest in government-contractor relationships. Individual contracting officers can be identified by reviewing the contract.
Conflicts of interest are also a concern when considering off-duty employment with current or potential contractors.
All off-duty employment requests must be reviewed by the legal office. Ethically speaking, gifts are a concern for every member here at AFIT, contractor or government employee. The Joint Ethics Regulation is very clear on the ability to accept gifts.
If a gift is from a prohibited source, or was given because of an official position, it cannot be accepted. A gift is any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or anything with monetary value. However, there are some exceptions which allow government personnel to accept a gift.
Some of the more common exceptions are: All questions regarding gifts, either to or from contractors or their employees, need to be routed through the legal office. In most common situations, contractors are required to provide all their own property to perform government duties. However, here at AFIT we have specialized equipment, and it is not always necessary for contractors to provide property.
48 CFR - Government-Contractor Relations. | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Whether equipment is supposed to be provided will be detailed in the contract. But according to the study, there appears to be more bureaucratic protection than is really necessary. Some reasons offered for requiring protective measures revolve around government being staffed by novice replacements for recently retired veteran procurement officers.
Also mentioned is the massive insourcing in the government acquisition ranks. The high turnover of acquisition professionals hinders building the trust-based relationships needed for efficient and effective business.
With the federal government driving efficiency initiatives, contractors are now forced to focus their proposition more on low-cost vs. With this scheme, the market could potentially become commoditized with points of differentiation so small that they provide no discernible value differential at all. One senior government individual said that a good reason to use low price is that it easily avoids protests.
This belief goes right to the heart of the trust argument.
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Developing customer intimacy and positive, enduring client relationships require a proactive client engagement process. With an effective engagement process and robust identification and qualification of opportunities, business development organizations can avoid or reduce adversarial relationships and issues of mistrust. Which strategy do you believe offers the potential to deliver better outcomes for both sides?
A commoditized, buy-sell, transaction-based acquisition strategy where customer and contractor contact is obviated, with mandated protective measures required to compensate for mistrust. A long-term, relationship-based position built by engaging both operational and acquisition customers in substantive conversations and collaborating with them in creating the best, most technically efficient and cost-effective solutions to fulfill the mission.
The second approach has the potential to combine low-cost with best-value. This distinction is critical. With this policy, technically acceptable outcomes become the trade-off and effectively commoditize service and product procurement.