Thursday, August 12, 2010

Restrictions After an Employee Leaves Government Service

Today we present the fourth of our five part series on potential ethics issues that contractors may face when working with Government employees. It's important to ensure that your interactions with Government employees don't inadvertently trigger ethics problems for them. Today’s issue involves certain prohibitions that persons face when moving from the public to the private sector.

There are certain restrictions that apply to Government employees after they leave Government service.

Here are three of them:
  • Lifetime ban on representing any other person before the Government on the same Government matter, such as a contract, on which they worked for the Government. This means the former employee may not sign a letter, attend a meeting, make a presentation, make a telephone call or make any other communication or appearance before the Government in connection with the same matter on which the employee worked.
  • Two-year ban on representing another person before the Government on the same contract (or other Government matter) that was pending under the employee's official responsibility during the last year of the employee's Government service.
  • One-Year "cooling-off" period for any matter involving the employee's former agency. This provision applies only to "senior" employees whose basic pay is above a certain level.

 "Behind-The-Scenes" Work

  • If a former Government employee goes to work for a contractor and works "behind the scenes" on the same contract he worked on as a Government employee, he will not violate the criminal and post-employment provisions just described. But, former employees need to be careful! The post-employment rules apply even if the contract specifically requires contractor personnel to communicate with the Government.  
  • Although certain non-controversial routine or administrative communications are not prohibited, many communications that a former employee might make while performing the contract may involve the intent to influence the Government, because the contractor and the Government have potentially differing views or interests on the matter being discussed.

Procurement Integrity Act - The Procurement Integrity Act contains restrictions on the post-employment activities of certain Government employees.

  • If a former Government employee has served in certain contracting roles, or performed specific contracting functions, on certain matters over $10,000,000 involving a particular contractor, then the former employee is generally prohibited, for one year, from receiving compensation from the contractor for service as an employee, officer, director, or consultant. That means that if these criteria are met, a former employee may not even work "behind-the-scenes" for compensation.
  • This prohibition does not prevent a Government employee from going to work for a division or affiliate of the contractor that does not produce the same or similar products or services as the division or affiliate of the contractor responsible for the contract in which the employee was involved.




No comments:

Post a Comment