Friday, August 24, 2012

They Walk a Mighty Fine Line

Approximately 80 percent of the Department of Energy's workforce is comprised of contractor personnel who provide services to assist with managing projects and programs. This type of environment, according to DoE's Office of Inspector General, can present unique situations that require special diligence from DoE managers, requiring them to balance support needs with ensuring that applicable Federal regulations and procurement guidelines are followed.

Generally, Federal employees are prohibited from becoming involved in contractor employee personnel matters such as hiring and terminating personnel, supervising contractor employees and assigning tasks to contractor employees that, by Federal regulation, can only be performed by Federal employees.

In a recently released "Inspection Report", the DoE Inspector General reviewed allegations that a manager at one of its sites tried to influence contractor hiring decisions. In one case, the manager spoke with contractor officials regarding the qualifications and hiring of a particular individual. Although the manager did not order or direct the contractor to hire the individual, the contractor ultimately hired him.

In the second case, about two years later, the same manager attempted to secure a position for the same individual at another service contract. That attempt failed when the individual was hired by someone else.

The IG found that the manager had taken certain actions on behalf of a particular contract individual but there was insufficient information gathered during the review to indicate that he violated Federal procurement guidelines. Nevertheless, the IG concluded that the actions taken by the manager may have caused others to perceive that the manager acted improperly.

As a general rule, Federal managers must not

  1. direct a contractor to hire a particular individual (but they may provide the contractor with the names of individuals that are competent.
  2. direct a contractor to fire a particular individual
  3. design work requirements around a single individual

No comments:

Post a Comment