The Office of Government Ethics (“OGE”) is the organization responsible for providing guidance to help Government employees comply with the procurement integrity and ethics regulations set forth in FAR Part 3. Their guidance can be found at oge.gov.
Simply requesting a gift, gratuity, or anything of monetary value from a contractor who has or is seeking “Government business” with the employee’s agency will constitute a violation of the FAR’s gift regulations. FAR 3.101-2.
Unless subject to an exception, Government employees are prohibited from receiving a single gift or gratuity valued in excess of $20 and no more than $50 worth of gifts or gratuities in a single calendar year from a Government contractor who has or is seeking “Government business” with the employee’s agency.
Episode #1 (FAR PARTS 1 and 2) FAR Facts
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) became effective on April 1, 1984.
The FAR is issued as Chapter 1 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”)
The FAR can be found on-line at www.acquisition.gov.
The ultimate customer of any Government contract is the “American taxpayer.” FAR 1.102-2(a)(1).
Among other things, the FAR Guiding Principles require the Government to “maximize its use of commercial products and services in meeting Government requirements.” FAR 1.102 and 1.102-2(a)(4)
Conducting business with integrity, fairness and openness is an essential part of the “Federal Acquisition System.” FAR 1.102(b)(3). This particular tenet has been accepted internationally as a cornerstone for best-in-class procurement systems.
The FAR “Acquisition Team” goes beyond government contract professionals. It also includes end user customers and contractors who market and sell supplies and services to the Government. FAR 1.102(c)
Contracting Officers are not required to eliminate all contract risk when executing or administering Government contracts. FAR 1.102-2(c)(2).
Contracting Officers are encouraged by the FAR to be innovative. Contract policies, procedures and strategies not specifically addressed by the FAR nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), regulation or Executive Order are permissible. FAR 1.102-4(e).
The FAR is prepared, issued and maintained by the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the General Services Administration and the Administrator of NASA. FAR .103.
The value of future option periods should always be taken into consideration when determining whether a contract meets a particular acquisition regulation “dollar threshold.” FAR 1.108(c).
Unless otherwise specified in the CFR, changes to the FAR shall apply only to solicitations issued on or after the effective date of the change. FAR 1.108(d)(1).
A Contracting Officer may add or change a FAR provision in an existing contract only after providing a contractor with some form of consideration, which may include exercising an option year. FAR 1.108(d)(3).
Agency supplemental acquisition regulations may not (i) be duplicative or, (ii) unless required by law, be inconsistent with the FAR. FAR 1.304(b)(2).
Only Contracting Officers have the authority to award, modify or terminate a Government contract. The ability to take these actions may be limited to contracts up to a certain dollar threshold (a.k.a., “warrant authority” or “appointment authority”). FAR 1.602-1.
A Contracting Officer Representative (“COR”) has no authority to make any commitments or changes that affect price, quality, quantity, delivery, or other terms and conditions of a contract. FAR 1.602-2(d)(5).
A COR may be held personally liable for damages arising from “unauthorized acts.” FAR 1.602-2(d)(7)(v).
A Class Determination and Finding (“D&F”) must always contain an expiration date. FAR 1.706.
Government and Contractor personnel should NOT only rely upon FAR 2.101 when determining the definition of words included in a solicitation or contract. This is because different definitions of words set forth at FAR 2.101 may otherwise be set forth in the body of the solicitation or in another section of the FAR. FAR 52.202-1(a) and (c).
The word “should” as defined in FAR 2.101 means an “expected course or action or policy” and is not considered an “imperative.” FAR 2.101
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