Procurement Integrity Act

Government employees who serve as procurement officials as defined in the Procurement Integrity Act are subject to certain prohibitions when involved in the conduct of a procurement. In summary:

Government employees participating personally and substantially in the conduct of a procurement cannot:

  1. Seek employment with a competing contractor during the conduct of the procurement unless disqualified from the procurement;

    Note: If the contract is for more than $100,000 and the employee is seeking employment or is contacted by the vendor, the employee must provide a written report of the contact to his/her supervisor and Deputy Ethics Counselor (DEC). The report must be kept for 2 years. The employee must either reject the potential employment or be disqualified from the procurement. Reinstatement following disqualification from the procurement can occur if the contractor is no longer a bidder, or if employment discussions have terminated. Such reinstatement is at the discretion of the Head of the Contracting Authority (in the NIH Office of Administration), it must involve consultation with the DEC, and it must be in writing.

  2. Solicit any gifts or services, or accept anything over $20 in value per occasion (total of $50 per calendar year)  from an employee, representative, or consultant of a competing contractor;

  3. Disclose any proprietary or source selection information to any unauthorized person before the award of the contract (applies to anyone with access to the information);

  4. If retired prior to January 1, 1997, for two years after participating in a procurement:
    • Participate in any matter on behalf of a competing contractor in negotiations for the award, modifications or extensions of such procurement, including "behind the scene" activities, or
    • Participate on behalf of a competing contractor in the performance of the contract.

  5. If retired after January 1, 1997, the contract was over $10 million, and employee was the procurement or program officer on the contract, or made certain decisions such as approving a modification, the employee cannot receive any compensation from the contractor for one year from the date of the selection or award, last date served in the procurement or program position, or date decisions were made, whichever is later. The employee may accept compensation from another division of the contractor’s company if that division does not produce the same or similar products or services as provided in the contract with the Federal agency.

Non-government contractors and other non-appointed consultants cannot:

Disclose any proprietary or source selection information to an unauthorized person before the award of the contract (applies to anyone with access to the information).

Definitions and specific guidelines are contained in 41 U.S.C. Code 423(b) Subsection 27 and I&I Memorandum DCG 91-3, Procurement Integrity Act Implementation. You may also wish to read the Federal Acquisition Regulation, section 3.104 (pdf, 14 pages).

For additional information, contact your IC's Ethics Officials (see links below).

Updated: 2/19/13