301 FW 3
Conflicts of Interest and Other Legal and Ethical Prohibitions for Acquisition

Supersedes 301 FW4, FWM 119, 09/21/93

Date:  July 6, 2011

Series: Contracting

Part 301: Acquisition Policies and Procedures

Originating Office: Division of Contracting and Facilities Management



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3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the legal and ethical prohibitions for Federal acquisitions.


3.2 What are the authorities for this chapter? See 301 FW 1 for a list of authorities for all the chapters in Part 301. The following authorities are specific to the ethical standards for procurement:


A. Executive Order 12731, Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees.


B. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 3, Improper Business Practices and Personal Conflicts of Interest (48 CFR Part 3).


C. Procurement Integrity Act, section 27 (41 U.S.C. 423), as amended by section 814 of the National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 101-510).


3.3 Of what prohibitions do employees involved in procurement need to be aware?


A. Contracting with Government Employees.


(1) Employees must not award contracts to:


(a) Government employees,


(b) Business organizations substantially owned or controlled by Government employees,


(c) Immediate family members of Service employees, or


(d) Firms substantially owned or controlled by immediate family members of Service employees.


(2) With approval from the Bureau Procurement Chief (Chief, Division of Contracting and Facilities Management (CFM), Headquarters), you may receive an exception to this policy if there is no reasonable alternative. Offering the lowest price is not a sufficient reason to invoke an exception. To get approval from the Bureau Procurement Chief, you must:


(a) Write a memorandum to the Bureau Procurement Chief explaining the exceptional circumstances and other alternatives you considered, and


(b) Send the memorandum through your Regional contracting office for surname before submitting it to CFM. Employees in Headquarters must send it through their Assistant Director for surname before it goes to CFM.


B. Post-Employment Restrictions. Former employees must not represent a contractor before the Government in relation to any contract on which the former employee worked while employed by the Service. This restriction applies for 2 years from the person’s separation from the Service.


C. Procurement Integrity. Program managers, members of evaluation and selection boards, and other Service employees must not contact offerors about their proposals unless the Contracting Officer or his/her designee has approved it in advance. This communication restriction preserves the integrity of the competitive procurement process.


D. Organizational Conflict of Interest. Unless approved in advance by the Chief of the servicing contracting office, an organization is not eligible to receive a contract or sub-contract if that organization had a role in the design of the contract or statement of work. See FAR subpart 9.5 for details about contractors preparing specifications and work statements.


3.4 What should employees do if they discover evidence of irregularities or possible fraud, waste, or abuse?


A. Employees must report this type of information to one or more of the following:


(1) The Head of the Contracting Activity (Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations, Headquarters);


(2) The Division Chief, CFM (Headquarters); or


(3) The Office of the Inspector General.


B. Your report will be accepted orally or in writing. To ensure the officials can follow up on the issue, anonymous reports must include complete and specific information (e.g., contract number, circumstances of the alleged fraud, or any other available documentation).




For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Contracting and Facilities Management. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista_Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  

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