41 USC 423, as amended
Section 27 of the OFPP Acts Amendment of 1988, titled "Procurement Integrity," prohibits certain activities by universities and their personnel who have any role in the development and submission of contract proposals to federal agencies and/or negotiations of any contracts which follow.
This law directly affects interaction with program and procurement officials in the federal government and may affect an interaction as a consultant to any governmental agency. Thus it is important to understand both the scope and the substance of the regulations.
Of particular importance are the actions prohibited by principal investigators and administrative personnel. In simplest terms, while the government is reviewing proposals in anticipation of making an award, such individuals MUST NOT:
- discuss any potential future employment at the Stevens Institute of Technology with governmental officials involved in the procurement process;
- provide anything of value to governmental officials or their families; or
- solicit proprietary or source selection information from a governmental official.
Violation of the regulation may result in loss of contract awards (or a part thereof), and may result in suspension or debarment from receipt of any federal awards.
In addition to the clearly stated prohibitions, many persons are now beginning to question whether they may serve as governmental consultants in the development of long-range planning for research and evaluation of proposals. In general, the answer is yes. This regulation only applies to contracts and, although the policy is effective for all contracts, certification is required by the institution only for contracts and contract modifications with a value in excess of $150,000. Nonetheless, the best advice is that if any activity involving the government might be subject to these regulations (and therefore might preclude submitting a proposal under a specific solicitation), ask. Most governmental officials now expect such questions.
A copy of this regulation can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs.