- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
December 08, 2009
The U.S. government needs to adopt Organizational Conflict of Interest rules that function effectively without forcing unnecessary divestitures in industry, AIA Vice President Cord Sterling said in testimony Tuesday.
“In order to tighten Organizational Conflict of Interests requirements while still allowing DoD access to needed skills, any rule must be flexible, narrowly construed and consistently applied across government,” Sterling said in testimony at a public hearing on implementing acquisition reform.
“Divesting a portion of a business should be a last resort and because of the industrial base implications of such a decision, should be approved by the Senior Procurement Executive based on a business case,” Sterling said.
AIA attributes the increase in frequency of organizational conflicts of interest to three factors: industry consolidation; loss of “in-house” technical expertise in government because of significant reductions in the acquisition workforce; and increasing complexity of modern systems requiring integration of weapons, information technology and command and control.
“AIA believes that DoD should develop and implement a clear, organization-wide policy that encourages use of systems engineering expertise, while ensuring strict mitigation of OCIs,” Sterling said. “With a clear policy and regulatory guidance, the federal government can take advantage of the significant technical expertise that many defense contractors have to offer.”
The testimony is available on AIA’s web site.