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Opinion

PCI and Contractors: Uncertainty and Doubt

A lot of ambiguity exists in personal conflicts of interest regulations for contractors.  The rules are not well defined and vary from agency to agency.  Take a look at the chart below: Bribery and graft are obviously verboten, but there is a lot of grey area when it comes to …

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Personal Conflicts of Interest and “Inherently Governmental” Functions

What does the PCI picture look like from the government’s perspective? The GAO describes DoD contractor employees as “closely supporting inherently governmental functions” but notes that some DoD officials have a different perspective. Program managers that the GAO interviewed say contractor employees provide “technical” input into the decision-making process as …

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Is a Policy Shift Brewing on Fixed Price Contracts?

At a Navy conference in Arlington last week, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told contracting and government officials:  “(The Navy is) going to demand more accountability from contractors on behalf of the taxpayers.”  He continued, “Unless we control costs, we will not get the Navy that we need, and …

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Attempted Christmas Attack Fuels TSA Evaluations

On a Christmas Day flight  from Amsterdam, a 23 year old student from Nigeria attempted to detonate an explosive on a flight to Detroit. This event is serving as more of a wake up call to politicians and national administrators than a panic stirring terrorist attack. One thing resulting from …

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US and Pakistan: Is Partnership Possible?

“We lost the chance to influence an entire generation of officers,” says a US official at the embassy in Pakistan. This lamentation points to a critical need during the present counterinsurgency, namely enhanced cooperation with Pakistan. As the US ramps up its efforts in Afghanistan, with the recently announced surge …

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