As part of the Department-wide initiative to reduce reliance on contracted services and rebuild organic capabilities, the in-sourcing of contracted services (consistent with Congressional direction and statutory requirements) may, in certain instances, present unique challenges with respect to potential conflicts of interest issues. As the Department establishes significant numbers of new civilian positions to perform previously/currently contracted services, the potential exists that individuals employed by the private sector will apply for government positions, potentially in the same functional or programmatic areas which they supported as private sector employees. While the Department's civilian personnel policies regarding qualifications and merit principles apply to the selection of applicants for either competitive or excepted service, ethics practitioners must also be cognizant of the increased potential for conflict of interest concerns under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502 and, in some cases, 18 U.S.C. § 208 (e.g., when the new DoD employee keeps former employer's stock outright or through a retirement plan). Under 502, these new personnel may not participate in particular matters between specific parties that will have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of entities whom they served in the last year (former employers), where a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts may question their impartiality, unless authorized. For more information on DoD in-sourcing, please click here.
DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this advisory is to disseminate relevant information and sources of general guidance, policy and law on Government Ethics issues to the Department of Defense ethics community. Advisories are not intended to be and should not be cited as authoritative guidance, DoD policy, or law.