Did you know that the federal regulations relating to federal projects, called the FAR regulations, require all contractors to have a written code of business ethics and conduct? Do you have a code of ethics? Have you adopted them in writing?

The FAR regulations generally applicable to all contractors, regardless of size, require contactors to conduct themselves with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. To this end, FAR requires that all contractors adopt employee business ethics and compliance training programs and an internal control systems that:

(1) Are suitable to the size of the company and extent of its involvement in government contracting;

(2) Facilitate timely discovery and disclosure of improper conduct in connection with government contracts; and

(3) Ensure corrective measures are promptly instituted and carried out.

If you are a contractor performing work on a federal project that exceeds $5,000,000 and performance will take 120 days or more, FAR 52.203-13 requires contractors to adopt a code of business ethics within 30 days of contract award. And, you must implement an ongoing business ethics awareness and compliance program through employee training or other methods to ensure that employees, agents and subcontractors are aware of the program.

This same regulation also requires contractors to disclose credible evidence of violations of the False Claims Act or any federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, or gratuity, perpetrated by any principal, employee, agent or subcontractor.

Contracting with the federal government contains its own set of risks and compliance obligations. Make sure you are familiar with the FAR regulations to ensure that your company has the proper policies in place and is performing the required training.