What are the Penalties for Violations?
The following Criminal Penalties apply to knowingly (1) disclosing or (2) obtain-
ing proposal or bid information or source selection information:
	Imprisonment of not more than 5 years and/or a fine.
The following Civil Penalties apply to knowingly (1) disclosing or (2) obtain-
ing proposal or bid information or source selection information, (3) discussing
non-Federal employment with contractors, or (4) accepting compensation from
contractors:
	Each knowing violation of any of the four key provisions of the Procure-
ment Integrity Act may result in civil penalties up to $50,000 per violation
and administration actions.
	Up to $50,000 per violation plus twice the amount of compensation an
individual received or offered for the prohibited conduct.
	Up to $500,000 per violation plus twice the amount of compensation an
organization received or offered for the prohibited conduct.
The following Administrative Actions apply to knowingly (1) disclosing or (2)
obtaining proposal or bid information or source selection information, (3) dis-
cussing non-Federal employment with contractors, or (4) accepting compensa-
tion from contractors:
	Cancellation of the procurement.
	Disqualification of an offeror.
	Rescission of the contract.
	Suspension or debarment of the contractor.
	Initiation of an adverse personnel action.
	Competitive range determinations.
	Rankings of bids, proposals, or competitors.
	Reports and evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory
councils.
	Other information marked as "source selection information."
Going Beyond the Procurement Integrity Act
FAR Part 14 states that, before solicitation, information concerning proposed
acquisitions shall be restricted to those having a legitimate interest within the
Government. Release of information shall be made (1) to all prospective bid-
ders, and (2) as nearly as possible at the same time, so that one prospective bidder
shall not be given unfair advantage over another. FAR Part 15 states that, before
proposals are received, any exchange of information among all interested parties
must be consistent with procurement integrity requirements.
It's never too early in the acquisition process to avoid prejudicial release of infor-
mation and potential conflicts of interest. It is worthy to note that the acquisition
process begins at the point when agency needs are established. All Government
employees should understand the adverse impact of inappropriate disclosure of
sensitive information regarding future procurements. Early in the acquisition
planning process and throughout the development of the Government's require-
ments, Contracting Officers will advise the program offices and other acquisition
personnel of the negative consequences and prejudicial impact of improperly re-
leasing information to potential future offerors. Program offices should make an
effort to coordinate with the Contracting Officer early in the acquisition planning
stage in order to avoid any procurement integrity violations.
Whom Can You Contact for More Information on
Procurement Integrity?
	The Human Resources Office provides new employees written information
on ethical conduct when they first come on board.
	The Procurement Operations Offices can provide guidance for specific
acquisitions in which EPA personnel are involved.
	The Office of General Counsel (OGC) and the Procurement Operations
Offices can provide advice on questions addressing disclosure of contractor
bid or proposal information or source selection information. OGC Ethics
can assist employees and former employees with questions regarding post
employment.
OFFICE OF ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT
PROCUREMENT
INTEGRITY:
What you need to Know
As a Federal Employee

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Overview
This brochure provides information regarding the requirements of the Procurement
Integrity Act (41 U.S.C. 423), implemented through the Federal Acquisition Regula-
tion (FAR) (48C.F.R 3.104) and its impact on Federal employees. It is designed to
help you recognize some of the most common procurement integrity issues that may
arise during the procurement process. Not all statutory or regulatory details are in-
cluded. Should you have any specific questions, you are advised to consult with your
Contracting Officer or with the Office of General Counsel.
What is the Procurement Integrity Act?
The Procurement Integrity Act regulates the conduct of Federal employees, and other
persons involved in the Federal procurement process. It also contains provisions
regarding post employment restrictions for certain procurement officials.
Background
Like most Federal agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pur-
chases many products and services from the private sector. To preserve the integrity
of the Federal procurement process and ensure fair treatment of bidders, offerors,
government personnel, and perspective contractors, there are laws that govern the
procurement process and the manner in which Federal and prospective contractor
personnel conduct business with each other. One of these statutes is Section 27 of
the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 423), often referred to as the
Procurement Integrity Act. This Act prohibits certain activities by personnel involved
in the procurement process. The Federal Acquisition Regulation, at Section 3.104,
sets forth the regulations that implement the provisions of the Procurement Integrity
Act,
The Procurement Integrity Act addresses various activities by:
	Current Federal employees.
	Certain former Federal employees.
	Bidders and Offerors.
	Other personnel involved in agency procurements and contracts.
Key Provisions
The Procurement Integrity Act reflects procurement activities in four key areas:
I. Disclosing Procurement Information
As a Federal employee, you might have access to procurement and other nonpublic
information that could affect a contract bid or the award process. Improper disclo-
sure of such protected information could violate numerous laws, as well as ethics
rules. It also could subject you to administrative actions, in addition to civil or crim-
inal penalties. For competitive procurements, the personnel identified below shall
not, other than as permitted by law, knowingly disclose proposal or bid information
or source selection information, before award of a contract to which the information
relates:
	A current or former official of the United States;
	A person who is acting for, or has acted for or on behalf of, the United States
with respect to a Federal agency procurement; or
	A person who is advising, or has advised, the United States with respect to a
. Federal agency procurement.
The following information is procurement sensitive and must be secured and may not
be disclosed if it has not previously been made public:
Proposal or bid information, is information that is submitted to a Federal agency in
connection with a bid or proposal to enter into a Federal contract, including:
	Cost or pricing data, including indirect costs and direct labor rates.
	Proprietary information about manufacturing processes, operations,
or techniques identified as such by any contractor.
	Information identified by any contractor as "contractor bid or proposed
information.
Source selection information, is information that is prepared for use by a Federal
agency for the purpose of evaluating a bid or proposal, if the information has not been
previously made available to the public, including:
	Bid prices.
	Proposed costs or prices.
	Source selection plans.
	Technical evaluation plans.
	Technical and cost or price evaluations of proposal.
	Competitive range determinations.
	Rankings of bids, proposals, or competitors.
	Reports and evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory councils.
	Other information marked as "source selection information."
II.	Obtaining Procurement Information
For competitive procurements, a person shall not, other than as permitted by law,
knowingly obtain bid or proposal information or source selection information, before
the award of a contract to which the information relates. This prohibition applies to
the same type of proposal or bid information or source selection information identified
above.
III.	Discussing Employment with Contractors
If you are an EPA employee who is participating personally and substantially in a
competitive procurement valued in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold of
$150,000 and you contact or are contacted by a bidder or offeror in that procurement
regarding possible non-Federal employment, you are required to:
	Promptly report the contact in writing to your supervisor and your deputy ethics
official, and;
	Either reject the possibility of non-Federal employment or disqualify yourself
in writing from further involvement in that procurement, until authorized to
resume participation.
IV. Accepting Compensation from a Contractor
During the course of your Government service, you might decide to seek employment
in the private sector or even with a contractor who does business with EPA. There are
several restrictions that apply to your Government work when you seek future employ-
ment or have employment discussions with contractors. While you are still a federal
employee, you are obliged to adhere to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees
of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635, specifically the provisions on "seeking other
employment" at Subpart F, and the financial conflict of interest statute at 18 U.S.C.
208 and those implementing regulations at 5 C.F.R. Part 2635, Subpart D. You cannot
participate in particular matters involving potential employees, and must disqualify
yourself appropriately in advance.
A former EPA employee may not accept compensation from a contractor as an em-
ployee, officer, director, or consultant of the contractor for a period of one year from the
date that the former EPA employee:
	Served, at the time of selection of the contractor or the award of the contract, as
the procuring contracting officer, the source selection authority, a member of a
source selection evaluation board, or the chief of a financial or technical evalua-
tion team. This applies to contracts in excess of $10,000,000.
	Served as the program manager, deputy program manager, or administrative
contracting officer for a contract in excess of $10,000,000.
	Personally made any of the following decisions on behalf of the Federal agency:
	To award a contract, subcontract modification of a contract or subcontract, or a
task order or delivery order in excess of $10,000,000.
	To establish overhead or other rates for a contractor on a contract or contracts
valued in excess of $10,000,000.
	To approve a contract payment or payments in excess of $10,000,000.
	To pay or settle a claim in excess of $10,000,000.
The Procurement Integrity Act sets forth penalties for former employees and their new
employers.
This post-employment prohibition does not apply to divisions or affiliates of a
contractor that do not produce the same or similar products or services as the
entity of the contractor referred to above. Employees and former employees
may contact their Deputy Ethics Official or the Office of General Counsel for
assistance in post employment issues.

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