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GAO Presents Recommendation to Pentagon Over Post-Government Employment Restrictions

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Pentagon
Pentagon

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) evaluate whether to integrate into acquisition regulations post-government employment lobbying restrictions.

PGE restrictions seek to prevent conflicts of interest and promote public confidence in the government and GAO said in a report published Thursday failure to assess whether to update regulations to incorporate a restriction on lobbying activities may lead to DOD to miss an opportunity to establish a “shared sense of accountability between the employees and the contractors who hire them.”

The congressional watchdog found that the Pentagon has improved certain processes to ensure compliance with PGE restrictions. These include processes for maintaining and issuing ethics opinion letters and training to raise employee awareness about PGE restrictions.

GAO reviewed 14 major defense companies and found that those contractors hired 1,718 former DOD senior military and civilian officials or former acquisition officials in 2019. The vendors reported that they use several practices to drive compliance with PGE restrictions.