Winning government contracts can help your business thrive. Yet, the rules and regulations you must comply with when fulfilling them can be so complex that you could easily breach them and harm your balance sheets.
The rules government agencies expect their contractors to comply with have increased over the years. Some of this is to tighten on areas that time showed to be weak. Some are due to changes in the way business and the world work. For example, no one needed cybersecurity compliance before the internet came into being.
So even if you have been doing these contracts for years, it pays to get help to ensure your understanding of mandatory compliance obligations is current.
Systems are essential to ensure you comply
While putting systems in place is logical, you might not be aware that they are also mandatory under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). You need the following in place within the specified time limits:
- A written code of business ethics and conduct
- A ethics and compliance training program
- An internal control system
These will typically be more extensive and complex for larger companies and contracts than smaller ones.
You may need to tell on yourself
If your company does something that could put your contract at risk, your first reaction might be to try and conceal it. Yet the FAR requires you to report it.
You could lose your contract and be barred from applying for further contracts if you fail to report evidence of one of the following:
- A significant overpayment
- Criminal fraud, conflict of interest, bribery or gratuity violations
- Violations of the civil False Claims Act (FCA) in connection with a government contract
Winning a government contract is tough, yet you cannot afford to stop the hard work there. Continuing until you have all necessary compliance mechanisms in place will be crucial to ensure that your first contract is not your last.