Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI)
Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) are fact dependent. ATP does not make blanket determinations related to OCI. The four general rules under FAR § 9.505 for guidance on OCI is related to the following activities:
- Systems Engineering and Technical Direction - FAR § 9.505-1
- Preparing Specifications or Work Statements - FAR § 9.505-2
- Providing Evaluation Services - FAR § 9.505-3
- Obtaining Access to Proprietary Information - FAR § 9.505-4
In, addition, Chapter 4, Section 400: Organizational Conflict of Interest of ATP's Procurement Policy & Guidelines provides additional information related to OCIs. Keep in mind that an OC arises where because of other activities or relationships with other persons, a person is potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to ATP; or the person’s objectivity in performing the contract is or might be otherwise impaired; or a person has an unfair competitive advantage. ATP will examine each individual contracting situation on the basis of its particular facts.
ATP's Procurement Policy & Guidelines reference three areas of concern that are examined to avoid, neutralize, or mitigate OCI:
- Unequal Access to Information: If during the performance under a previous or current contract or task order for ATP a firm has access to non-public information and that information could provide them a competitive advantage in a later competition for a follow-on contract, their performance may create an organizational conflict of interest. For example, an OCI would exist if a firm involved in the development or validation of ATP's independent cost estimate (i.e., non- public information) and subsequently competes for the contract for which the ICE was developed.
- Biased Ground Rules: If during the performance under a previous or current contract or task order for ATP a firm in some sense set the ground rules for another task/contract with ATP by, for example, writing the statement of work, evaluation factors, specifications, or system design. By participating in such activities, the firm could skew the competition in its favor (whether intentional or not). The firm by virtue of its special knowledge of ATP’s future requirements would have an unfair competitive advantage.
- Lack of Impartiality or Impaired Objectivity: When the firm is unable, or potentially unable, to provide impartial and objective assistance or advice to ATP due to other activities, relationships, contracts, or circumstances. For
example, if a firm’s work under one ATP contract/task entails it evaluating itself either through an assessment of performance under another contract/task or through an evaluation of proposals. Doing so could lead to impaired objectivity,
where the firm’s ability to render impartial advice to ATP could appear to be undermined by its relationship with the entity whose work product is being evaluated.
Note: All “Project Connect” Projects could be interrelated and should be evaluated for potential OCI regardless of procuring agency.