The rule will require covered DoD officials (Certain Executive Schedule, Senior Executive Service, and general or flag officer positions) to obtain a post-employment ethics opinion before accepting a paid position from a DoD contractor within two years after they leave DoD service. It will also require that DoD contractors ensure that new hires have an ethics opinion. Failure to do so could result in canceling the contract, suspension, or debarment.
A veil was thrown over the DoD revolving door when reporting requirements were stripped from the books. For years, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attempted to re-institute those reporting provisions. This falls in line with the most recent GAO survey documenting under-reporting of DoD officials working for contractors, and also transparency issues. It recommended that “DOD consider what contractor disclosure and certification information is needed on former DOD officials to ensure compliance with applicable post-government employment restrictions.”
POGO loves this rule and hopes that it is a first step in drawing attention to the spinning door between the government and industry. And for those who will scream that we're crazy for thinking that the revolving door is an issue, we're not alone. Almost-President Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have also raised concerns.
-- Scott Amey