Contractor services are a vital part of government business. But, by no means, should contractors be treated like government employees.
“Contractor employees are highly valued members of the Department of the Army team. They play an important role in providing critical support and services, and often work alongside the government workforce,” said Larry Wilde, an Army Materiel Command attorney who works ethical issues for the command.
“For that reason, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that they are not federal employees. At all times, government supervisors and employees must remember that a contract employee’s business relationship and work load is defined by a signed contract.”
Contractor employees are not subject to the same ethics laws and regulations – including the federal conflict of interest statutes – as government employees.
“When working with contractors, government personnel must be vigilant to avoid conflicts between their official duties and personal interests, and must avoid creating any appearance of endorsement or preferential treatment,” Wilde said. “The use of contractor personnel does not relieve federal employees of their responsibility to act, exercise discretion and make decisions on behalf of the government.”
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