With the exception of the US Mint and the Federal Aviation Authority, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), governs the entire United States government process for buying goods and services.
The codification of FAR is Title 48, Chapter 1 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations.
Why FAR Exists
The reasons the federal government created FAR and for its present existence is making sure the government and all its agencies have the same policies and procedures for acquiring goods and services. The guiding acquisition principles are in the Code of Federal Regulations and then each executive agency issues its own supplemental regulations.
With the creation of FAR, the government made a system that meets the buyer’s needs as they relate to price, quality, and ability to deliver on time.
It is the responsibility of contractors with the federal government to accept the four elements of federal contract compliance which are:
- Integrity (prohibitions on bribery, gratuities or after-government career employment)
- Honesty in providing information (prohibits false claims, false statements, and material omissions)
- Appropriate relationships (forbids collusion, bid rigging, contingent fees and kickbacks)
- Competitive fairness (name and reveal conflicts of interests and other breaches of procurement integrity).
The federal government requires that contractors develop a comprehensive Federal Acquisition Regulation compliance system. An acceptable system provides for:
- Risk mapping;
- A code of ethics and training;
- Periodic reviews to make sure there is complete FAR compliance;
- A mechanism for reporting improper conduct;
- Instructions that encourage employees to report;
- Internal and/or external audits, as appropriate;
- Disciplinary action for improper conduct;
- Timely reporting to the Government; and
- Full cooperation with Government agencies responsible for either investigation or corrective actions.
There are Many Regulations and Laws to Comply With
In addition to the framework of government acquisition that is FAR, the four elements of compliance, and the features of a compliance system, each agency has rules about purchases and compliance with their unique requirements. Mostly, companies dealing with the United States government contend with thousands of rules about acquisitions, compliance with the regulations and Title 48 of the Federal Code of Regulations. Failure to comply with them can result in penalties ranging from having to offer a plan of corrective action to the bringing of criminal charges by the Department of Justice. There are severe jail terms, if you or an employee goes on trial, and the government obtains a conviction.
Software Aids Companies in Compliance
The premier provider of policy management and contract management compliance software is ConvergePoint. With more than a decade of experience, the company uses Microsoft SharePoint. If your company is not a Microsoft Sharepoint user, Microsoft distributes free software called SharePoint Foundation.
The ConvergePoint Policy Management Software makes FAR compliance easy. One program manages the entire policy management life-cycle of your compliance program.
For instance, companies dealing with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) selling Pharma/ Bio / Medical Devices are under increased scrutiny. The VA buys millions of dollars worth of these products each year. Mismanagement of the VA is legion and has been in the news on almost a daily basis. Numerous VA facilities are under investigation, and there is little doubt that vendors to the VA expect scrutiny.
ConvergePoint Policy Management software goes far in keeping companies out of trouble when investigations such as these occur.
Using ConvergePoint Policy Management software running on the MS SharePoint platform you can have:
- Role based User Access including dual authentication, so that access to documents only goes to those who have the need.
- The software update all versions of a document so that everyone uses and works on the same version of it.
- ConvergePoint automatically directs completed document to the executives who review and approve them. Once approved, they are electronically signed and distributed to all people who need to abide by them for FAR compliance.
- Secure and centralized document storage where employees find the latest versions of FAR policies and procedures.
- The software notifies management when and policy and procedure owner when it is time for a policy renewal or revision.
- ConvergePoint software tracks employee sign off on policies and procedures. Employees get revised policies in a timely version and electronically sign them acknowledging they read and understand the new policy(ies).
We want to talk with you and answer any questions you have about compliance software. Reach out to one of our compliance experts at 888-484-8048. We are happy to arrange a demo of our compliance software for you.
Dealing with the government is never easy, but ConvergePoint Policy Management Software makes it less difficult.