On May 22, 2009, the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 was signed into law. Among other provisions, the Act requires the Secretary of Defense to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to provide uniform guidance and “tighten existing requirements” for organizational conflicts of interest (OCIs) by contractors in major defense acquisition programs. At a minimum, these revised regulations are required to address OCIs that could arise as a result of: (1) lead system integrator contracts on major defense acquisition programs and contracts that follow lead system integrator contracts on such programs, particularly contracts for production; (2) the ownership of business units performing systems engineering and technical assistance functions, professional services, or management support services in relation to major defense acquisition programs by contractors who simultaneously own business units competing to perform as either the prime contractor or the supplier of a major subsystem or component for such programs; (3) the award of major subsystem contracts by a prime contractor for a major defense acquisition program to business units or other affiliates of the same parent corporate entity, and particularly the award of subcontracts for software integration or the development of a proprietary software system architecture; or (4) the performance by, or assistance of, contractors in technical evaluations on major defense acquisition programs. The revised regulations also must require that a contract for the performance of systems engineering and technical assistance functions for a major defense acquisition program contains a provision prohibiting the contractor or any affiliate from participating as a prime contractor or a major subcontractor in the development or construction of a weapon system under the program. The Secretary of Defense is required to make these DFARS revisions within 270 days of May 22, 2009.
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