An effective Government Contract Compliance Program is no longer a choice; it is mandatory. Companies must have bona fide compliance programs that are integrated into the organizational culture and are a way of life for all employees. SharpMinds has realized, based on over 20 years of experience, that many companies are not aware of the many requirements for a compliance program, making compliance a challenge for any organizations.
Based on SharpMinds experience, three reasons have emerged as to why companies struggle to comply with contract requirements:
- Compliance programs are poorly designed or are non-existent.
- Inadequate recordkeeping systems are implemented.
- Company personnel are not adequately trained.
While a number of Government Contractors have corporate compliance programs, many of these programs fall short in the area of government contracts compliance, and very few address GSA or VA Federal Supply Schedule issues specifically. Because the rules and regulations that apply in the government contracts arena are substantially different than those in the commercial sector, compliance plans must be in place to specifically address compliance with Federal Government requirements.
No compliance system will eliminate every risk or liability. However, a well-designed system can minimize exposure to those risks that can ambush a Government contractor. Aside from the fact that a Government compliance program is the ethical and right thing to do, the compliance system can be beneficial in the event an organization is accused of wrongdoing demonstrating that a company takes compliance requirements seriously.
SharpMinds has designed a very successful blueprint for the implementation of a government contract compliance program for our clients. It consists of three important responsibilities and a blueprint for managing them.
A Government compliance program consists of three important responsibilities:
1. Aligning internal organizational processes and procedures to meet ongoing Government compliance program requirements.
2. Establishing desirable organizational behavior in order to avoid compliance discrepancies.
3. Developing an on-going program to ensure that employees continue to be educated regarding compliance.
Meeting these responsibilities requires a blueprint for managing them. The SharpMinds blueprint incorporates the following components:
Step 1: Foundation ~ Identify Rules, Regulations, Laws and Policies
Step 2: Compliance Review ~ Conduct Initial Compliance Review.
Step 3: Compliance & Ethics Plan ~ Develop an overall compliance and ethics plan.
Step 4: Policies and Procedures ~ Develop policies and procedures.
Step 5: Implement Processes & Training ~ Train employees