The examples in this section illustrate situations in which questions concerning OCIs may arise. The examples are not all inclusive, but are intended to provide offerors and contractors with guidance on how this subpart will be applied.
(a) Circumstances—(1) Facts. A Board contractor for technical assistance in the review of a safety aspect of a particular defense nuclear facility proposes to use the services of an expert who also serves on an oversight committee for a contractor of other defense nuclear facilities.
(2) Guidance. Assuming the work of the oversight committee has no direct or indirect relationship with the work at the facility that is the subject of the Board's contract, there would not be an OCI associated with the use of this expert in the performance of the Board contract.
(b) Circumstances—(1) Facts. A Board contractor studying the potential for a chemical explosion in waste tanks at a defense nuclear facility advises the Board that it has been offered a contract with DOE to study the chemical composition of the waste in the same tanks.
(2) Guidance. The contractor would be advised that accepting the DOE contract would result in termination of its performance under its contract with the Board.
(c) Circumstances—(1) Facts. The Board issues a task order under an existing contract for the evaluation of the adequacy of fire protection systems at a defense nuclear facility. The contractor then advises the Board that it is considering making an offer on a solicitation by DOE to evaluate the same matter.
(2) Guidance. The contractor would be advised that entering into a contract with DOE on that solicitation could result in the contract with the Board being terminated.
(d) Circumstances—(1) Facts. A firm responding to a formal Board solicitation for technical assistance provides information regarding a contract it currently has with DOE. The effort under the DOE contract is for technical assistance work at DOE facilities not subject to Board oversight and outside its jurisdiction.
(2) Guidance. The Board would analyze the work being performed for DOE to ensure no potential or actual conflict of interest would be created through award of the Board contract. Should the Board determine that no potential or actual conflict of interest exists, the contractor would be eligible for award. If the Board determines that a potential or actual conflict of interest would arise through a contract award, it may disqualify the firm or, if the Board determines that such action is in the best interests of the Government, the Board may waive the conflict or the rules and procedures and proceed with the award.
(e) Circumstances—(1) Facts. The Board discovers that a firm competing for a contract has a number of existing agreements with DOE in technical areas which are unrelated to the Board's oversight authority. While these contracts may not represent a potential or actual conflict of interest regarding the substance of the technical effort, their total value constitutes a significant portion of the firm's gross revenues.
(2) Guidance. A conflict of interest may exist due to the firm's substantial pecuniary dependence upon DOE. Consequently, the Board may question the likelihood that the contractor would provide unbiased opinions, conclusions, and work products because of this extensive financial relationship. The Board will review and consider the extent of the firm's financial dependence on DOE, the nature of the proposed Board contract, the need by the Board for the services and expertise to be provided by the firm and the availability of such services and expertise elsewhere, and whether the likelihood of the firm's providing objective technical evaluations and opinions to the Board could be influenced in view of its DOE relationship. Based on this analysis, the Board may either determine that there is no conflict and make the award, waive the conflict if one is identified and establish procedures to mitigate it where possible, or disqualify the offeror.
(f) Circumstances—(1) Facts. The Board discovers that a firm competing for a contract has a substantial business relationship in technical areas unrelated to the Board's oversight authority with a contractor operating a defense nuclear facility under a DOE contract. Similar to the situation described in paragraph (e) of this section, the total value of the contracts with the DOE contractor constitutes more than half of the firm's gross revenues, even though those contracts do not represent a potential or actual conflict of interest regarding any of the particular matters to be covered by the contract with the Board.
(2) Guidance. The firm's substantial financial and business dependence upon the DOE contractor may give rise to a conflict of interest, in that the likelihood of the firm's rendering impartial, objective assistance or advice to the Board may be impaired by its extensive financial relationship with the DOE contractor. In this situation, the Board will review and consider the nature of the proposed Board contract, the need by the Board for the services and expertise to be provided by the firm and the availability of such services and expertise elsewhere. The Board will also review and consider the extent of the firm's financial dependence on the DOE contractor and whether the firm would be impartial and objective in providing technical evaluation and opinions to the Board, especially on matters in which the DOE contractor is involved, notwithstanding the relationship with the DOE contractor. Based on this analysis, the Board may determine that there is no actual conflict of interest and make the award. Alternatively, if the Board identifies a conflict that cannot be avoided, the Board may determine to waive the conflict in the best interests of the United States, with or without the establishment of procedures to mitigate the conflict, or it may disqualify the offeror.