Bill Could Turn Contractors Into Lobbyists

February 23, 2012

As federal contracting officials begin to warm up to more interaction with industry, many government contractor employees could be redefined as lobbyists under a new bill, possibly chilling discussions on upcoming business opportunities.

Congress is now working out the final details of a bill aiming to stop insider trading by senior government officials. However, industry groups fear the bill could turn business analysts into lobbyists. The groups say it would wreak havoc on industry and government relationships.

The Acquisition Reform Working Group, a conglomeration of eight industry groups, sent letters Feb. 16 to members of Congress, urging them to rework a broad definition of "political intelligence consultants" in the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act (S. 2038). Under the Senate's version, the language would require even government contractors who talk to their customer agencies to register as lobbyists under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. 

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