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many committees or many departments to act upon. And by the time you wait to hear from all, we have maybe a different form of government in Washington.

The revolving door issue was one that deadlocked House-Senate conferees on the Defense Authorization Act. For 2 weeks the Senate refused to agree to any real prohibitions. Under great pressure not to hold up the conference further, I agreed to a simple paragraph which I believed prohibited the key officers and civilian officials in the Department of Defense from going through the revolving door. It prohibits a Presidential appointee who is a primary Government representative in the negotiation of a Government contract with a defense contractor from accepting employment with that contractor for 2 years.

This was a victory—but only a partial one. I was, furthermore, very seriously disturbed after the conference to find out that our compromise was being interpreted by the Department of Defense to cover, not the thousands we had intended, but only a handful of officials. I believe this interpretation is wrong. The Department of Justice has advised me they think it is wrong. They told me that the conference language does cover, not just high-level officials, but military officers, who, of course, are appointed by the President.

This was my intention and I hope the Department of Defense when it issues its regulations implementing this language will follow the Department of Justice and I feel fairly sure they will.

In the version you have before you today, high-level officials are excluded from coverage by section (g) and section (g)(4). The faulted bill exempts precisely those positions of authority which are the most important to include in any conflict-of-interest legislation.

Turning to page 5. First, I would like to say the standards of conduct of any organization are set by leaders of that organization. If the leaders engage repeatedly in questionable unethical or illegal activity, then it is likely that their subordinates will do likewise regardless of the regulations on the book.

liow can we expect the program manager or an auditor for a particular weapon to follow the spirit and letter of this law if those above leave the Government and reappear on the other side of thedesk with obvious increases in personal income and the apparent approval of the Government?

The morale and motivation of procurement officials are already adversely affected by the revolving door abuses of superiors and passing a law which establishes a double standard of conduct will make the problem even worse, not better.

Second, the American public must be assured that the decisions involving billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of service personnel are made as objectively and as honestly as possible. This is very important for those high-level officials with the highest of public visibility to be under these same standards.

The public must have faith in the management of the defense budget if we are to retain the existing national support for a strong defense, especially when confronted with mounting Federal deficits.

It is unfortunate that many people have chosen to approch this legislation from the point of view of the career interests of procurement officials rather than the national interests of the United States. While many members of the armed services and officials involved in the procurement process have welcomed legislation such as this, the official view of the Department of Defense, as stated by Chapman Cox, is that "the public has been well protected against the potential influences of conflicting public and private interests by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978."

Yet the Staff Judge Advocate at the Air Force's Contract Management Division has stated that 18 U.S.C. 207 did not deter the types of postemployment problems typical of the Department of Defense.

Government studies, witness testimony, and investigative reporting have established overwhelming evidence that serious conflictof-interest problems exist, that they have not been properly addressed by current law, and that they contribute to the decreasing quality and increasing cost of some of our most important weapons systems.

I would like to say to you that the bill which I wish for you to substitute for the bill, which I wish you would support, rather than the bill—which has been approved by the House Armed Services Committee-is the bill which was overwhelmingly passed-only 19 votes for the other point of view; 397 to 19 the vote was. That is the bill which I hope you will pass because that sees to it that the people that are most important to cover are covered, while the one that came out of the House Armed Services Committee protected those people.

You know we get in a position, after years of serving on a committee, of camaraderie. It is not anything of corruption-but we see these people all the time, it is very easy to feel sympathetic with individuals. But we want a clear-cut law, and the law should apply to those in the highest position in these matters. There is nothing impractical about it. It is very practical. The House overwhelmingly passed it, and that is what I would appreciate very much if this committee would do, because I can't get it out of the House Armed Services Committee. Many of them have been there forever. I have been there almost forever, but not quite, almost 40 years, and that is a long time. But I am sort of a guy with a burr under the saddle, and I am a little different than a lot of people are. And they tend after a long period of association to be quite sympathetic with the problems of administration of these things. Actually at the heart of it, most of these officials who look with a dubious eye at this sort of thing, really when they talk to you personally say, well, you know, really we should do something like this. But officially, they have to do like the Department of Defense official that came before us and said it's all taken care of by existing law. The people that are actually in the business that are doing the day-to-day business say it is a horrendous situation, that it ought to be corrected.

So I strongly support the bill which overwhelmingly passed the House, after full debate on the floor of the House, and hope that you will reject the concept of the House Armed Services Committee bill which is a nothing. It is just a collegial thing that is part of the fraternity.

[The statement of Mr. Bennett follows:]


Before the Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Governmental Relations, Committee on the Judiciary

January 29, 1986

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me here today to speak about my bl, HR. 2554, The Defense Procurement Conflict of Interest Act,' and about how it should be improved.

The bill you have before you now is the amended version of the biu as passed by the House Armed Services Committee. The Committee's amendments opened up huge loopholes in the legislation and it needs to be returned to its original form. I support the original form, and so does the majority of the House. The House approved it as an amendment to last year's Defense Authorization Act by the overwhelming vote of 397 to 19.

Before getting into the specifics of the bill, let me offer you some background.

I have been active in ethical reform measures since 1951. That year I introduced legislation which established the code of ethics for government service. For the past 15 years, I have been trying specifically to pass legislation to prevent government officials from leaving government service and immediately going to work for contractors with whom they had official relations. In 1977, a bill along these lines that I cosponsored with Senator Proxmire passed the Senate unanimously. Unfortunately, the House bottled up the bill and Congress enacted instead the rather insufficient language of the Ethics in Goverment Act. This Act established the Office of Government Ethics and elaborated postemployment restrictions for government employees, codified at 18 United States Code, section 207.

The Ethics in Government Act was supposed to help eliminate conflicts of interest for government officials, but the provisions are weak and several reports by the General Accounting Office have shown that they are rarely enforced.

I have persisted in my efforts to enact legislation with real teeth, and last year we partially succeeded.

In April of 1985 we held joint hearings on this issue before my Seapower Subcommittee and the Investigations Subcommittee chaired by Congressman Bill Nichols. As a result of those hearings, on May 6th I introduced on behalf of myself, Mrs. Boxer and Mr. Nichols, HR. 2554, the Defense Procurement Conflict of Interest AC!. Our bill combined the best features of my original bill and that of Mrs. Boxer on this issue. It has almost 50 other co-sponsors and was passed by the House Armed Services Committee this June, but unfortunately with several weakening and objectionable amendments.

The bill you are considering today is that amended version. As I mentioned, the House, by it actions on the Defense Authorization Act of 1986, overwhelmingly endorsed the language of the original legislation rather than the weaker version coming from the Committee. After lengthy debate, the House voted 272 to 141 to accept my original bill over the Committee version. Then, by a vote of 397 to 19, the House attached the original language as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.

The original bill is very clear and direct. It prohibits anyone with significant responsibility for a defense contract from immediately going to work for a firm involved with that contract. Employees who have dealt with a contractor during their last two years of government service are barred from going to work for that contractor for two years after leaving the government. Anyone violating this ban would be subject to up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $10,000. Contractors would be subject to the same criminal penalties and would also be liable for contract damages of at least $100,000 if they hired someone in violation of this ban.

Although I believe such measures should be applied to all government employees, we limited the bill to the Department of Defense in order to avoid having the bill bottled up in different committees

The Revolving Door" issue was one that deadlocked HouseSenate conference on the Defense Authorization Act. For two weeks the Senate refused to agree to any real prohibitions. Under great pressure not to hold up the conference further I agreed to a simple paragraph which I believed prohibited the key officers and civilian officials in the Department of Defense from going through

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