Procurement Lawyer

A Response to Melissa Copeland’s Call to Action: Addressing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in an Update to the MPC

by Christopher R. Yukins

Christopher R. Yukins is the Lynn David Research Professor in Public Procurement Law and codirector of the government procurement law program at The George Washington University Law School.

In the Summer 2018 edition of The Procurement Lawyer, Melissa (Missy) Copeland, a highly respected state procurement law practitioner, issued a “call for action” on organizational conflict of interest (OCI) law at the state and local levels. She pointed out that although OCI law is relatively mature at the federal level (see FAR Subpart 9.5), and a number of states have passed laws or issued regulations regarding OCIs, the law in this area is chaotic and immature in many state and local governments. She used a recent South Carolina case as an example of a particularly bad decision, and called for a model OCI law to make sense of the doctrine.

Missy Copeland’s suggestion that a model OCI law be drafted brings to the fore a question that has long troubled many in the Public Contract Law Section: When will the Section’s ABA Model Procurement Code (MPC), last generally updated nearly two decades ago in 2000, be revised to reflect recent developments in the law?

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