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129. Use of Official Court Reporters

Be advised that all services such as Grand Jury, deposition and other reporting services not normally provided through official court proceedings may not be obtained by use of the services of an official court reporter or a firm owned by an official court reporter. This requirement is based on the section 3.601 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) which prohibits this action by stating:

Except as specified in 3.602, a contracting officer shall not knowingly award a contract to a Government employee or to a business concern or other organization owned or substantially owned or controlled by one or more Government employees. This policy is intended to avoid any conflict of interest that might arise between the employees' interests and their Government duties, and to avoid the appearance of favoritism or preferential treatment by the Government towards its employees.

Compliance with this regulation requires the termination of any business obtained from such individuals or firms.

If there is a compelling reason that precludes an alternative source for these services, an exception must be sought and obtained from the Assistant Attorney General for Administration in accordance with FAR 3.602.

Additionally, the Dual Compensation Act (5 USC 5532) precludes the payment of attendance fees to official court reporters. Any such unauthorized payments should be refunded.

[cited in USAM 3-13.410]

Updated June 4, 2015