Agency Stands to Gain Significant Time and Costs Benefits
EGG HARBOR TWP., NJ — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a cooperative research and development agreement with HRWorX, LLC, of Herndon, Va., a privately held software development company, that could revolutionize the federal Financial Disclosure Report form process.
The FAA's Eastern Region Counsel has developed a software product that automates the annual process of collecting and reviewing the Confidential Financial Disclosure Form, Standard Form; and the Statement of No New Interests.
The process follows the general principles of ethical conduct for government officers and employees, and conflict of interest laws pursuant to the guidelines of the U.S. Office of Governmentwide Ethics.
The research and development agreement establishes a partnership under which HRWorX will enhance the software developed by the FAA, provide product upgrades to the agency and keep it current with relevant laws or regulations. The FAA has filed a patent application and granted HRWorX an exclusive patent license agreement for the invention, with plans to market the product elsewhere in government.
More than 10,000 FAA employees are required to file confidential financial disclosure reports, each year. More than 260,000 Executive Branch employees file the annual forms, government-wide. The process is tedious – a paper form is completed manually; then filed, tracked and consolidated at several levels within each organization's divisions; then processed again at various counsels' offices throughout the agency prior to final legal review.
The new process has tremendous prospects for both cost and time savings to the FAA and eventually, to the entire federal government.
"We expect significant savings in attorney time that could be redeployed to supporting the FAA's safety mission," said Andrew B. Steinberg, FAA Chief Counsel.
As the new product is enhanced and marketed, the inventors can receive up to $150,000 annually in royalties.
The FAA's Cooperative Research and Development Agreement Program is based at the William J. Hughes Technical Center, near Atlantic City, N.J.