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Congress Demands Copy of DOD Non-Disclosure Agreement

When many people hear the words non-compete or non-disclosure agreement, they tend to think of contractual arrangements between employers and employees in the private work force. A few of our previous blog posts have featured stories on non competes in this vein, such as an August 2 post in which we discussed non-disclosure agreements between BP and marine scientists, and a September 13 blog focusing on non-compete clauses in college coaching contracts.

That is far from routinely being the case, though, as a number of non-disclosure agreements are also executed in the public sphere, between government bodies and employees, including the military.

Congressman J. Randy Forbes of Virginia, the ranking member for the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, has expressed strong sentiments and concerns recently regarding what some members of Congress believe is a problematic non-disclosure agreement between the Department of Defense ("DOD") and individuals working at the U.S. Joint Forces Command. Forbes has asked for a copy of the agreement, and the DOD agreed last month to supply it.

Forbes is still waiting and has elevated his rhetoric, citing a "trend of secrecy at the Pentagon" and demanding on behalf of the public to know what is in the agreement.

"Instituting any type of gag order related to Joint Forces Command is unfair to all involved in the process," he stated. "It prevents members of Congress from asking necessary questions and it prohibits the media from accessing important information."

Forbes also states a tandem concern with other gag orders that the Pentagon issued to senior officials last year that barred them from expressing their personal views to Congress about the defense budget.

Related Resource: "DOD Fails to Provide Non-Disclosure Agreements to Congress as Promised" October 8, 2010

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