Efforts to reach a voluntary resolution of the noncompliance should continue up until the time the CO refers the matter to RSOL. Settlement negotiations, however, may not unduly delay an enforcement recommendation. For example, an enforcement recommendation is appropriate as soon as it becomes clear that the contractor is not negotiating in good faith.
Once a CO refers a matter to RSOL for enforcement, settlement negotiations between the contractor and the CO must end. The RSOL will conduct all further negotiations with input from the CO and other agency officials. When, as a result of negotiations between RSOL and the contractor, they reach an agreement, RSOL may incorporate the agreed-upon remedies in a consent decree and file the consent decree simultaneously with an administrative complaint if it was not already done. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) must approve the terms of the consent decree. The ALJ’s Order approving the consent decree is the final administrative order in the case. The contractor will send progress reports that the consent decree requires to the appropriate field office working with RSOL to evaluate the contractor’s compliance with the consent decree.