The rules state that federal employees are considered a “Competition Sponsor” and not eligible for prizes. I am a private consultant considering forming a team with some federal employees, is that allowed? If federal employees become registered members of my Team, does that mean that my entire Team is ineligible for any prize money, or does that just mean that the members of the Team who are federal employees cannot receive any of the prize money? Also, even if federal employees cannot win cash prizes, can they still receive any official recognition as being part of a winning Team?
The key criterion here is “federal employees acting within the scope of their employment”. Teams with such members are not eligible to win a prize in the competition. Federal employees who are not acting within the scope of their employment are eligible. This is related to laws regarding so-called “double dipping” in government funds.