The Administration has been active in promulgating Executive Orders (E.O.) that affect the stakeholders in the Government contracting process. On July 31, 2014, the President signed Executive Order 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces.” The E.O.states that it “improve[s] the federal contracting process.” But it will create a burden for prime contractors, subcontractors, and their agency customers. It will place increased importance on avoiding any type of adverse ruling involving an employment-related or safety-related claim.
As all Government contractors are aware, a contract may be awarded only after a federal agency determines that the prospective contractor is “responsible” in accordance with Part 9 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Under this E.O., a company’s compliance with 14 federal labor statutes, as well as unnamed state labor statutes, will now be a factor that agencies and prime contractors must consider prior to awarding a contract or subcontract over $500,000.
The FAR Council issued a proposed rule (FAR Case 2014-025) on May 28, 2015, amending the FAR to implement E.O. 13673. 80 Fed. Reg. 30548. On that same day, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued extensive “guidance” on the E.O. 80 Fed. Reg. 30573. Comments on the proposed regulations were originally requested by July 27, 2015, but that deadline has been extended twice and is now August 26, 2015. Your company, or an association representing your industry, may have already filed comments on the proposed regulation; regardless, it is very important that your company focus on the requirement and take immediate steps to prepare for its implementation.
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