The Obama Administration is now planning yet another spending plan, this time in the form of a policy that actively encourages federal contractors either to increase the pay and benefits extended to their workforces, or to face an evaluative disadvantage in competing for federal contracts. This so-called “High Road Procurement Policy” includes an evaluative reward for “potential Federal contractors that pay wages or provide benefits above those required by our laws,” including the Service Contract, the Davis-Bacon, the Walsh-Healey, and the Fair Labor Standards Acts.
Continue Reading Administration Actively Solicits Higher Costs From Bidders – Is Its “High Road Procurement Policy” Headed Off a Cliff?

In October, the United States Senate, by a 68-30 vote, approved an amendment to the Department of Defense (“DoD”) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010 which prohibits the use of appropriated funds, if such funds are to be paid to any contractor or subcontractor, at any tier, which requires its employees or independent contractors to resolve certain claims through arbitration. The amendment, which passed despite DoD objections, was introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (the “Franken Amendment”).
 Continue Reading The “Franken Amendment”: A Blow to Arbitration and Increased Litigation and Compliance For Government Contractors

On March 31, 2009, the FAR Councils issued several new interim rules (effective March 31, 2009) implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) (also known as ARRA, The Recovery Act, or the Stimulus Act). See Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-32, published at 74 Federal Register 14621-14652. The FAC issued new interim rules on a number of areas required under the Stimulus Act, including:

  • Reporting Requirements for Recipients of Recovery Funds (see 74 Federal Register 14639) 
     
  • Publicizing Contract Actions (see 74 Federal Register 14636) 
     
  • GAO and IG Access to Company Employees (see 74 Federal Register 14646) 
     
  • Whistleblower Protections (see 74 Federal Register 14633) 
     
  • Buy American Requirements for Construction Materials (see 74 Federal Register 14623)
     

This blog focuses on the final three sets of rules – those relating to Auditor access; Whistleblower protections; and Buy American requirements. The first set of rules is discussed separately here.
 Continue Reading New Recovery Act Rules Implement Provisions Relating To Government Audit Access, Whistleblower Protections, And Buy American Requirements; Much Confusion Remains

In his first month of office, President Obama issued three significant Executive Orders affecting employees of government contractors.  Revoking several Bush administration Executive Orders, the three new orders demonstrate a dramatic shift in federal labor policy.
 Continue Reading President Obama’s Executive Orders Dramatically Shift Labor Policy; Impact Federal Contractors