WASHINGTON — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently issued a statement regarding the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule proposed by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council. The proposed rule, commonly referred to as the ‘blacklisting executive order’ and a guidance memo issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13673 targeting the federal contracting community were released May 27.
“This rule creates a murky federal acquisition system that is absurdly cumbersome and allows contracts to be awarded in a subjective nature by unelected bureaucrats,” said Geoff Burr, vice president of government affairs, ABC. “The ‘blacklisting’ proposal will unnecessarily complicate the federal acquisition process by adding undue subjectivity and may result in some of the best federal contractors being blacklisted from winning future contracts. Additionally, the administration’s latest assault on federal contractors will result in more bid protests and more frequent and costly labor and employment disputes.
“Contractors and their employees, as well as taxpayers, deserve a fair and transparent process that will award contracts to firms that will deliver the highest quality product at the best price; however, this proposal is a clear step in the wrong direction,” said Burr. “Today’s proposal will discourage small businesses from pursuing federal contracts, threaten the livelihood of millions of Americans employed by federal contractors, and expose taxpayers and businesses to increased costs and risk. We are committed to fighting this proposal in the courts, Congress, and through any additional available avenue.”
ABC has consistently opposed the blacklisting proposal as unfair to contractors, their employees, and taxpayers beginning with the White House’s July 2014 executive order insisting FAR develop the rule.
The FAR Council will allow public comments on the proposed rule for 60 days. A final rule will be published and implemented after public comments have been reviewed.
Publication date: 6/15/2015