January 20, 2016 •
President Obama could soon issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose political campaign contributions, according to the New York Times. On January 19, White House officials said the president is “seriously considering” the order, as reported by the […]
President Obama could soon issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose political campaign contributions, according to the New York Times. On January 19, White House officials said the president is “seriously considering” the order, as reported by the paper. The order has been pushed by many outside groups and by Democratic members of congress, who have in the past, and as recently as January 7th, presented the president with letters urging executive action.
Those opposed to an executive order argue, among other things, disclosure requirements encroach on free speech and are politically motivated. “The real goal of the disclosure proponents is to harass, intimidate and silence those with whom they disagree,” Blair Latoff Holmes, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is quoted as saying in the Times.
September 9, 2015 •
President Obama marked Labor Day by signing an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The order also allows employees to use paid sick leave to care for […]
President Obama marked Labor Day by signing an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The order also allows employees to use paid sick leave to care for themselves, a family member, a domestic partner, or another loved one, and grants leave for absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, according to a White House press release.
The While House hopes the Executive Order will set a standard prodding “lawmakers, private employers, and state and local governments to expand their leave policies,” according to the New York Times. The order’s requirements will take effect with new contracts starting in 2017.
July 22, 2014 •
On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. The order also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment. The White House press release states, […]
On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. The order also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment.
The White House press release states, “No current federal law adequately protects [LGBT] workers from employment discrimination. … At a critical time for our nation’s economy, we need all of our workers to be focused on making the most of their talent, skill, and ingenuity, rather than worrying about losing their job due to discrimination.”
The order amends two prior executive orders from the 1960s, issued by Presidents Johnson and Nixon, prohibiting discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
September 9, 2013 •
Aspirational Utilization Goal
Beginning in March of 2014, contractors with the federal government will have additional requirements of disclosure concerning the hiring and employment of veterans and people with disabilities.
One regulation change sets up a hiring goal of people with disabilities for federal contractors and subcontractors. The goal is that seven percent of each job group in their workforce be staffed with qualified individuals with disabilities, according to the U.S. Labor Department press release released August 27, 2013.
The Labor Department identifies the seven percent goal as an “aspirational utilization goal” and states “the goal is not a quota”. The rule also specifies actions vendors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping, and policy dissemination. The U.S. Labor Department identifies these rules as being similar to those currently required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities.
Additionally, regulations concerning the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act have been amended to include hiring benchmarks, data collection, and allowing access to a contractor’s documentation related to compliance by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
The rules become effective 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register.
September 26, 2012 •
Signed September 25
President Obama has signed an Executive Order “to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not contribute to trafficking in persons.”
The Executive Order, “Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking In Persons In Federal Contracts,” signed yesterday, orders the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to amend its regulations and implement specific requirements of federal contractors.
- Vendors will be required to agree to cooperate fully in providing reasonable access to allow audits, investigations, or other actions to ensure compliance;
- Contractors will be prohibited from charging employees recruitment fees;
- Contractors will be prohibited from destroying, concealing, and confiscating an employee’s identity documents, such as passports or drivers’ licenses; and
- Contracting officers will have a duty to notify the government if they become aware of any activities concerning the use of forced labor, trafficking in persons, and other specified illegal activities.
While the order is effective immediately, it will apply to solicitations issued after the FAR Council makes its rules. FAR has six months to realize the regulations.
March 23, 2012 •
Here are highlights from the latest edition of News You Can Use:
From the States and Municipalities:
State and Federal Communications produces a weekly summary of national news, offering more than 80 articles per week focused on ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance.
News You Can Use is a news service provided at no charge only to clients of our online Executive Source Guides, or ALERTS™ consulting clients.
March 5, 2012 •
The 2013 Federal Budget proposed by President Obama would remove provisions put in the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which prohibit federal agencies from requiring the disclosure of political contributions and expenditures from vendors bidding on federal contracts.
The prohibition was inserted into the 2012 Act as a response to a draft executive order which was leaked in the spring of last year. The executive order would have required disclosure of campaign contributions and political expenditures by bidders of federal contracts.
“The White House, contrary to the intent of Congress, is apparently still trying to advance a policy that would inject politics into the federal contracting process instead of focusing on promoting competition and best value in contracting,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins in a minority press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Even with the current prohibition of disclosure from bidders, some groups are urging the President to require federal contractors disclose their political contributions after the bidding process is completed and a federal contract is awarded.
A brief review of this issue can be found here.
January 24, 2012 •
Petitions with more than 100,000 signatures have been submitted to the White House urging the president to require federal contractors to disclose political contributions.
Last spring a leaked draft executive order requiring vendors submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose political contributions and expenditures resulted in both fervent support and opposition. A compromise amendment was inserted into the 565-page National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2012, which passed in December, precluding federal agencies from requiring vendors bidding on federal contracts to disclose political contributions.
In their press release arguing for full transparency of corporate political spending, Public Citizen and MoveOn.org explained its petitions are asking for disclosures after the contracts are awarded.
Photo of the The White House by UpstateNYer on Wikipedia.
January 5, 2012 •
President Obama Signs into Law
A new law signed by President Obama precludes federal agencies from requiring vendors bidding on federal contracts to disclose political contributions.
Buried in the 565-page National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2012, House Resolution 1540, is language amending Chapter 137 of Title 10 of the United States Code.
The amendment explicitly prohibits requiring a contractor to submit political information as part of a solicitation, or a request for bid or proposal. It also bars contractors from being required to submit political information during the modifications of a contract, or while exercising a contract option.
The language was added as an amendment to HR 1540 in response to a leaked draft executive order which required every entity submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose certain political contributions and expenditures made within the two years prior to submission of their offer.
July 28, 2011 •
Federal Contractor Political Disclosure
U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo has sent a letter to President Obama in support of a proposed executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political expenditures. The letter was signed by more than sixty members of the House.
In part the letter reads, “[D]isclosure will not politicize the procurement process–it will improve it. Political expenditures are already well-known to those that make them and to the officials who benefit. With disclosure, the public will have access to this information as well, allowing them to judge whether contracts were awarded based on merit.”
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