41 U.S. Code § 3101 - Applicability

§ 3101.
Applicability
(a)In General.—
An executive agency shall make purchases and contracts for property and services in accordance with this division and implementing regulations of the Administrator of General Services.
(b) Simplified Acquisition Threshold and Procedures.—
(1) Simplified acquisition threshold.—
(A)Definition.—
For purposes of an acquisition by an executive agency, the simplified acquisition threshold is as specified in section 134 of this title.
(B)Inapplicable laws.—
A law properly listed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation pursuant to section 1905 of this title does not apply to or with respect to a contract or subcontract that is not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold.
(2)Simplified acquisition procedures.—
Simplified acquisition procedures contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation pursuant to section 1901 of this title apply in executive agencies as provided in section 1901.
(c) Exceptions.—
(1)In general.—This division does not apply—
(A)
to the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; or
(B)
except as provided in paragraph (2), when this division is made inapplicable pursuant to law.
(2)Applicability of certain laws related to advertising, opening of bids, and length of contract.—
Sections 6101, 6103, and 6304 of this title do not apply to the procurement of property or services made by an executive agency pursuant to this division. However, when this division is made inapplicable by any law, sections 6101 and 6103 of this title apply in the absence of authority conferred by statute to procure without advertising or without regard to section 6101 of this title. A law that authorizes an executive agency (other than an executive agency exempted from this division by this subsection) to procure property or services without advertising or without regard to section 6101 of this title is deemed to authorize the procurement pursuant to the provisions of this division relating to procedures other than sealed-bid procedures.
(Pub. L. 111–350, § 3, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3742.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

3101(a)

41:252(a) (words before 1st semicolon).

June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 302(a), 63 Stat. 393; July 12, 1952, ch. 703, § 1(m), 66 Stat. 594; Pub. L. 85–800, § 1, Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 966; Pub. L. 89–343, § 1, Nov. 8, 1965, 79 Stat. 1303.

3101(b)(1)

41:252a.

June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 302A, as added Pub. L. 103–355, title IV, §§ 4003, 4103(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3338, 3341.

3101(b)(2)

41:252b.

June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 302B, as added Pub. L. 103–355, title IV, § 4203(b), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3346.

3101(c)(1)

41:252(a) (words after 1st semicolon and before “but when”).

3101(c)(2)

41:252(a) (words after “other law”).

 

41:260.

June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 310, 63 Stat. 397; July 12, 1952, ch. 703, § 1(m), (n), 66 Stat. 594; Pub. L. 85–800, § 6, Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 967; Pub. L. 89–343, § 5, Nov. 8, 1965, 79 Stat. 1303; Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title VII, § 2714(a)(6), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1185.

In subsection (c)(1)(B), the words “except as provided in paragraph (2)” are added for clarity. The words “section 113(e) of title 40 or any other” are omitted as unnecessary.

Ex. Ord. No. 13005. Empowerment Contracting

Ex. Ord. No. 13005, May 21, 1996, 61 F.R. 26069, provided:

In order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement, it is necessary to secure broad-based competition for Federal contracts. This broad competition is best achieved where there is an expansive pool of potential contractors capable of producing quality goods and services at competitive prices. A great and largely untapped opportunity for expanding the pool of such contractors can be found in this Nation’s economically distressed communities.

Fostering growth of Federal contractors in economically distressed communities and ensuring that those contractors become viable businesses for the long term will promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement and help to empower those communities. Fostering growth of long-term viable contractors will be promoted by offering appropriate incentives to qualified businesses.

Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 486(a) [now 121(a)] of title 40, United States Code, and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to strengthen the economy and to improve the efficiency of the Federal procurement system by encouraging business development that expands the industrial base and increases competition.

Sec. 2. Empowerment Contracting Program. In consultation with the Secretaries of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Defense; the Administrator of General Services; the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Administrator of the Small Business Administration; and the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, the Secretary of the Department of Commerce shall develop policies and procedures to ensure that agencies, to the extent permitted by law, grant qualified large businesses and qualified small businesses appropriate incentives to encourage business activity in areas of general economic distress, including a price or an evaluation credit, when assessing offers for government contracts in unrestricted competitions, where the incentives would promote the policy set forth in this order. In developing such policies and procedures, the Secretary shall consider the size of the qualified businesses.

Sec. 3. Monitoring and Evaluation. The Secretary shall:

(a) monitor the implementation and operation of the policies and procedures developed in accordance with this order;

(b) develop a process to ensure the proper administration of the program and to reduce the potential for fraud by the intended beneficiaries of the program;

(c) develop principles and a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the policies and procedures developed in accordance with this order; and

(d) by December 1 of each year, issue a report to the President on the status and effectiveness of the program.

Sec. 4. Implementation Guidelines. In implementing this order, the Secretary shall:

(a) issue rules, regulations, and guidelines necessary to implement this order, including a requirement for the periodic review of the eligibility of qualified businesses and distressed areas;

(b) draft all rules, regulations, and guidelines necessary to implement this order within 90 days of the date of this order; and

(c) ensure that all policies and procedures and all rules, regulations, and guidelines adopted and implemented in accordance with this order minimize the administrative burden on affected agencies and the procurement process.

Sec. 5. Definitions. For purposes of this Executive order:

(a) “Agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(10).

(b) “Area of general economic distress” shall be defined, for all urban and rural communities, as any census tract that has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or any designated Federal Empowerment Zone, Supplemental Empowerment Zone, Enhanced Enterprise Community, or Enterprise Community. In addition, the Secretary may designate as an area of general economic distress any additional rural or Indian reservation area after considering the following factors:

(1) Unemployment rate;

(2) Degree of poverty;

(3) Extent of outmigration; and

(4) Rate of business formation and rate of business growth.

(c) “Qualified large business” means a large for-profit or not-for-profit trade or business that (1) employs a significant number of residents from the area of general economic distress; and (2) either has a significant physical presence in the area of general economic distress or has a direct impact on generating significant economic activity in the area of general economic distress.

(d) “Qualified small business” means a small for-profit or not-for-profit trade or business that (1) employs a significant number of residents from the area of general economic distress; (2) has a significant physical presence in the area of general economic distress; or (3) has a direct impact on generating significant economic activity in the area of general economic distress.

(e) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce.

Sec. 6. Agency Authority. Nothing in this Executive order shall be construed as displacing the agencies’ authority or responsibilities, as authorized by law, including specifically other programs designed to promote the development of small or disadvantaged businesses.

Sec. 7. Judicial Review. This Executive order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

William J. Clinton.
Ex. Ord. No. 13627. Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts

Ex. Ord. No. 13627, Sept. 25, 2012, 77 F.R. 60029, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (40 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA) (Public Law 106–386, Division A), and in order to strengthen protections against trafficking in persons in Federal contracting, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. More than 20 million men, women, and children throughout the world are victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons (“trafficking” or “trafficking in persons”)—defined in section 103 of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7102(8) [now (9)], to include sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age, or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

The United States has long had a zero-tolerance policy regarding Government employees and contractor personnel engaging in any form of this criminal behavior. As the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, the United States Government bears a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not contribute to trafficking in persons. By providing our Government workforce with additional tools and training to apply and enforce existing policy, and by providing additional clarity to Government contractors and subcontractors on the steps necessary to fully comply with that policy, this order will help to protect vulnerable individuals as contractors and subcontractors perform vital services and manufacture the goods procured by the United States.

In addition, the improved safeguards provided by this order to strengthen compliance with anti-trafficking laws will promote economy and efficiency in Government procurement. These safeguards, which have been largely modeled on successful practices in the private sector, will increase stability, productivity, and certainty in Federal contracting by avoiding the disruption and disarray caused by the use of trafficked labor and resulting investigative and enforcement actions.

Sec. 2. Anti-Trafficking Provisions. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of such other executive departments and agencies (agencies) as the FAR Council determines to be appropriate, shall take steps necessary to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to:

(1) strengthen the efficacy of the Government’s zero-tolerance policy on trafficking in persons by Federal contractors and subcontractors in solicitations, contracts, and subcontracts for supplies or services (including construction and commercial items), by:

(A) expressly prohibiting Federal contractors, contractor employees, subcontractors, and subcontractor employees from engaging in any of the following types of trafficking-related activities:

(i) using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices during the recruitment of employees, such as failing to disclose basic information or making material misrepresentations regarding the key terms and conditions of employment, including wages and fringe benefits, the location of work, living conditions and housing (if employer provided or arranged), any significant costs to be charged to the employee, and, if applicable, the hazardous nature of the work;

(ii) charging employees recruitment fees;

(iii) destroying, concealing, confiscating, or otherwise denying access by an employee to the employee’s identity documents, such as passports or drivers’ licenses; and

(iv) for portions of contracts and subcontracts:

(I) performed outside the United States, failing to pay return transportation costs upon the end of employment, for an employee who is not a national of the country in which the work is taking place and who was brought into that country for the purpose of working on a U.S. Government contract or subcontract;

(II) not covered by subsection (a)(1)(A)(iv)(I) of this section, failing to pay return transportation costs upon the end of employment, for an employee who is not a national of the country in which the work is taking place and who was brought into that country for the purpose of working on a U.S. Government contract or subcontract, if the payment of such costs is required under existing temporary worker programs or pursuant to a written agreement with the employee; provided, however

(III) that the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(A)(iv)(I) and (II) shall not apply to:

(aa) an employee who is legally permitted to remain in the country of employment and who chooses to do so; or

(bb) an employee who is a victim of trafficking and is seeking victim services or legal redress in the country of employment, or an employee who is a witness in a trafficking-related enforcement action;

(v) other specific activities that the FAR Council identifies as directly supporting or promoting trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor in the performance of the contract or subcontract;

(B) requiring contractors and their subcontractors, by contract clause, to agree to cooperate fully in providing reasonable access to allow contracting agencies and other responsible enforcement agencies to conduct audits, investigations, or other actions to ascertain compliance with the TVPA, this order, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor; and

(C) requiring contracting officers to notify, in accordance with agency procedures, the agency’s Inspector General, the agency official responsible for initiating suspension or debarment actions, and law enforcement, if appropriate, if they become aware of any activities that would justify termination under section 106(g) of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7104(g), or are inconsistent with the requirements of this order or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor, and further requiring that the agency official responsible for initiating suspension and debarment actions consider whether suspension or debarment is necessary in order to protect the Government’s interest;

(2) except as provided in subsection (a)(3) of this section, ensure that provisions in solicitations and clauses in contracts and subcontracts, where the estimated value of the supplies acquired or services required to be performed outside the United States exceeds $500,000, include the following requirements pertaining to the portion of the contract or subcontract performed outside the United States:

(A) that each such contractor and subcontractor maintain a compliance plan during the performance of the contract or subcontract that is appropriate for the size and complexity of the contract or subcontract and the nature and scope of the activities performed, including the risk that the contract or subcontract will involve services or supplies susceptible to trafficking. The compliance plan shall be provided to the contracting officer upon request, and relevant contents of the plan shall be posted no later than the initiation of contract performance at the workplace and on the contractor or subcontractor’s Web site (if one is maintained), and shall, at a minimum, include:

(i) an awareness program to inform employees about:

(I) the policy of ensuring that employees do not engage in trafficking in persons or related activities, including those specified in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor; and

(II) the actions that will be taken against employees for violation of such policy;

(ii) a process for employees to report, without fear of retaliation, any activity that would justify termination under section 106(g) of the TVPA, or is inconsistent with the requirements of this order, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor;

(iii) a recruitment and wage plan that only permits the use of recruitment companies with trained employees, prohibits charging recruitment fees to the employee, and ensures that wages meet applicable host country legal requirements or explains any variance;

(iv) a housing plan, if the contractor or subcontractor intends to provide or arrange housing, that ensures that the housing meets host country housing and safety standards or explains any variance; and

(v) procedures to prevent subcontractors at any tier from engaging in trafficking in persons, including those trafficking-related activities described in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, and to monitor, detect, and terminate any subcontractors or subcontractor employees that have engaged in such activities; and

(B) that each such contractor and subcontractor shall certify, prior to receiving an award and annually thereafter during the term of the contract or subcontract, that:

(i) it has the compliance plan referred to in subsection (a)(2)(A) of this section in place to prevent trafficking-related activities described in section 106(g) of the TVPA and this order; and

(ii) either, to the best of its knowledge and belief, neither it nor any of its subcontractors has engaged in any such activities; or, if abuses have been found, the contractor or subcontractor has taken the appropriate remedial and referral actions;

(3) specify that the requirements in subsections (a)(2)(A) and (B) of this section shall not apply with respect to contracts or subcontracts for commercially available off-the-shelf items.

(b) Not later than 1 year after the date of this order, the member agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), established pursuant to section 105 of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7103, shall jointly establish a process for evaluating and identifying, for Federal contracts and subcontracts performed substantially within the United States, whether there are industries or sectors with a history (or where there is current evidence) of trafficking-related or forced labor activities described in section 106(g) of the TVPA, in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor. Where the PITF has identified such industries or sectors, it shall notify agencies of these designations, and individual agencies shall, in consultation with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy of the Office of Management and Budget, adopt and publish appropriate safeguards, guidance, and compliance assistance to prevent trafficking and forced labor in Federal contracting in these identified areas.

Sec. 3. Guidance and Training. (a) The Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy shall:

(1) in consultation with appropriate management councils, such as the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, provide guidance to agencies on developing appropriate internal procedures and controls for awarding and administering Federal contracts to improve monitoring of and compliance with actions to prevent trafficking in persons, consistent with section 106 of the TVPA, including the development of methods to track the number of trafficking violations reported and remedies applied; and

(2) in consultation with the Federal Acquisition Institute and appropriate management councils, such as the Chief Acquisition Officers Council:

(A) develop methods to track the number of Federal employees trained; and

(B) implement training requirements to ensure that the Federal acquisition workforce is trained on the policies and responsibilities for combating trafficking, including on:

(i) applicable laws, regulations, and policies; and

(ii) internal controls and oversight procedures implemented by the agency, including enforcement procedures available to the agency to investigate, manage, and mitigate contractor and subcontractor trafficking violations.

(b) The member agencies of PITF shall jointly facilitate the sharing of information that may be used by acquisition, program, and other offices within agencies to evaluate where the risk of trafficking in persons may be heightened based on the nature of the work to be performed, the place of performance, and any other relevant considerations.

Sec. 4. Effective Date. This order shall become effective immediately and shall apply to solicitations issued on or after the effective date for the action taken by the FAR Council under subsection 2(a) of this order.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(1) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(2) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.
Ex. Ord. No. 13673. Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

Ex. Ord. No. 13673, July 31, 2014, 79 F.R. 45309, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 13683, § 3, Dec. 11, 2014, 79 F.R. 75042, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including 40 U.S.C. 121, and in order to promote economy and efficiency in procurement by contracting with responsible sources who comply with labor laws, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. This order seeks to increase efficiency and cost savings in the work performed by parties who contract with the Federal Government by ensuring that they understand and comply with labor laws. Labor laws are designed to promote safe, healthy, fair, and effective workplaces. Contractors that consistently adhere to labor laws are more likely to have workplace practices that enhance productivity and increase the likelihood of timely, predictable, and satisfactory delivery of goods and services to the Federal Government. Helping executive departments and agencies (agencies) to identify and work with contractors with track records of compliance will reduce execution delays and avoid distractions and complications that arise from contracting with contractors with track records of noncompliance.

Sec. 2. Compliance with Labor Laws. (a) Pre-award Actions. (i) For procurement contracts for goods and services, including construction, where the estimated value of the supplies acquired and services required exceeds $500,000, each agency shall ensure that provisions in solicitations require that the offeror represent, to the best of the offeror’s knowledge and belief, whether there has been any administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment, as defined in guidance issued by the Department of Labor, rendered against the offeror within the preceding 3-year period for violations of any of the following labor laws and Executive Orders (labor laws):

(A) the Fair Labor Standards Act;

(B) the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970;

(C) the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act;

(D) the National Labor Relations Act;

(E) 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter IV, also known as the Davis-Bacon Act;

(F) 41 U.S.C. chapter 67, also known as the Service Contract Act;

(G) Executive Order 11246 of September 24, 1965 (Equal Employment Opportunity);

(H) section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

(I) the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974;

(J) the Family and Medical Leave Act;

(K) title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

(L) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;

(M) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;

(N) Executive Order 13658 of February 12, 2014 (Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors); or

(O) equivalent State laws, as defined in guidance issued by the Department of Labor.

(ii) A contracting officer, prior to making an award, shall, as part of the responsibility determination, provide an offeror with a disclosure pursuant to section 2(a)(i) of this order an opportunity to disclose any steps taken to correct the violations of or improve compliance with the labor laws listed in paragraph (i) of this subsection, including any agreements entered into with an enforcement agency. The agency’s Labor Compliance Advisor, as defined in section 3 of this order, in consultation with relevant enforcement agencies, shall advise the contracting officer whether agreements are in place or are otherwise needed to address appropriate remedial measures, compliance assistance, steps to resolve issues to avoid further violations, or other related matters.

(iii) In consultation with the agency’s Labor Compliance Advisor, contracting officers shall consider the information provided pursuant to paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this subsection in determining whether an offeror is a responsible source that has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics, after reviewing the guidelines set forth by the Department of Labor and consistent with any final rules issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council pursuant to section 4 of this order.

(iv) For any subcontract where the estimated value of the supplies acquired and services required exceeds $500,000 and that is not for commercially available off-the-shelf items, a contracting officer shall require that, at the time of execution of the contract, a contractor represents to the contracting agency that the contractor:

(A) will require each subcontractor to disclose any administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment rendered against the subcontractor within the preceding 3-year period for violations of any of the requirements of the labor laws listed in paragraph (i) of this subsection, and update the information every 6 months; and

(B) before awarding a subcontract, will consider the information submitted by the subcontractor pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph in determining whether a subcontractor is a responsible source that has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics, except for subcontracts that are awarded or become effective within 5 days of contract execution, in which case the information may be reviewed within 30 days of subcontract award.

(v) A contracting officer shall require that a contractor incorporate into subcontracts covered by paragraph (iv) of this subsection a requirement that the subcontractor disclose to the contractor any administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment rendered against the subcontractor within the preceding 3-year period for violations of any of the requirements of the labor laws listed in paragraph (i) of this subsection.

(vi) A contracting officer, Labor Compliance Advisor, and the Department of Labor (or other relevant enforcement agency) shall be available, as appropriate, for consultation with a contractor to assist in evaluating the information on labor compliance submitted by a subcontractor pursuant to paragraph (v) of this subsection.

(vii) As appropriate, contracting officers in consultation with the Labor Compliance Advisor shall refer matters related to information provided pursuant to paragraphs (i) and (iv) of this subsection to the agency suspending and debarring official in accordance with agency procedures.

(b) Post-award Actions. (i) During the performance of the contract, each agency shall require that every 6 months contractors subject to this order update the information provided pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section and obtain the information required pursuant to subsection (a)(v) of this section for covered subcontracts.

(ii) If information regarding violations of labor laws is brought to the attention of a contracting officer pursuant to paragraph (i) of this subsection, or similar information is obtained through other sources, a contracting officer shall consider whether action is necessary in consultation with the agency’s Labor Compliance Advisor. Such action may include agreements requiring appropriate remedial measures, compliance assistance, and resolving issues to avoid further violations, as well as remedies such as decisions not to exercise an option on a contract, contract termination, or referral to the agency suspending and debarring official.

(iii) A contracting officer shall require that if information regarding violations of labor laws by a contractor’s subcontractor is brought to the attention of the contractor pursuant to subsections [sic] (a)(iv), (v) or (b)(i) of this section or similar information is obtained through other sources, then the contractor shall consider whether action is necessary. A contracting officer, Labor Compliance Advisor, and the Department of Labor shall be available for consultation with a contractor regarding appropriate steps it should consider. Such action may include appropriate remedial measures, compliance assistance, and resolving issues to avoid further violations.

(iv) The Department of Labor shall, as appropriate, inform contracting agencies of its investigations of contractors and subcontractors on current Federal contracts so that the agency can help the contractor determine the best means to address any issues, including compliance assistance and resolving issues to avoid or prevent violations.

(v) As appropriate, contracting officers in consultation with the Labor Compliance Advisor shall send information provided pursuant to paragraphs (i)–(iii) of this subsection to the agency suspending and debarring official in accordance with agency procedures.

Sec. 3. Labor Compliance Advisors. Each agency shall designate a senior agency official to be a Labor Compliance Advisor, who shall:

(a) meet quarterly with the Deputy Secretary, Deputy Administrator, or equivalent agency official with regard to matters covered by this order;

(b) work with the acquisition workforce, agency officials, and agency contractors to promote greater awareness and understanding of labor law requirements, including recordkeeping, reporting, and notice requirements, as well as best practices for obtaining compliance with these requirements;

(c) coordinate assistance for agency contractors seeking help in addressing and preventing labor violations;

(d) in consultation with the Department of Labor or other relevant enforcement agencies, and pursuant to section 4(b)(ii) of this order as necessary, provide assistance to contracting officers regarding appropriate actions to be taken in response to violations identified prior to or after contracts are awarded, and address complaints in a timely manner, by:

(i) providing assistance to contracting officers and other agency officials in reviewing the information provided pursuant to sections 2(a)(i), (ii), and (v) and 2(b)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this order, or other information indicating a violation of a labor law, so as to assess the serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive nature of any violation and evaluate steps contractors have taken to correct violations or improve compliance with relevant requirements;

(ii) helping agency officials determine the appropriate response to address violations of the requirements of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order or other information indicating such a labor violation (particularly serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations), including agreements requiring appropriate remedial measures, decisions not to award a contract or exercise an option on a contract, contract termination, or referral to the agency suspending and debarring official;

(iii) providing assistance to appropriate agency officials in receiving and responding to, or making referrals of, complaints alleging violations by agency contractors and subcontractors of the requirements of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order; and

(iv) supporting contracting officers, suspending and debarring officials, and other agency officials in the coordination of actions taken pursuant to this subsection to ensure agency-wide consistency, to the extent practicable;

(e) as appropriate, send information to agency suspending and debarring officials in accordance with agency procedures;

(f) consult with the agency’s Chief Acquisition Officer and Senior Procurement Executive, and the Department of Labor as necessary, in the development of regulations, policies, and guidance addressing labor law compliance by contractors and subcontractors;

(g) make recommendations to the agency to strengthen agency management of contractor compliance with labor laws;

(h) publicly report, on an annual basis, a summary of agency actions taken to promote greater labor compliance, including the agency’s response pursuant to this order to serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations of the requirements of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order; and

(i) participate in the interagency meetings regularly convened by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 4(b)(iv) of this order.

Sec. 4. Ensuring Government-wide Consistency. In order to facilitate Government-wide consistency in implementing the requirements of this order:

(a) to the extent permitted by law, the FAR Council shall, in consultation with the Department of Labor, the Office of Management and Budget, relevant enforcement agencies, and contracting agencies, propose to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to identify considerations for determining whether serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order demonstrate a lack of integrity or business ethics. Such considerations shall apply to the integrity and business ethics determinations made by both contracting officers and contractors pursuant to this order. In addition, such proposed regulations shall:

(i) provide that, subject to the determination of the agency, in most cases a single violation of law may not necessarily give rise to a determination of lack of responsibility, depending on the nature of the violation;

(ii) ensure appropriate consideration is given to any remedial measures or mitigating factors, including any agreements by contractors or other corrective action taken to address violations; and

(iii) ensure that contracting officers and Labor Compliance Advisors send information, as appropriate, to the agency suspending and debarring official, in accordance with agency procedures.

(b) the Secretary of Labor shall:

(i) develop guidance, in consultation with the agencies responsible for enforcing the requirements of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order, to assist agencies in determining whether administrative merits determinations, arbitral awards or decisions, or civil judgments were issued for serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations of these requirements for purposes of implementation of any final rule issued by the FAR Council pursuant to this order. Such guidance shall:

(A) where available, incorporate existing statutory standards for assessing whether a violation is serious, repeated, or willful; and

(B) where no statutory standards exist, develop standards that take into account:

(1) for determining whether a violation is “serious” in nature, the number of employees affected, the degree of risk posed or actual harm done by the violation to the health, safety, or well-being of a worker, the amount of damages incurred or fines or penalties assessed with regard to the violation, and other considerations as the Secretary finds appropriate;

(2) for determining whether a violation is “repeated” in nature, whether the entity has had one or more additional violations of the same or a substantially similar requirement in the past 3 years;

(3) for determining whether a violation is “willful” in nature, whether the entity knew of, showed reckless disregard for, or acted with plain indifference to the matter of whether its conduct was prohibited by the requirements of the labor laws listed in section 2(a)(i) of this order; and

(4) for determining whether a violation is “pervasive” in nature, the number of violations of a requirement or the aggregate number of violations of requirements in relation to the size of the entity;

(ii) develop processes:

(A) for Labor Compliance Advisors to consult with the Department of Labor in carrying out their responsibilities under section 3(d) of this order;

(B) by which contracting officers and Labor Compliance Advisors may give appropriate consideration to determinations and agreements made by the Department of Labor and other agencies; and

(C) by which contractors may enter into agreements with the Department of Labor or other enforcement agency prior to being considered for contracts.

(iii) review data collection requirements and processes, and work with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Administrator for General Services, and other agency heads to improve those processes and existing data collection systems, as necessary, to reduce the burden on contractors and increase the amount of information available to agencies;

(iv) regularly convene interagency meetings of Labor Compliance Advisors to share and promote best practices for improving labor law compliance; and

(v) designate an appropriate contact for agencies seeking to consult with the Department of Labor pursuant to this order;

(c) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall:

(i) work with the Administrator of General Services to include in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System information provided by contractors pursuant to sections 2(a)(i) and (ii) and 2(b)(i) of this order, and data on the resolution of any issues related to such information; and

(ii) designate an appropriate contact for agencies seeking to consult with the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to this order;

(d) the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with other relevant agencies, shall develop a single Web site for Federal contractors to use for all Federal contract reporting requirements related to this order, as well as any other Federal contract reporting requirements to the extent practicable;

(e) in developing the guidance pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Labor and the FAR Council, respectively, shall minimize, to the extent practicable, the burden of complying with this order for Federal contractors and subcontractors and in particular small entities, including small businesses, as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632), and small nonprofit organizations; and

(f) agencies shall provide the Administrator of General Services with the necessary data to develop the Web site described in subsection (d) of this section.

Sec. 5. Paycheck Transparency. (a) Agencies shall ensure that, for contracts subject to section 2 of this order, provisions in solicitations and clauses in contracts shall provide that, in each pay period, contractors provide all individuals performing work under the contract for whom they are required to maintain wage records under the Fair Labor Standards Act; 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter IV (also known as the Davis-Bacon Act); 41 U.S.C. chapter 67 (also known as the Service Contract Act); or equivalent State laws, with a document with information concerning that individual’s hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions made to or deductions made from pay. Agencies shall also require that contractors incorporate this same requirement into subcontracts covered by section 2 of this order. The document provided to individuals exempt from the overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act need not include a record of hours worked if the contractor informs the individuals of their overtime exempt status. These requirements shall be deemed to be fulfilled if the contractor is complying with State or local requirements that the Secretary of Labor has determined are substantially similar to those required by this subsection.

(b) If the contractor is treating an individual performing work under a contract or subcontract subject to subsection (a) of this section as an independent contractor, and not an employee, the contractor must provide a document informing the individual of this status.

Sec. 6. Complaint and Dispute Transparency. (a) Agencies shall ensure that for all contracts where the estimated value of the supplies acquired and services required exceeds $1 million, provisions in solicitations and clauses in contracts shall provide that contractors agree that the decision to arbitrate claims arising under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment may only be made with the voluntary consent of employees or independent contractors after such disputes arise. Agencies shall also require that contractors incorporate this same requirement into subcontracts where the estimated value of the supplies acquired and services required exceeds $1 million.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to contracts or subcontracts for the acquisition of commercial items or commercially available off-the-shelf items.

(c) A contractor’s or subcontractor’s agreement under subsection (a) of this section to arbitrate certain claims only with the voluntary post-dispute consent of employees or independent contractors shall not apply with respect to:

(i) employees who are covered by any type of collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the contractor and a labor organization representing them; or

(ii) employees or independent contractors who entered into a valid contract to arbitrate prior to the contractor or subcontractor bidding on a contract covered by this order, except that a contractor’s or subcontractor’s agreement under subsection (a) of this section to arbitrate certain claims only with the voluntary post-dispute consent of employees or independent contractors shall apply if the contractor or subcontractor is permitted to change the terms of the contract with the employee or independent contractor, or when the contract is renegotiated or replaced.

Sec. 7. Implementing Regulations. In addition to proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation as required by section 4(a) of this order, the FAR Council shall propose such rules and regulations and issue such orders as are deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out this order, including sections 5 and 6, and shall issue final regulations in a timely fashion after considering all public comments, as appropriate.

Sec. 8. Severability. If any provision of this order, or applying such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

Sec. 9. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an agency or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 10. Effective Date. This order shall become effective immediately and shall apply to all solicitations for contracts as set forth in any final rule issued by the FAR Council under sections 4(a) and 7 of this order.

Barack Obama.
Government Contracting

Memorandum of President of the United States, Mar. 4, 2009, 74 F.R. 9755, provided:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

The Federal Government has an overriding obligation to American taxpayers. It should perform its functions efficiently and effectively while ensuring that its actions result in the best value for the taxpayers.

Since 2001, spending on Government contracts has more than doubled, reaching over $500 billion in 2008. During this same period, there has been a significant increase in the dollars awarded without full and open competition and an increase in the dollars obligated through cost-reimbursement contracts. Between fiscal years 2000 and 2008, for example, dollars obligated under cost-reimbursement contracts nearly doubled, from $71 billion in 2000 to $135 billion in 2008. Reversing these trends away from full and open competition and toward cost-reimbursement contracts could result in savings of billions of dollars each year for the American taxpayer.

Excessive reliance by executive agencies on sole-source contracts (or contracts with a limited number of sources) and cost-reimbursement contracts creates a risk that taxpayer funds will be spent on contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse, or otherwise not well designed to serve the needs of the Federal Government or the interests of the American taxpayer. Reports by agency Inspectors General, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and other independent reviewing bodies have shown that noncompetitive and cost-reimbursement contracts have been misused, resulting in wasted taxpayer resources, poor contractor performance, and inadequate accountability for results.

When awarding Government contracts, the Federal Government must strive for an open and competitive process. However, executive agencies must have the flexibility to tailor contracts to carry out their missions and achieve the policy goals of the Government. In certain exigent circumstances, agencies may need to consider whether a competitive process will not accomplish the agency’s mission. In such cases, the agency must ensure that the risks associated with noncompetitive contracts are minimized.

Moreover, it is essential that the Federal Government have the capacity to carry out robust and thorough management and oversight of its contracts in order to achieve programmatic goals, avoid significant overcharges, and curb wasteful spending. A GAO study last year of 95 major defense acquisitions projects found cost overruns of 26 percent, totaling $295 billion over the life of the projects. Improved contract oversight could reduce such sums significantly.

Government outsourcing for services also raises special concerns. For decades, the Federal Government has relied on the private sector for necessary commercial services used by the Government, such as transportation, food, and maintenance. Office of Management and Budget Circular A–76, first issued in 1966, was based on the reasonable premise that while inherently governmental activities should be performed by Government employees, taxpayers may receive more value for their dollars if non-inherently governmental activities that can be provided commercially are subject to the forces of competition.

However, the line between inherently governmental activities that should not be outsourced and commercial activities that may be subject to private sector competition has been blurred and inadequately defined. As a result, contractors may be performing inherently governmental functions. Agencies and departments must operate under clear rules prescribing when outsourcing is and is not appropriate.

It is the policy of the Federal Government that executive agencies shall not engage in noncompetitive contracts except in those circumstances where their use can be fully justified and where appropriate safeguards have been put in place to protect the taxpayer. In addition, there shall be a preference for fixed-price type contracts. Cost-reimbursement contracts shall be used only when circumstances do not allow the agency to define its requirements sufficiently to allow for a fixed-price type contract. Moreover, the Federal Government shall ensure that taxpayer dollars are not spent on contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse, or otherwise not well designed to serve the Federal Government’s needs and to manage the risk associated with the goods and services being procured. The Federal Government must have sufficient capacity to manage and oversee the contracting process from start to finish, so as to ensure that taxpayer funds are spent wisely and are not subject to excessive risk. Finally, the Federal Government must ensure that those functions that are inherently governmental in nature are performed by executive agencies and are not outsourced.

I hereby direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Administrator of General Services, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and the heads of such other agencies as the Director of OMB determines to be appropriate, and with the participation of appropriate management councils and program management officials, to develop and issue by July 1, 2009, Government-wide guidance to assist agencies in reviewing, and creating processes for ongoing review of, existing contracts in order to identify contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, or not otherwise likely to meet the agency’s needs, and to formulate appropriate corrective action in a timely manner. Such corrective action may include modifying or canceling such contracts in a manner and to the extent consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policy.

I further direct the Director of OMB, in collaboration with the aforementioned officials and councils, and with input from the public, to develop and issue by September 30, 2009, Government-wide guidance to:

(1) govern the appropriate use and oversight of sole-source and other types of noncompetitive contracts and to maximize the use of full and open competition and other competitive procurement processes;

(2) govern the appropriate use and oversight of all contract types, in full consideration of the agency’s needs, and to minimize risk and maximize the value of Government contracts generally, consistent with the regulations to be promulgated pursuant to section 864 of Public Law 110–417;

(3) assist agencies in assessing the capacity and ability of the Federal acquisition workforce to develop, manage, and oversee acquisitions appropriately; and

(4) clarify when governmental outsourcing for services is and is not appropriate, consistent with section 321 of Public Law 110–417 (31 U.S.C. 501 note).

Executive departments and agencies shall carry out the provisions of this memorandum to the extent permitted by law. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of OMB is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Barack Obama.

 

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