ABC Opposes ¬ËœBlacklisting’ Final Rule

Ally D'Ovidio

New federal regulation could strip contractors of due process

(Washington, D.C., Aug. 29) ABC National joined with other business organizations in opposing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule released last week by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, known by some as the ¬Ëœblacklisting’ rule because it could unlawfully prohibit contractors from bidding on or working on government labor.

ABC’s Vice President Ben Brubeck says this “flawed rule will create a murky and needlessly subjective procurement process that will result in fewer qualified and responsible contractors bidding on federal contracts.”

The new rule goes into effect on Oct. 25, 2016 with a staggered implementation to give contractors time to understand and adjust to the changes. Under this rule, contractors will be required to disclose any ¬Ëœviolations’ of 14 federal labor laws that occurred in the three years prior to the award of any new federal government contracts exceeding $500,000. Reported violations may then be used by government officials to disqualify firms from winning federal contracts, based on complicated set of procedures proposed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

“ABC supports a level and transparent playing field for federal contractors and believes unethical firms should be held accountable,” said Brubeck. “However, our initial concerns regarding the proposal’s stripping of due process rights while also adding unwarranted uncertainty by empowering bureaucrats to subjectively pick winners and losers in the federal contracting marketplace remain. ABC will continue to explore every available avenue, including the judicial system, to protect taxpayers, contractors and their employees, whose livelihoods rely on a fair procurement system, from this overreaching policy.”