- E.O. 13673 – Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. This Obama administration executive order requires certain prime contractors and subcontractors to: (a) disclose previous labor law violations in the Government’s System for Award Management (“SAM”); (b) provide enhanced wage statements to employees to achieve paycheck transparency; and (c) eliminate pre-dispute agreements requiring employees to arbitrate civil rights, sexual assault and harassment claims. On October 24, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas preliminarily enjoined the Government from implementing most of the order and its 800 pages of implementing regulations and guidance. The current legal controversy, along with the perception by many that the order is burdensome, makes this one a prime candidate for repeal.
- E.O. 13706 – Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. This executive order requires prime contractors and subcontractors to provide minimum paid sick leave to employees to be used for a variety of DOL-approved reasons. Even contractors who already provide the minimum required leave may face hurdles adapting their payroll systems to track accrual and other DOL-required procedures, not to mention reporting requirements. The fact that DOL’s final rule is less than six months old may make this order more vulnerable to elimination than more entrenched regulations.
- Acquisition Planning – Prior to issuing a solicitation, existing regulations require that agencies conduct market research and consider many variables, such as (a) the sources available (including small and disadvantaged business sources), (b) the appropriate contract vehicle; (c) the extent to which the requirements can be met using commercial or commercially available off the shelf (“COTS”) items; and (d) the extent to which the acquired items promote social priorities such as energy conservation. These types of considerations together pull in thousands of pages of regulations. This is an area where we expect to see significant streamlining.
- Acquisitions Under Trade Agreements: Given the President’s “America First” campaign slogan and promise to re-negotiate trade deals with other nations, we would not be surprised to see changes limiting and narrowing the scope of Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act waivers. The theory goes that restricting such waivers would compel more contractors to source products in the United States, promoting American industries and jobs.
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