PSC Calls on White House to Rescind Flawed Exec Order at Congressional Hearing
PSC President and CEO Stan Soloway testified during a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing that the White House should rescind its Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order due to its unworkable nature and detrimental effects on law-abiding companies.
A copy of his written statement submitted to the committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee and Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee is available here.
“Companies with pervasive, willful, and repeated violations of law should not be awarded federal contracts,” said Soloway. “However, as constructed, this E.O. is fundamentally unfair, vague, complex and inexecutable. It will be costly, burdensome and is simply unnecessary.”
Soloway noted the executive order strays from its intent of ensuring willful lawbreakers are denied contracts to potentially shut out law-abiding companies by treating documented and intentional violations of law and honest mistakes the same way.
“The E.O. fails to meet the most basic test of due process,” Soloway said. “It does not focus on fully adjudicated cases where the established legal procedures have been allowed to play out as intended. Instead, it covers arbitral settlements, settlements without any finding of guilt, and even allegations of wrongdoing that have not been adjudicated at any level. And that is fundamentally unfair. It goes without saying that mere allegations are meaningless absent further investigation and proof.”
Additionally, the order creates an expansive and burdensome new compliance regime that is both unnecessary and unjustified, Soloway said.
“The government already has a wide range of authorities under which to deny contracts to companies it deems to be irresponsible or unethical,” he explained. “The real issue is the government’s ability to collect and efficiently utilize information from a variety of sources and make that information available to those who need it in order to make reasoned procurement decisions.”
“We have looked at this issue and E.O. from a wide range of perspectives and have concluded that as it does not provide the flexibility that would be needed to enable the regulatory process to fix its problems,” Soloway said, noting the regulatory process at both the Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council is well underway.
“We strongly recommend that the process be halted, and that the president rescind the E.O. and convene an expert panel drawn from federal acquisition and labor officials, industry and the labor unions, to report back to him and to Congress on the actual nature and scope of the problem that needs to be addressed and on the most efficacious way to solve it,” Soloway said. “Since we all agree on the goal there is no reason we could not, working together, find an appropriate, effective, and timely way forward.”
About PSC: PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s more than 375 member companies represent small, medium, and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks and @StanSoloway.
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