Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced companion bills aimed at repealing the Davis-Bacon Act. The Davis-Bacon Act requires contractors and subcontractors to pay their employees “no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.” The Department of Labor sets the prevailing wage rates. The act also requires contractors and subcontractors pay their employees time-and-a-half for overtime hours.
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan has proposed creating a legislative committee to assess changes to the state procurement process recommended by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Rauner has urged more “private sector best practices” and a relaxation of oversight to streamline processes. “Governor Rauner has proposed a series of changes to the state’s procurement process that could generate savings for the state, and I believe they are worth considering,” Madigan said. “I want to work with the governor to reduce the cost of state government while maintaining transparent and ethical conduct in contracting.” Madigan and Rauner have been at loggerheads over the state budget for 18 months. Rauner sought to roll back some of the procurement reforms put in place to check corruption after Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has introduced a bill to address the “revolving door” of the public and private sector. Though no summary of the bill has been posted yet, the title of S.265 reads in full: “A bill to prevent conflicts of interest that stem from executive Government employees receiving bonuses or other compensation arrangements from nongovernment sources, from the revolving door that raises concerns about the independence of financial services regulators, and from the revolving door that casts aspersions over the awarding of Government contracts and other financial benefits.”
DOD IG: Components Need to Be More Consistent with Contractor Performance Assessments
The Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) conducted its fourth audit of the Pentagon’s assessments of contractor performance, finding that officials “did not consistently comply with requirements for evaluating contractor past performance.” The audit looked at “nonsystems contracts,” meaning contracts for “operations support, services, and information technology.” The IG found that contracting officials often did not complete comprehensive and timely contractor performance assessment reports (PARs). The report also noted that “officials at all four contracting offices also prepared 49 of 53 PARs that did not include sufficient written narratives to justify the ratings given.”
Two large contracting groups praised the House last week for voting Thursday to repeal President Barack Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order. The repeal passed using the Congressional Review Act, established to nullify regulations enacted in the past 60 days. Both the Professional Services Council and the Associated Builders and Contractors—who had filed an injunction in federal court to prevent the order’s implementation—hailed the repeal. The rule required businesses bidding on contracts of $500,000 or more to report any labor law violations of the last three years.
Babatunde Aniyi, a Nigerian man, has been sentenced to 33 months after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud U.S. defense contractors and impersonation of U.S. officers after he helped orchestrate a loss of $1.5 million. Aniyi and his U.S.–based co-conspirators—who pleaded guilty separately—impersonated U.S. Department of Defense (U.S. DoD) officials using fake U.S. DoD email accounts and websites, ordering computers and smartphones, diverting the packages to Nigeria.