Though President Donald Trump is likely to vote to repeal the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule—the regulation that would require contractors to report labor law violations of the past three years—GovExec reports that the battle over safe workplaces isn’t over. It notes that the “tiny agency,” the independent Chemical Safety Board voted 4-0 on March 1 “to declare ‘unacceptable’ the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s response to a request for stronger reviews of potential contractors’ workplace safety programs.” The Chemical Safety Board said it needs a language that would “specifically require the review of a prospective contractor’s environmental and safety programs; safety record and incident history.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report, finding that the federal government opens “a greater percentage of its government procurement to foreign competition than the next five largest trade agreement partners combined. The report also noted that the U.S. participates with 57 other countries in trade agreements that allow foreign firms to compete for U.S. government business. The report does note, however, that data regarding this issue is not always timely and accurate.
Subcontractor Whistleblower Pilot Program to Become Permanent
Marie Mak, director of acquisition and sourcing management for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), talked with Federal News Radio about the whistleblower pilot program for subcontractors and grant recipients. Mak talked about how the pilot program required agencies to ensure they had point people to report whistleblower claims, and informed subcontractors as to their whistleblower rights and procedures. The pilot is now scheduled to become permanent.