House Delays Proposed Blacklisting Rules
Scrivner, Peter C., Book, Elizabeth G., Franklin, Ruth W., National Defense
The House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to the fiscal year 2001 Treasury and Postal Service Appropriations bill (H.R. 4871), which delays implementation of recently issued contractor/labor relations (blacklisting) proposed regulations.
The regulations would allow government contracting officers to disqualify any employer from receiving a federal contract if there is "relevant credible information" that the employer does not have "satisfactory compliance with federal laws including tax laws, labor and employment laws, environmental laws, antitrust laws, and consumer protection laws." (See 65 Fed. Reg. 40833, June 30, 2000).
The new standards upon which the decision of whether an employer does, or does not, qualify for a contract are seen by many as ambiguous. Those opposed to the regulations reason that even the best-intentioned employer can get caught in the vast maze of confusing and complicated federal rules and regulations implementing these major laws, and even innocent violations under review could be used to disqualify an employer.
Recent testimony before Congress by procurement experts have made the case that adequate protections already exist to protect the integrity of the procurement process and to ensure that taxpayers receive the best bargain for their money. …