Friday, April 22, 2011

Disclosing Political Contributions

The administration is circulating a draft Executive Order that will require all entities submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose political contributions and expenditures that they have made within the two years prior to submission of their offer. Additionally, a formal "certification" process as to the accuracy of the data submitted will be a condition of award. This draft Executive Order directs the FAR councils to amend the the acquisition regulations by year end (presumably 2011) with rules and regulations and issue such orders as are deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out this order
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has strongly opposed the order, stating;
The obvious danger of this is that it will lead prospective businessmen and businesswomen to a choice no American should ever be forced to make: ‘Do I support the party in power in the hopes I can continue my livelihood, or do I support the candidate I believe will do the best job?’ This applies not only to large contractors. It also includes everyone from the zipper maker for military uniforms to the daycare facility operator for federal workplaces and landscapers who service a National Park. The implication is clear – pony up for the good guys or risk paying the price. As Senator Mitch McConnell aptly said yesterday “No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you’re worthy of a government contract. And no one should have to worry about whether their political support will determine their ability to get or keep a federal contract or keep their job.”
According to the draft order, this requirement is all in the name of transparency. All disclosed data is to be made publicly available in a centralized, searchable, sortable, downloadable and machine readable format on as soon as practicable upon submission.

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