Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The American Jobs Matter Act of 2015

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D. Connecticut) introduced a bill in the house last week that, if passed, would require contracting officers to "consider" information regarding domestic employment before awarding a Federal defense contract.

According to her press release, the American Jobs Matter Act will leverage taxpayer money spent on federal contracts to support American manufacturers and boost job creation. The bill will reqire the Department of Defense to take into account the creation and retention of American jobs when issuing contracts. Esty stated that between 2007 and 2013, DoD spent over $700 billion on manufactured goods with over $150 billion spent on goods produced overseas. During the same period, the United States lost an estimated 1.7 million manufacturing jobs. Presumably, this intent of this Act is to bring back some of those lost manufacturing jobs or at least slow down future outsourcing to other countries.

Well, what does "consider" mean in the context of this legislation?

In prescribing the evaluation factors to be included in each solicitation for competitive proposals for covered contracts, an agency shall include the effects on employment within the United States of the contract as an evaluation factor that must be considered in the evaluation of proposals.

This applies generally to contracts in excess of $1 million.
The head of an agency, in issuing a solicitation for competitive proposals, shall state in the solicitation that the agency will consider as an evaluation factor a Jobs Impact Statement to include
  1. the number of jobs expected to be created or retained in the US if the contract is awarded
  2. The number of jobs created or retained in the US by the subcontractors expected to be used by the offeror in the performance of the contract.
  3. A guarantee from the offeror that jobs created or retained in the US will not be mvoed outside the US after award of the contract unless doing so is required to provide the goods or services stipulated in the contract or is in the best interest of the Gvoernment.
  4. The contracting officer may request that contractor support with additional information its jobs impact statement
  5. Require the agency each year to assess the accuracy of the Jobs Impact Statement
  6. Shortages between proposed jobs and actual jobs will affect a contractor's past performance in the award of future contracts.

We have no idea as to whether this bill will pass. But, it seems benign enough not to warrant a lot of opposition. Contracting officers won't like it. The Act will require more work by contracting officers, not only to consider the Jobs Impact Statement when awarding contracts but also to track and monitor performance against plans.
You can read the entire Act by clicking here.

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