Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Proposed Legislation Designed to Keep Jobs in America

The U.S. Senate wants to add another matter to the long list of factors that the Defense procurement must consider when awarding contracts. Entitled the "American Jobs Matter Act of 2017", this bill would require that contracting officers include the effects on employment within the United States as an evaluation factor that must be considered in the evaluation of proposals. This law would cover competitive procurements greater than $1 million.

Companies submitting proposals will need to included as part of the submission a jobs impact statement. This jobs impact statement must include:

  1. The number of jobs expected to be created or retained in the United States if the contract is awarded to the offeror
  2. The number of jobs created or retained in the United States 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 United States will not be moved outside the United States 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 Federal Government.

But that's not all. Every year for the duration of the contract, the contracting officer must assess the accuracy of the jobs impact statement. Where will the contracting officer get the data necessary to assess the accuracy of the jobs impact statement? From the contractor, where else?

But even that's not all. The contracting officer must track comparative information showing the projected number of jobs created/saved with the actual number of jobs created/saved. If the number of jobs actually created/saved is significantly less than the estimate, the contracting officer may consider this as a factor that affects a contractor's past performance in the award of future contracts.

Contractors, of course, will be provided an opportunity to explain away those discrepancies before it impacts their past performance rating but contracting officer will have the final word on whether such explanations are sufficient.

According to the Sponsor of the bill, Senator Murphy, the Department of Defense over $200 billion on goods manufactured by foreign firms and during that time, lost over 1.7 million manufacturing jobs. "The Department of Defense should make every effort to buy American, promoting economic growth and military security."

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