This week, the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) Councils issued a final rule implementing a public law that disapproved a previous final rule. The rule, called Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, was based on an Executive Order (EO) that was ultimately overturned by Congress. To read what the regulations would have required, see Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces).
In 2014, the President issued EO 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. In August 2016, implementing rules were published. In October 2016, several industry organizations filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the final rule. That same month, the Court issued a preliminary injunction against the Government preventing them from enforcing most of the rules.
In March 2017, under the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed House Joint Resolution 37 which disapproved the entire FAR rule that was published back in August 2016. The President signed the Resolution into law that same month. By statute, the rule was to be treated as if it had never taken effect.
Had the rules remained in effect, the cost to contractors and the Government would have been significant. The Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that included a detailed discussion and explanation about he assumptions and methodology used to estimate the cost of the final rule, calculated the cost to be in excess of $470 million the first year, $458 of which was to be born by contractors and subcontractors. That figure doesn't include the defense of litigation, some of it frivolous, that most people figured would occur as a result of alleged noncompliances with the rules.
No contractor we know of is disappointed that these onerous rules have been abolished.
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