A broad coalition representing federal contractors are urging Congress to reject proposed labor-related amendments in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7900). As proposed, the provisions will likely increase the costs of doing business with the federal government, by harming competition in the federal contracting marketplace for both small businesses and traditional larger firms. A series of controversial partisan issues were added to the House version that covered subjects like: preference for DOD private contracts with union labor force agreements, debarment proceedings against any federal contractors with Fair Labor Standards Act violations from the previous five years (removing current qualifiers and due process considerations), along with a similarly flawed provision barring contracts with firms found to have violated section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act during a three-year period proceeding date of a contract award. With regard to the last two proposed provisions, beyond being disruptive they may also be unnecessary given they are premature with respect to the long awaited publication of the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC) report on the extent to which existing statutory and discretionary debarment procedures address the Department’s interests and identify any gaps.
In addition, the House version of the NDAA of 2023 included provisions that uncut competition and firm eligibility. The new onerous burdens require military construction contractors (and subcontractors) performing the contracts to be licensed in the state where the work is located and also MANDATES local hiring preferences.
As a result of the negative, disruptive, and most likely costly increases from these provisions, the coalition of organizations, including CIRT, has urged the Senate to reject similar language in their version; and to resist inclusion of such provisions in the final conference bill.
[For details see, Coalition Letter to Congress on Provisions in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2023]