General Services Administration/Office of Government-Wide Policy (GSA/OGP) FY 2016
THE REPORT LANGUAGE NEED
Report language on human trafficking prevention in procurement programs to foster robust implementation of the Executive Order 13627, and final rule, across the U.S. Government.
Summary of Program
The General Services Administration (GSA) created the Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) to consolidate the policy functions of the GSA into one office. OGP’s authority extends over personal and real property, travel and transportation, information technology, regulatory information and use of federal advisory committees. This range of procurement areas would allow the OGP to establish a wide-reaching policy on human trafficking and forced labor.
Human trafficking and forced labor occur internationally and in the U.S. and are pervasive in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services industries (e.g., hotels). As the largest consumer of goods and services in the world, the U.S. Government could significantly reduce human trafficking and forced labor worldwide by purchasing goods and services free of exploitative labor. Executive Order 13627 (Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts), the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act (ETGCA), and the Federal Acquisition Regulations, implementing the EO and ETGCA, laid the initial groundwork to eradicate human trafficking from the U.S. Government supply chain by focusing on procurement for overseas bases.
The final rule, promulgated pursuant to Executive Order 13627, Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, was issued on January 29, 2015, and requires that federal contractors subject to EO 13627 no longer charge recruitment fees, prepare and implement a compliance plan, and be subject to onsite inspections, among other things. It also requires Inspectors General at the relevant agencies to provide reports, which may trigger an administrative hearing on any alleged violation. While this is the most robust effort to date to combat human trafficking in federal procurement of goods and services, past efforts have suffered from a lack of implementation. This must not happen with respect to these regulations.
The GSA should ensure that its procurement that is subject to the Executive Order fully complies with the final rule, and that resources are available to train and otherwise support contracting officers to be able to assess whether the compliance plans required by the final rule meet its requirements. The GSA should also ensure that the Inspector General of the GSA is aware of its responsibilities and has the resources to carry out relevant investigations.
In addition, GSA should work with the Office of Management and Budget to provide support to other agencies to ensure that the requirements of the final rule are fully implemented across government, including sharing best practices on training and investigation. Sufficient resources for Inspectors General in all agencies must be provided to ensure the investigations of the many likely infractions of the Executive Order that may arise as a consequence of the deep and pervasive nature of human trafficking globally. The GSA and OMB should work together to determine means by which transparency is afforded to U.S. citizens about the nature of Executive Order compliance plans from federal contractors and the review and enforcement actions taken by federal procurement officials. OMB and GSA also have a role in helping companies identify areas of risk within their supply chains so that particular focus can be made on contracts in that area. OMB and GSA should engage procurement officers at other agencies to foster robust implementation of the final rule across all agencies.
Proposed Report Language
General Services Administration
Office of Government-Wide Policy
The Committee expects the full implementation of regulations promulgated pursuant to Executive Order 13627, Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts. The final rule was issued on January 29, 2015, and requires that federal contractors subject to EO 13627 no longer charge recruitment fees, prepare and implement a compliance plan, and be subject to onsite inspections, among other things. It also requires Inspectors General at the relevant agencies to issue reports that may trigger an administrative hearing on an alleged violation. The General Services Administration shall ensure that its procurement fully complies with the final rule, that it provides resources to train contracting officers, and that its Inspector General has the knowledge and resources to carry out relevant investigations. The Committee encourages GSA to work with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure this rule is fully implemented across government, including sharing best practices on training and investigation.