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Friday, May 13, 2011

GOP's Government Contractors Benefited From Bush's "War On Terror"

What Do Companies Balfour Beatty, Blackwater (Now Xe) & Dyncorp All Have In Common?

They All Have Strong Ties To The Republican Party (Via George W. Bush's Administration) And All 3 Companies Have Fat Bottom Lines Thanks To Being Government Contractors.

In Fact George Bush's Administration Relied Heavily On Government Contractors.

I'm Talking Billions & Billions Of Dollars That Went To Government Contractors!!

Not Just Any Government Contractors Might I Add!

But Contractors Who Benefited Because Of W. Bush's "War On Terror"!

You See No War = No Government Contractors In Iraq Or Afghanistan.

Perhaps Another Reason Why G.W. Bush Seemed To Be In NO Hurry To Capture Or Kill Osama Bin Laden.

Can You Say Political Favors To Loyal GOP Campaign Contributors???

What's The Big Deal You Ask?

Well Nothing Except Many Of Those Government Contractors Are Now Being Investigated For Having Possibly Discriminated Against Veterans Who Were Employed By Such Government Contractors, Mainly Disabled Veterans.

In Addition Its Also A Possibility That More Federal Funding For Government Procurements Were Awarded To White-Owned Government Companies Than To Minority-Owned Companies.


That Under Pres. George W. Bush's Administration Federal Contractors Did Sometimes Deny Their Employees The Right To Form On-Site Labor Unions Or Join Labor Unions.

Could It Be That George W. Bush's Administration Was Aware Of Said Discrimination However Turned A Blind Eye & A Deaf Ear To The Situations?

So You See The Obama Administration Is NOT Playing Political Games By Choosing To Look Into How Much Money Has Been Awarded To Government Contractors.


The Obama Administration Just Wants To Ensure That Federal Funding For Government Procurements Is Being Wisely Allocated, That Government Contracts Are Awarded Fairly To Both Minority-Owned And White-Owned Companies & Most Important Of All That Veterans Employed By Government Contractors Are NOT Victims Of Discrimination Or Receiving Low Pay For Their Hard Work.

You Know The GOP Has Frequently Accused Pres. Obama's Administration Of Playing Dirty "Chicago Politics", But As 2012 Approaches It Looks Like The Republican Party Is Using More Dirty Politics Than Obama Ever Think Of.


The New Obama Administration Releases Rules for Government Contractors

One of the biggest Democratic complaints over the last eight years has been that the Federal Government has used too many contractors. President Obama on Friday, reports, released three new executive orders related to the use of contractors.

All are related to strengthening the rights of contract employees over their corporate employers.

One that is actually very good for people working as contractors is that companies winning a contract must try to hire the qualified employees from the old contract.

This is only for service contracts but that is a pretty broad definition of work.

Many times in the past the new company would try to hire many of the old workers, especially if the government asked them to, but there was no guarantee you would keep your job. The other two rules relate to unionization of the workers. One makes it required for companies to notify their employees of their rights including that to unionize.

The last order ends the ability of companies to bill the government for costs related to fighting attempts to unionize. Obama was definately going to be friendlier to the unions and these orders are the first in many more to come.

DHS reducing reliance on contractors

The Obama administration has sought to reduce the government's dependence on contractors that the Bush administration relied upon so heavily during the formation of DHS; DHS has reviewed approximately 100 service contracts to see which should be assigned to an internal department rather than an outside vendor; the contract review project will serve as a template for future evaluations of all the department's approximately 10,000 service contracts

DHS has reviewed approximately 100 service contracts to see which should be assigned to an internal department rather than an outside vendor. The primary goal of insourcing is to ensure that contractors are not doing inherently government tasks while considering the quality and cost of work, and whether using contractors put the department’s mission at risk.

Jeff Neal, DHS’s chief human capital officer, would not comment on how many jobs might be insourced as a result of the review which is still being scrutinized by the Office of Management and Budget.

The contract review project will serve as a template for future evaluations of all the department’s approximately 10,000 service contracts. DHS plans to use the process to study whether new missions should be outsourced, done in-house, or done with a mixture of contractors and federal employees.

The program’s implementation corresponds with the Obama administration’s order to slash federal contract spending by $40 billion by the end of FY 2011. Experts say other agencies will be following suit to find the proportion of contractors and feds that will let the government best accomplish its mission.

“Everybody’s doing it to some degree or another, but I don’t know if anyone’s done it as formally as DHS,” said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council. “They’re almost looking job-by-job.”

The Obama administration has sought to reduce the government’s dependence on contractors that the Bush administration relied upon so heavily during the formation of DHS.

In 2009, former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Peter Orszag ordered agencies to cut contract spending by insourcing government work and restoring the balance between federal and contract employees.

The government’s efforts to consolidate 3,500 contractor positions into federal employee positions were deemed inadequate by Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute.

DHS components that are particularly contractor-heavy include the headquarters, Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration.

In 2009, the Defense Department announced plans to replace many of the 33,000 contractor positions with civilian workers and last year announced that 16,000 new Defense civilian jobs were created through insourcing. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the insourcing had not yielded the savings expected while the Professional Services Council labeled the effort a “quota-drive exercise based on questionable cost assumptions.”

Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, said DHS’s balanced work-force effort is off to a better start than Defense. “I haven’t heard anything that suggests they’re doing a radical overhaul, but a strategic look,” Soloway said. “They really are looking to see if they have the right balance, the right skills and in the right place.”

Nine months ago, the Balanced Workforce Program Management Office was established by Jeff Neal to come up with a repeatable, data-driven process to review outsourced duties.

The department is looking at whether a particular mission is inherently governmental, whether the government, private sector, or a mix of the two can do it better or cheaper; if DHS has managers that can oversee the insourced work and whether the government has or can recruit people with the experience and skills to do something in-house.

“You have to work through budget cycles, you have to work with contracts and when contracts expire,” Neal said. “We certainly don’t have any intention to go out and terminate contracts midcycle. That costs too much money.”

Last week, Army Secretary John McHugh suspended ongoing insourcing actions and said senior Army leaders must review and approve all new insourcing proposals. McHugh also called for a tighter documentation and analysis of all possible alternatives to hiring federal employees to do the job.

“We have said all along that all sourcing decisions for clearly commercial work — whether insourcing or outsourcing — must be done strategically with the best interests of the government mission and American taxpayer in mind,” Soloway said. “Policies requiring decisions [to] be fully documented and justified and based on ‘an analysis of all potential alternatives’ should be adopted across DoD and other federal agencies.”

Agency watchdog wants more power to target contractors

A small Labor Department office is giving companies another worry about tough oversight by seeking more power to investigate federal contractors about potential pay discrimination, primarily against veterans and disabled people.
Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) plans to do away with George W. Bush administration-era guidelines on checking companies' equal pay because it says the guidelines are too restrictive or simply not used.

“The rigidity of the current standards represents a significant departure from OFCCP’s traditional tailoring” to investigations, according to Jan. 3 Federal Register announcement to rescind the rules.

The Bush administration in 2006 set up a statistical approach to their reviews. Under those rules, discrimination must show a pattern or practice of disparate treatment and use a multiple regression analysis to identify compensation discrimination.

However, the Obama administration says those rules impose “overly narrow investigation procedures that go beyond what is required by law.” In addition, OFCCP officials say companies haven’t used guidance laid out by the previous administration on companies doing voluntary self-analyses of their compensation.

OFCCP officials now intend to get rid of the restrictive rules and use their own discretion to develop procedures to investigate contractors. Their plan is to continually refine the procedures to make them most effective.

"OFCCP will reinstitute the practice of exercising its discretion to develop compensation discrimination investigation procedures," officials wrote in the notice.

The small office has already been checking out government contractors.

Rebecca Springer, counsel at the Crowell and Morning law firm, said eight of the last 10 companies’ audits that she worked on included checks by the OFCCP.

Despite the office’s increased efforts to expand its authority to act, contractors won’t have as much information on how OFCCP will go about reviewing compensation and wages to veterans and individuals with disabilities. By doing away with the detailed statistical analyses, she said officials will take a more simple approach to reviewing companies based on the resources available to the office.

“I think we are potentially headed back to an era of much greater secrecy as to how they are analyzing compensation,” Springer said during a webinar this month.

She also expects more regulations this spring and summer about OFCCP. There could possibly be new legislation to expand OFCCP’s authority in investigating companies.

Springer recommends companies should aggressively push back against the OFCCP if they have evidence of equal compensation and no discrimination against to certain people.

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Sources: Bnet, CNN, DHS, Federal Times, Fox News, Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog, Homeland Security Newswire, Huffington Post, Twitter, Washington Technology, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Maps

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