In This Issue

Business & Corporate

Current Challenges Facing Contractors under Recent Changes to Domestic Preference Programs

On April 18, 2017, the White House issued an executive order titled “Buy American and Hire American.”1 The executive order directs federal agencies to “scrupulously monitor, enforce, and comply with Buy American Laws, to the extent they apply, and minimize the use of waivers, consistent with applicable law.”2 On April 29, 2017, the White House issued another executive order titled “Addressing Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses,” which directed the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with others, to conduct a comprehensive review of all trade agreements and take actions to address abuses and unfair treatment.3 The White House has promised to make “very big changes” and possibly “get rid of NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] for once and for all,”4 while renegotiating the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.5

Federal Government

Advocating for State-Level Debarment Systems: Lessons from the MPC and GAO

The purpose of an effective debarment system is to ensure that responsible contractors receive government contracts.1 A responsible contractor has, among other things: (1) the financial resources; (2) the ability to comply with delivery schedules; (3) the necessary quantity and quality of facilities and equipment; (4) the performance record; (5) the will to perform; (6) the record of business ethics; (7) the expertise, management, and technical capability; (8) the internal controls; and (9) of course, the appropriate licenses and permits to contract with the government.2 Contractors lacking these qualifications may be deemed nonresponsible and barred from contracting with the government.3 The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Model Procurement Code (MPC) detail these qualifications to promote an accountable and efficient debarment system4 and provide procedural processes to help both government officials and contractors navigate the potentially litigious waters of debarment proceedings.5

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