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Today President Barack Obama will sign an executive order to crack down on contractors that don’t comply with workplace laws. The order—based on successful best practices from both the public and private sectors—will help protect the more than one in five Americans who are employed by companies with federal contracts, prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars, and allow law-abiding companies to compete on a fair playing field for government contracts.
The federal government—which contracts out hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and services every year—must only contract with companies that have a satisfactory record of performance, integrity, and business ethics. But the contracting system does not effectively review the responsibility records of companies before awarding contracts, nor does it adequately impose conditions on violators that encourage them to reform their practices. Instead, the federal government all too often awards contracts to workplace violators with no strings attached.
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