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Making Contracting Work

Promoting Good Workplace Practices in the Federal Procurement Process

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President Barack Obama announced on March 4th that he plans to overhaul the federal contracting process. This much-needed modernization provides the federal government with a significant opportunity to generate good jobs and help rebuild the middle class.

The federal government creates millions of jobs each year through the large sums of money it spends on purchasing goods and services. Yet these jobs are often substandard. Many pay very low wages—often below the poverty level—and involve poor working conditions where labor law violations are all too common.

Reforming contracting to help create quality jobs will require the federal government to increase transparency in the procurement process, better enforce labor standards, perform rigorous responsibility screening on prospective bidders, reduce its use of outside contractors, and promote improved job standards. Each of these components is key, but this report focuses exclusively on one aspect of the agenda: how to promote higher job standards by evaluating proposals based in part on the pay and benefits that contractors provide their workers.

Read more here.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or