Defense Contractors to Obama: Enough With the Executive Orders

President Barack Obama signs bills in the Oval Office in 2014.

White House/Pete Souza

AA Font size + Print

President Barack Obama signs bills in the Oval Office in 2014.

Industry organizations lead a push against a tide of new regulations, such as the requirement to allow employees to take up to 56 hours' annual paid sick leave.

On the heels of a news leak about a pending presidential directive requiring federal contractors to offer paid sick leave, four major contractor groups on Tuesday wrote to top White House officials asking them to ease up on executive orders “for the foreseeable future.”

With the White House issuing more contractor-specific orders, the “rapid growth in compliance requirements is becoming untenable,” said the letter to Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. “The impacts, inefficiencies, and in many cases, unintended consequences are such that the interests of the American taxpayer are being significantly and negatively impacted.”

Signed by presidents of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Aerospace Industries Association, the Professional Services Council and the IT Alliance for Public Sector, the letter notes that since 2009, the White House has issued 12 contractor-focused executive orders that have led to 16 new regulations, “adding thousands of pages of new requirements to an already complex federal acquisition system, which contractors must navigate.”

More executive orders affecting contractors are expected, the associations said. Though some orders have won support from contractors or suggestions for improvements, “the net effect has been to significantly increase the costs of doing business with the government,” including “substantial investments in time and systems during a period of extreme budget pressure with very little benefit for the government.”

The association argued that innovation may suffer because these “unique and costly requirements” are raising a “substantial barrier between the commercial and government marketplaces,” cutting the government off from key solutions.

The next pending order, according to an Aug. 6 report in The New York Times, would require federal contractors and subcontractors to pay employees for at least 56 hours of annual sick leave, allowing the time to carry over year to year. Employees—who could number in hundreds of thousands nationwide—could use the leave to care for a sick child or close relative, or to deal with family crises such as domestic violence, as long as the leave is used for medical care or preparing for legal actions. They would be guaranteed their jobs back.

Though the Times reported the signing of the order as imminent last week, Labor Department public affairs officer Dori Henry told Government Executive the department cannot confirm that such an order is coming. “The administration continues to look for ways to strengthen the middle class, and we have long expressed support for expanding access to paid sick and family leave to more workers,” she said. “In the absence of action from Congress on this issue, we continue to explore ways to expand access to paid leave. At this time, no final decisions have been made on specific policy announcements.”

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.