- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
Jaws dropped in the contracting world when a draft presidential order came to light in May that would require companies bidding for federal contracts to disclose more information about their employee’s political contributions. While we've heard outcries from industry and others on the potential harm of such an order, a summary of how this would impact the procurement process — I believe — is warranted.
In testimony before a joint congressional hearing May 12, an administration official asserted that the intention of the draft executive order is to promote greater transparency and accountability in government spending. However, what wasn’t addressed was the executive order’s potential to politicize the contracting process, increase costs and encourage small businesses to opt out of federal contracting.
The draft order would require a bidding company to disclose political contributions by its directors, officers, affiliates and subsidiaries. Procurement officials would have to ensure the company filed a report if those covered collectively gave more than $5,000 to a single federal candidate, political party, party committee or a third party “reasonably expected” to work on electioneering. Donations made up to two years prior to the bid would be covered.
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