OFPP Issues Draft Guidance on Anti-Trafficking Risk Management Best Practices & Mitigation

On Thursday, December 8, 2016 the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued a notice and request for comment (81 FR 88707) on a draft guidance document entitled "Anti-Trafficking Risk Management Best Practices & Mitigation Considerations".  The guidance was drafted with the assistance of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Labor (DOL).  The guidance is intended to help agencies determine if one of their contractors is taking adequate steps to meet their anti-trafficking responsibilities under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Executive Order 13627 (September 25, 2012) and Title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (FY2013) established requirements for government contracts to prevent trafficking in persons.  As a result, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a final rule (80 FR 4967-4992) on January 1, 2015 which amended the FAR in order to implement the requirements. 

The guidance memo states "Contractors are expected to be committed, proactive, and forthcoming in their efforts to address and reduce the risk of human trafficking in their operations and supply chains" and identifies a best practices list. 

The best practices list does not change existing regulatory requirements.  But it is noted that a contractor's efforts to "adopt best practices may be appropriately considered as a mitigating circumstance".  The best practice list includes the following:

  1. Contractor Internal Steps
    • Appointment of an accountable official
    • Implementation of a Code of conduct and policies that address trafficking
    • Implementation of a worker training program for all employees
    • Implementation of a whistleblower protection mechanism
    • Development of a compliance plan for contracts or portions of contracts performed overseas in excess of $500,000
  2. External steps
    • Company has taken steps to map out supplier relationships in its supply chain and utilized risk screening tools or procedures to identify high risk portions of its supply chain
    • Dissemination of a code of conduct throughout its supply chain
    • Validation of protections with its subcontractors
    • Implemented recurring auditing processes and regular updates to its policies and procedures
    • Demonstrated targeted corrective action plans for addressing risks, monitoring progress, direct monitoring, and follow-up audits for sites identified as non-conforming

Key Date(s):  Comments should be submitted in writing on or before January 9, 2017 via email (OFPPData@omb.eop.gov) or facsimile (202-395-5105).  Cite "Proposed Memo on Anti-Trafficking" in all correspondence.