This week, the Department of State (“State”), Verité, and other global NGOs, unveiled a sample human trafficking compliance plan and online resource to help contractors comply with the FAR’s anti-human trafficking rule (the “Rule”).  As we have previously summarized, the Rule requires contractors to implement a compliance plan for contracts exceeding $500,000 that are for non-COTS goods or services acquired outside the United States.  Because the final Rule included few specifics on compliance plan requirements, contractors have sought guidance regarding their responsibilities to implement a plan and perform supply chain due diligence.  The recently-released sample compliance plan and other web-based tools at ResponsibleSourcingTool.org appear to provide some guidance.

The long-awaited sample compliance plan largely tracks the requirements for a compliance plan in the Rule.  For instance, it provides sample language discussing a contractor’s recruitment and wage plan, employee grievance process, and housing plan.  In addition, it anticipates that contractors will engage third parties in the country of performance to provide auditing and housing management services.  Although the sample compliance plan provides insight into the type of document contracting officers may expect when reviewing compliance plans, it does not provide significant guidance regarding performing supply chain due diligence.

To assist contractors performing supply chain due diligence, ResponsibleSourcingTool.org contains nine additional tools:

  • Sample Code of Conduct
  • Recruitment and Employment Benchmarks
  • Sample Vendor Agreement
  • Evaluating Labor Recruitment Candidates
  • Sample Supplier Self-Assessment
  • Monitoring Labor Recruiters
  • Migrant Worker Interviews
  • Sample Supply Chain Assurance Program
  • Risk Management Process Flow Tool

When releasing these tools, Verité explained that they are not meant to be used in a cafeteria-style manner, but instead must all be implemented to perform successful supply-chain management.  However, implementing each of these tools may not be feasible or necessary in all circumstances.  For instance, if a supply chain does not involve migrant workers or if a contractor prohibits the use of labor recruiters, some of these tools may not be helpful.  That said, when circumstances are appropriate for their use, the tools could be very helpful.  For instance, when vetting subcontractors and recruiters, contractors may use the tool for Evaluating Recruitment Candidates, which contains criteria and questions for screening and evaluating labor recruitment candidates.

Although the sample compliance plan and additional tools provide guidance on the type of activities that may be performed to satisfy the Rule’s due diligence requirement, significant questions remain regarding the extent of activity that is required under the rule.  Until the government provides additional guidance, contractors will likely be required to use their best judgment under their particular circumstance to assess the extent of diligence that is appropriate.

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Photo of Jennifer Plitsch Jennifer Plitsch

Jennifer Plitsch is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group. Her practice includes a wide range of contracting issues for large and small businesses in both defense and civilian contracting. Her practice involves advising clients on contract proposal, performance, and compliance questions…

Jennifer Plitsch is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group. Her practice includes a wide range of contracting issues for large and small businesses in both defense and civilian contracting. Her practice involves advising clients on contract proposal, performance, and compliance questions as well as transactional and legislative issues. Her practice also includes bid protest and contract claims and appeals litigation before GAO, agency boards and the federal courts. Ms. Plitsch has particular expertise in advising clients in the pharmaceutical and biologics industry. She advises a range of pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturers on Federal Supply Schedule contracts, including the complex pricing requirements imposed on products under the Veterans Health Care Act, as well as research and development contracts and grants with various federal agencies. She also has significant experience advising on the requirements of various programs under which vaccine products and biodefense medical countermeasures are procured by the Government.

Photo of Alexander Hastings Alexander Hastings

Alex Hastings advises clients across a broad range of government contracting issues, including advising clients in transactional matters involving government contractors and assisting defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies in securing and performing government contracts.

Mr. Hastings also advises clients concerning best practices in…

Alex Hastings advises clients across a broad range of government contracting issues, including advising clients in transactional matters involving government contractors and assisting defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies in securing and performing government contracts.

Mr. Hastings also advises clients concerning best practices in e-discovery. He assists in investigations and litigations that involve complex e-discovery issues and has represented clients in matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States International Trade Commission.

Mr. Hastings’ government contracts experience includes advising clients regarding new developments in regulatory requirements, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) anti-human trafficking requirements and the FAR and Bayh-Dole Act’s intellectual property provisions. Mr. Hastings also provides due diligence regulatory advice to clients contemplating the acquisition of government contracting entities or assets.

Mr. Hastings’ e-discovery experience includes advising a wide-array of clients on best practices in information governance and document collection and assisting clients develop effective mobile device and document management policies.

Mr. Hastings also maintains an active pro bono practice and routinely writes on issues related to government contracts and e-discovery.