The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council on Dec. 27 withdrew the blacklisting regulations first proposed by the Clinton administration in July 1999.
"Federal contractors can breathe a sigh of relief," said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). "Remember, we opposed these regulations for good reason, but so did the procurement professionals in the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal employees do not publicly condemn presidential initiatives unless they are horrendous. Only the political people in the White House supported these regulations."
In fact, two-thirds of the FAR Council itself filed comments opposing the regulations.
AGC gave several reasons for its opposition. The regulations would have put a disproportionate burden on small businesses, which would face more federal paperwork and potential abuse from competitors, disgruntled employees and outside parties. The regulations would have lowered the burden of proof for allegations of impropriety, making contractors and federal procurement professionals vulnerable to such accusations. The regulations would have circumvented the legislative process by instituting measures that Congress either had not considered or had rejected.