The White House released an executive order (EO) on March 15 that aims to promote pay equity and transparency in the government and the Federal contracting base through possible changes to Federal acquisition rules.
According to the EO, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is expected to issue a proposed rule to address the use of salary history in the hiring and pay-setting processes for Federal employees, consistent with the White House’s June 2021 executive order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce.
The new EO, according to its text, aims “to direct the consideration of parallel efforts with respect to Federal procurement.”
“It is the policy of my Administration to eliminate discriminatory pay practices that inhibit the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Federal workforce and the procurement of property and services by the Federal Government,” the order from President Biden says.
The EO directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to consider issuing rules to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in Federal procurement by enhancing pay equity and transparency for job applicants, and employees of Federal contractors and subcontractors.
In doing so, the FAR Council will consider whether those rules should limit or prohibit Federal contractors and subcontractors from considering information about applicants’ or employees’ existing or past compensation in employment decisions.
Additionally, the order tasks the council with considering “the inclusion of appropriate accountability measures in any such rules.”