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Please Support H.R. 1829 - "Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act."

Congratulations To All!!!

Misson Accomplished

11/06/2003: H.R. 1829 passed House.

{Inmate Wage Increase to $2.50 per hr.
Last To Years of Sentence}

Now the Bill goes to the Senate
We will keep you advised.
------------------------

Previous Action Alert:

Action Needed to Ensure Competition in Federal Purchasing!

Ask Your Member to Vote for Comprehensive FPI Reform The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as this Wednesday, November 5, on H.R. 1829, the "Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act."

We need your help in securing passage of this important legislation, which will reform federal contracting and level the playing field for the business community, save American jobs, and free federal managers from FPIs monopoly.

In 1934, FPI was given special "mandatory source" status in the government procurement process, forcing government agencies in need of a product to purchase that product from FPI. No consideration can be given to a private sector competitor unless that agency asks for an exception from FPI's monopoly. FPI produces nearly 300 products for forced sale to federal agencies. In 2002, FPI sales to the federal government totaled $678 million making it the 34th largest government contractor.

In efforts to expand its monopoly, FPI wants to sell services in the commercial marketplace, despite questionable legal authority to do so. Facilities -- paid for by tax dollars that use prison workers who are paid $1.35 per hour or less -- will be competing with Main Street businesses, which are required to pay prevailing wages and provide benefits for their employees. The federal government must undertake comprehensive reform that reduces government restrictions and promotes a "level playing field" for all interested firms.

H.R. 1829 would minimize FPIs unfair competition with private sector firms and their non-inmate workers. This bill would allow federal agencies to get the best value for taxpayers' dollars and for businesses to compete fairly with FPI. The legislation provides a transition period for FPI as it adapts to the loss of its preferential status as well as provides for additional vocational and educational opportunities for inmates.

Send a message to your Representative asking that he or she support H.R. 1829 during floor consideration this week. To increase the effectiveness of your message, please personalize the suggested text to include information about your company or job and cite examples of FPI abuse if possible.

For more information, please contact Stefanie Starkey, the Chamber's director of privatization policy, at (202)-463-5693.

---------------------------

Status:

04/12/2003: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
05/05/2003: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
07/11/2003: Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Discharged.
07/25/2003: Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
07/25/2003: Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote.
09/25/2003: Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 108-286.
09/25/2003: Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 165.
11/04/2003: Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 428 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 1829 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit with or without instructions. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the bill. Measure w

11/05/2003: Rule H. Res. 428 passed House.
11/06/2003: H.R. 1829 passed House 350-65.

Committee/Subcommittee Activity:

Judiciary: Referral
Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security: Referral, Discharged

Amendment(s):

***NONE***

----------------------------

Legislative History on this Bill:

House: Bill # H.R.1829 - Federal Prison Industries Reform

Congressional Legislation To amend title 18, United States Code, to require Federal Prison Industries to compete for its contracts minimizing its unfair competition with private sector firms and their non-inmate workers and empowering Federal agencies to get the best value for taxpayers' dollars, to provide a five-year period during which Federal Prison Industries adjusts to obtaining inmate work opportunities through other than its mandatory source status, to enhance inmate access to remedial and vocational opportunities.

Bill # H.R.1829

Original Sponsor:Peter Hoekstra (R-MI 2nd)

Cosponsor

Total: 143(last sponsor added 09/25/2003) 50 Democrats 93 Republicans

About This Legislation:

This summary has been edited for length

9/25/2003--Reported to House, amended. (There is 1 other summary)

Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act of 2003 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Federal criminal code to replace provisions regarding the purchase of prison-made products by Federal departments with provisions establishing a Government-wide procurement policy relating to purchases from Federal Prison Industries (FPI), which shall generally require the use of competitive procedures.

(Sec. 3) Requires that an analysis of the probable impact of a proposed expansion of sales within the Federal market by FPI on private sector firms and their non-inmate workers be made whenever FPI proposes to authorize the sale of a new specific product or service or to expand production of a current product or service. Prohibits FPI from furnishing construction services through inmate labor unless such services are to be performed within a Federal correctional facility pursuant to the participation of an inmate in an apprenticeship or other vocational education program teaching the skills of the various building trades. Authorizes the FPI board of directors to authorize:
(1) the donation of products produced or services furnished by FPI and available for sale;
(2) the production of a new specific product or the furnishing of a new specific service for donation; or
(3) a proposal to expand production of a currently authorized specific product or service in an amount in excess of a reasonable share of the market if a Federal agency has requested that FPI be authorized to furnish such product or service in amounts needed by such agency or if the proposal is justified for other good cause and supported by at least eight board members.

(Sec. 4) Requires a Federal agency having a requirement for a product that is authorized for sale by FPI and is listed in its catalog to first solicit an offer from FPI and make purchases on a noncompetitive basis. Requires, subject to specified limitations, a contract award to be made on a noncompetitive basis to FPI if the contracting officer determines that:
(1) the FPI product will meet the procurement requirements;
(2) timely performance of the contract by FPI can be reasonably expected; and
(3) the negotiated price does not exceed a fair and reasonable price. Directs that the terms and conditions of the contract and the price to be paid to FPI be determined by negotiation between FPI and the Federal agency making the purchase. Bars the negotiated price from exceeding a fair and reasonable price determined in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Prohibits the total dollar value of FPI sales to the Government in FY 2005 through 2009 from exceeding specified percentages of FPI sales for the base period. Sets limits regarding FPI sales within various business sectors, relating to specific products, and arising from changes in design specifications.

Prohibits the use of such preferential contracting authorities on or after October 1, 2009.

Requires the Attorney General to: (1) make a finding regarding the effects of such percentage limitations, including a determination whether such limitation has resulted or is likely to result in a substantial reduction in inmate industrial employment and whether such reductions, if any, present a significant risk of adverse effects on safe prison operation or public safety; and (3) advise the Congress upon finding a significant risk of adverse effects on either safe prison management or public safety.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes FPI to produce products as a subcontractor or supplier in the performance of a Federal procurement contract. Makes the use of FPI a voluntary business decision by the Federal prime contractor or subcontractor, subject to any prior approval imposed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation or by the contract. Prohibits such authority from resulting in the sale in the commercial market of a product or service resulting fr ...

*** Detailed, up-to-date bill status information on H.R.1829 at:

http://capwiz.com/chamber/issues/bills/?billnum=H.R.1829&congress=108&size=full

Source: http://www.uschamber.com/capwiz/load.asp?p=/chamber/issues/alert/alertid=3963696

----------------------------------

SENATE:

Federal Prison Industries Reform

(S. 1438)09/25/2001Senate Roll Call No. 287107th Congress, 1st SessionAgreed to: 74-24 (see complete tally)

Federal Prison Industries (FPI) is a government-owned corporation that provides worker training for federal inmates. FPI benefits from a government procurement process that forces agencies to purchase products produced by prisoners through FPI, rather than using a competitive process.The U.S. Chamber, which manages a unique coalition made up of businesses and organized labor, is fighting to achieve legislative and regulatory relief from FPI's unfair competitive practices. Law-abiding businesses continually have proven they can provide federal agencies with higher quality goods, in a more timely fashion, and for a lower price. In particular, the U.S. Chamber has strongly supported provisions in the annual Defense Authorization bill that would allow private sector firms to compete with FPI for Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. In 2001, the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act, contained a provision to level the playing field for private sector businesses. The provision directs DoD - if it determines that FPI product are not the best available - to purchase the products on a competitive basis. During consideration of S. 1438, the Senate rejected an amendment by a vote of 74-24 that would have eliminated the FPI reform provision. The reform provision remained in the final version of the legislation that was signed into law by President Bush. This is a significant first step in the U.S. Chamber's fight to end FPI's monopolistic status in government contracting.

Vote Map: Senate Roll Call No. 287

Votes For : 74

Votes Against : 24

Not Voting : 2

Source:

http://www.uschamber.com/capwiz/load.asp?p=/chamber/issues/alert/

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