“The results of FPI reform are largely painted in broad strokes,” Hoekstra said. “However, the impact will be most significant at the local level, and on Tuesday I intend to discuss with employees at Haworth how fundamentally fixing this flawed system will affect individual workers.”
Last week Congress passed a provision in the annual federal appropriations bill that extends to all federal agencies relief from FPI as an exclusive source for products through the end of the current fiscal year. Under the provision, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security will be able to exercise the limited authority now available only to the Department of Defense and the CIA.
Congress is currently considering Hoekstra-authored legislation, called the Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act, which would fundamentally and permanently reform FPI’s sole-source status with federal agencies. The House version of the bill overwhelmingly passed in November, and the Senate is currently considering it.
Once passed, Hoekstra said, the comprehensive bill would ensure private sector firms like Haworth would freely be able to compete for government contracts funded by their own tax dollars.