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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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2012 Sustainability Plan — Appendix C

Addendum to the 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan: Responding to the President's Memorandum on Promotion of Biobased Markets

On February 21, 2012, President Obama signed a Memorandum, Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement. The memorandum requires all federal agencies to undertake a number of activities to increase their purchase of biobased products. The Department of Labor (DOL) is working diligently to implement the Presidential Memorandum requirements.

Accomplishments to date include:

  • Released four Contracting Offices Notices to notify DOL Contracting Officers of the President's goals for increasing biobased procurements, the biobased contracting requirements, tools for finding biobased products, and biobased reporting requirements.
  • Added a dropdown menu to the E-Procurement System (the DOL contract writing system for all procurement activities) that includes a biobased/BioPreferred option and directs the Contracting Officers to the USDA's web site. Contracting Officers identify for each contract action whether or not it qualifies as a biobased or other "green" acquisition.
  • Participated in interagency workgroups that support the BioPreferred and other sustainable acquisition goals.

Baseline for Biobased Contracting:

Prior to the issuance of the Presiden's February 2012 Memo on Biobased Procurement, based on a review of new contracts in the first two quarters of fiscal year (FY) 2012, 11% contained Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.223-2, Affirmative Procurement of Biobased Products Under Service and Construction Contracts. The vast majority of the Departmen's construction and service contracts are Job Corps related. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) routinely awards new contracts for construction at Job Corps Centers. In addition, ETA routinely awards contracts for services that support the Job Corps program. Thus, ETA will ensure that clause 52.223-2 is included in all applicable newly awarded service and construction contracts.

FY 2013 Target/Compliance Goal:

  • DOL plans to achieve an annual goal of 50 percent compliance in FY 2013 for the biobased requirements for all relevant acquisitions, and increase by 25 percent annually thereafter.
  • DOL plans to achieve full compliance of the 95 percent sustainable acquisition goal in E.O. 13514 for biobased products no later than FY 2016.

Strategies for Improving Compliance:

  • DOL’s strategy for improving compliance — full incorporation of the biobased product requirements and clauses in relevant and appropriate contracts — includes the following elements:
  • Developing and delivering in-depth training on the biobased requirements to the DOL contracts staff and Contracting Officer's Representatives.
  • Sampling and screening new procurements prior to award to identify procurements that should include the biobased requirements.
  • Quarterly review of 5% of applicable new contracts for the biobased clauses to identify the need for Contracting Officer follow-up and additional training.
  • DOL will conduct annual reviews of relevant service contracts that contain the biobased clauses to ensure that requirements for biobased products are being met.

Required Specification Reviews (for all agencies that control specification standards):

The Presiden's Memorandum requires that wherever possible and appropriate, agency specifications require the use of sustainable products, including USDA-designated biobased products, and that any language prohibiting the use of biobased products is removed. The review shall be on a 4-year cycle and a significant number of reviews should be completed by the end of calendar year 2012. Results of these reviews must be reported annually to OMB and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

The Department of Labor is not designated as an agency that controls specification standards.