I, Bill Walker, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Sections 1 and 24, Constitution of the State of Alaska, find and direct the following:
Findings and Purpose
As a market participant, the State of Alaska has a profound impact on the safety and economic security of workers employed by State government contractors. State purchasing decisions also have an impact on workforce development. State contracting processes should promote safe workplaces and respect for workers’ labor rights, while protecting the State’s financial interests. The purpose of this Order is to promote workplace safety and compliance with State and federal law through the State’s procurement processes. Further, this Order is designed to enhance Alaska’s economic competitiveness by improving workplace safety and facilitating long-term reductions in disproportionately high workers’ compensation insurance costs.
The State’s purchasing practices should encourage compliance with State and federal labor policy. As a large purchaser, the State can play a significant positive role in the marketplace by embedding support for labor rights in the procurement process. Incentivizing labor rights compliance has positive ripple effects in the market, since most State contractors also work in other lines of business. Sustaining and strengthening labor rights enforcement also has positive economic impacts, by ensuring that wages stay in Alaska and recirculate in the state economy.
Furthermore, research data of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the United States Department of Labor enforcement records demonstrate that labor rights abuses are associated with higher rates of workplace injuries. Such abuses reduce working families’ economic security, undermine the solvency of vital safety programs like workers’ compensation, and can put the State at financial risk. Therefore, this Order will establish a process that continues to promote compliance with State and federal labor laws through the use of State procurement procedures and market participation.
To further the objectives and purposes set out above, I order the following:
Consistent with relevant statutory authority, the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Commissioner of the Department of Administration shall propose regulations regarding the State procurement process that, to the maximum extent possible, promote compliance with State and federal labor, workplace safety, and tax laws. In developing these regulations, these Commissioners shall consult the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
The regulations should focus on ways to increase compliance with the Alaska Occupational and Safety and Health Administration laws, Alaska Wage and Hour Act, Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Little-Davis Bacon Act, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, National Labor Relations Act, and employment security tax laws. The Department of Administration also should consider proposing regulations to address debarment and suspension of contractors who have been found to have committed serious violations of workplace safety and labor laws.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 27th day of July, 2017.