We look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, we experienced an increased emphasis on big data, insider threat, merging technology with health care, and the internet of things, among others.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the Beltway for insight on the direction they see the government contracting community heading in 2018. Topics discussed include M&A activity, public/private sector collaboration, cloud computing, the incoming millennial workforce in defense/IT/healthcare, talent retention and more.
Second in the series is Kay Curling, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Salient CRGT. Curling defines, develops and implements the company’s strategic human resource initiatives. Here are her insights:
All C-level executives in our industry are increasingly spending more of their time dealing with the impact of new, and often burdensome, government regulations. While the intent of new regulation is often to minimize risk, provide parity and/or transparency, the impact can include expensive data, systems and reporting changes along with complex communications to impacted parties within the organization.
As an example, the rise of paid sick leave both at the state and municipal level has multinational employers struggling with adhering to the patchwork quilt of varying laws and regulations. While relief may come in the form of new federal programs such as the one introduced Nov. 2, 2017 by Republicans Waters (Calif.), Stefanik (N.Y.) and McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) or those proposed by the Society for Human Resource Management, the impact of adding an ERISA plan to the benefit offering is not without cost.
Paid sick leave is a single example of the increasing state and local regulatory environment. Add wage and hour regulations, pay equity, drug testing restrictions, background investigations and others to the mix and you begin to see the tsunami of compliance complexity being imposed on our businesses.
The Trump presidency issued early guidance through two executive orders (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs and Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda) whose intentions are to reduce new regulations and costs by requiring the repeal and cost reduction of older regulations.
Through newly appointed regulatory reform officers and task forces, federal agencies are reviewing and recommending changes to existing regulation with the hope of reducing costs and creating jobs.
Several federal agency regulations are on hold with action and/or clarifications anticipated in 2018 including overtime regulations, fiduciary rule regulations, EEO-1 and equal pay regulations, Affordable Care Act regulations and reporting, immigration rules and regulations, etc.
The flip side of the question is what excites me the most: the belief that we can achieve fairness and parity in business without overregulation. As federal agency leads are appointed and begin their work, we should begin to see their priorities in terms of workplace policies.
Time will tell how all of this plays out, but change is surely coming. HR, contracting, finance and legal teams will have a busy year translating new laws and regulations into workplace policies and procedures.
There’s never a dull moment in government contracting!