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February 25, 2011

Gray Administration to Cite 22 Contractors For First Source Non-Compliance 

Gray Administration to Cite 22 Contractors For First Source Non-Compliance

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(Washington, DC) –Victor L. Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and Dr. Rochelle L. Webb, Acting Director of the Department of Employment Services (DOES) today announced that the Gray Administration is referring 22 contractors for non-compliance of their First Source Employment Agreements to the Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) for assessment of penalties. Five non-compliant contractors are still under review for referral to OCP.

The First Source Program, administered by DMPED and DOES ensures that projects developed in whole, or in part, with District of Columbia funds, or with other funds which the District administers, give priority to District residents for newly created jobs. All beneficiaries of contractual agreements totaling $100,000 or more are required to enter into a First Source Agreement with the District by which 51 percent of new hires must be DC residents. In addition, contractual beneficiaries must utilize DOES as a first source for recruitment, referral, and placement of employees.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray believes that the District’s First Source law has been “mismanaged, abused, and ignored.”

The Mayor’s office will be issuing letters of non-compliance to the 22 contractors indicating that they are being referred to OCP for penalties. After the letters are sent, DOES will send a recommendation to OCP to assess the penalties. Per the current legislation, OCP will determine whether the contractors have willfully breached the employment agreement, failed to submit the contract compliance report, or deliberately submitted falsified data. Based on that determination, OCP will decide whether to impose any penalties.

In order to more effectively assist District residents in obtaining gainful employment, the Gray Administration has made, and continues to make, numerous infrastructure changes to the First Source program. An electronic compliance database has been launched that will enable First Source employers to enter compliance data electronically. The database will allow DOES to capture First Source data in a timely manner, track employers’ performance and new hires, and improve DOES’ ability to identify non-compliant employers.

“The Mayor takes First Source compliance very seriously,” said Dr. Webb. “In order to move forward as One City, we need to hold contractors to their legal obligations to hire D.C. residents and expand our capacity to match District residents with First Source jobs.”

The DC Council recently initiated a proposal to strengthen the current First Source law. Mayor Gray will be releasing a proposal in the coming weeks that will provide attractive incentives for companies doing business in the District to hire D.C. residents.

For more information about the First Source Program, please contact Stephanie Reich at stephanie.reich2@dc.gov.