The number of line items a procurement professional is expected to include on a supplier audit have certainly grown over the past decade. From sustainability matters to child labor issues to supply risk concerns and so on, you probably feel like you have to look in every corner and under every carpet at suppliers’ facilities to truly confirm that those suppliers are operating acceptably.
Well, another trend will have you investigating a little further.
What is that trend?
The rise in illegal aliens and the attempted crackdown on them.
While part of the problem with illegal aliens is that they receive the benefits of residing in a country without paying taxes, there is also a more direct threat in the business world. These illegal aliens “are taking jobs away from American workers and depressing wages,” according to a quote in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from the Western Pennsylvania administrator for the Foundation for Fair Contracting, Chris Petrone.
This problem is rampant in the construction industry where unsavory companies that hire illegal workers for below minimum wages are, as a result, able to bid on projects at lower prices than contractors who follow the rules can. When buying organizations do not thoroughly investigate these suppliers and award business based on low bid, they contribute to this social problem.
Government agencies are beginning to crack down on these practices. They are using a federal system called E-Verify to confirm that suppliers are employing only legal workers and only contracting with compliant suppliers.
Because the illegal alien issue is such a hot topic, don’t be surprised for this type of investigation to become commonplace in many procurement situations, public and private sector alike.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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