Sec. NNNN-1. 5 MRSA c. 155, sub-c. I-B is enacted to read:
STATE PURCHASING CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SUPPLIERS OF APPAREL, FOOTWEAR OR TEXTILES
§1825-K. Application of state purchasing code of conduct to certain bidders seeking contracts as part of competitive bid process; affidavit required
This subchapter applies to competitive bids for sale of apparel, footwear or textiles pursuant to subchapter I-A. The State Purchasing Agent may not accept a bid for the sale of goods covered by this subchapter unless the bidder has filed with the agent a signed affidavit stating that the bidder will comply with the state purchasing code of conduct established under section 1825-L and that, to the best of the bidder's knowledge, the supplier at the point of assembly of the goods subject to the bid process is in compliance with the state purchasing code of conduct. The State Purchasing Agent shall make a copy of the state purchasing code of conduct available to all bidders.
§1825-L. State purchasing code of conduct
1. Statement of belief; protection of local interests. The affidavit provided by the State Purchasing Agent to bidders for contracts to provide goods covered by this subchapter must include a copy of the following statement:
"Maine is a state that believes employers should fairly compensate hard work, that the health and safety of working people should be protected and that no form of unlawful discrimination or abuse should be tolerated. Maine citizens are aware that laws and regulations designed to safeguard basic tenets of ethical business practice are disregarded in many workplaces, commonly referred to as "sweatshops." State Government purchase of goods made under abusive conditions on behalf of its citizens offends Maine citizens' sense of justice and decency. Moreover, when the State of Maine contracts with vendors whose suppliers profit by providing substandard wages and working conditions, Maine's businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage. Therefore, the State of Maine believes in doing business with vendors who make a good faith effort to ensure that they and their suppliers at the point of assembly adhere to the principles of the State of Maine's purchasing code of conduct.
"In its role as a market participant that procures goods covered by this code, the State of Maine seeks to protect the interests of Maine citizens and businesses by exercising its state sovereignty to spend Maine citizens' tax dollars in a manner consistent with their expressed wishes that the State deal with responsible bidders who seek contracts to supply goods to the State of Maine, and protect legally compliant Maine businesses and workers from unfair competition created by downward pressure on prices and conditions attributable to businesses that violate applicable workplace laws.
"Seeking to protect these local interests through the least discriminatory means available, the State of Maine requires that all bidders seeking contracts to supply the State of Maine with goods covered by this code sign an affidavit stating that they and, to the best of their knowledge, their suppliers at the point of assembly comply with workplace laws of the vendor's or supplier's site of assembly and with treaty obligations that are shared by the United States and the country in which the goods are assembled."
2. Employment and business conduct; requirements. With respect to goods covered by this subchapter, a company contracting with the State to supply those goods shall adopt and adhere to employment and business practices in accordance with this subsection. A company shall:
A. Comply with all applicable wage, health, labor, environmental and safety laws, legal guarantees of freedom of association, building and fire codes and laws relating to discrimination in hiring, promotion or compensation on the basis of race, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or affiliation with any political, nongovernmental or civic group except when federal law precludes the State from attaching the procurement conditions provided in this subchapter.
B. Comply with all human and labor rights treaty obligations that are shared by the United States and the country in which the goods are assembled. These may include obligations with regard to forced labor, indentured labor, slave labor, child labor, involuntary prison labor, physical and sexual abuse and freedom of association.
3. Consequences of noncompliance with purchasing code of conduct. Upon determination of a violation of the state purchasing code of conduct by a vendor or vendor's supplier at the point of assembly of a good covered by this subchapter, the State, through the State Purchasing Agent, shall inform the vendor and engage in discussions with the vendor about the violation. The purpose of the discussions is to work in partnership with the vendor to influence the vendor to change its practices or to use its bargaining position with the offending supplier to change its practices, rather than to cease doing business with the vendor or supplier. The State Purchasing Agent shall prescribe appropriate measures for the vendor to take in order to comply with the code of conduct. These steps may include, but are not limited to:
A. Requesting disclosure of names and addresses of suppliers at the point of assembly and suppliers' working conditions;
B. Requesting that suppliers at the point of assembly provide access to independent human rights monitors; and
C. Requesting that suppliers at the point of assembly offer their workers the training and guidelines necessary to bring the workplace into compliance with the state purchasing code of conduct.
In making a determination of a violation of the purchasing code of conduct, the State Purchasing Agent shall take into account all relevant, reliable information available, including but not limited to information provided by the vendor or the supplier at the point of assembly, reports from reputable national and international organizations, documented media reports and creditable information provided from local groups or organizations.
The State Purchasing Agent may accept and award a bid to a supplier who has not met the requirements provided in section 1825-K if, after reasonable investigation by the State Purchasing Agent, it appears that the required unit or item of supply or brand of that unit or item, is procurable by the State from only that supplier.
§1825-N. Support to suppliers of goods and services
The State Purchasing Agent shall provide to bidders and those who have been awarded contracts resources to assist with compliance with the state purchasing code of conduct established in this subchapter. These resources must include a list, easily accessed by the public, of bidders and vendors who have adopted the state purchasing code of conduct.
The State Purchasing Agent shall adopt rules under this subchapter governing the award of bids. Those rules must include specific guidelines for vendors to follow in order to comply with the state purchasing code of conduct and criteria for seeking disclosure of names and addresses of vendors' suppliers and suppliers' working conditions.
Rules adopted under this section are major substantive rules as defined in chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
By January 15th of each year, the State Purchasing Agent shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters concerning the administrative and fiscal impact of the requirement that vendors comply with the state purchasing code of conduct; the degree of voluntary compliance with the state purchasing code of conduct; the number of vendors who agreed to and the number that declined to comply with the provisions of this subchapter; and any other information relevant to the state purchasing code of conduct.
Sec. NNNN-2. Appropriation. The following funds are appropriated from the General Fund to carry out the purposes of this Part.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF
Division of Purchases
Positions - Legislative Count (1.000) (1.000)
Personal Services $18,210 $25,850
All Other 41,370 15,900
Provides funds for the salary, fringe benefits, overhead and one-time start-up costs of a 30-hour per week Procurement and Contracting Specialist position and for consulting services to evaluate major contracts and provide state and vendor training, development of a publicly accessible site on the Internet, and required upgrades to the current purchasing system.
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE
AND FINANCIAL SERVICES ____________ ____________
TOTAL $59,580 $41,750
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