Combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Compliance Plan

PURPOSE

As outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 52.222-50) and Executive Order 13627 Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, Blackfish Solutions, LLC (“BFS”) is required to develop and maintain a compliance plan during the performance of contract(s) or subcontract(s) that is appropriate for the size and complexity of the contract or subcontract and the nature and scope of the activities performed, including the risk that the contract or subcontract will involve services or supplies susceptible to trafficking. This document represents BFS’ compliance plan and must be provided to the contracting officer upon request. Additionally, relevant contents of the plan will be posted on our website.

INTRODUCTION

Blackfish Solutions, LLC (“BFS”) stands firmly against human trafficking and forced labor in any form. BFS is committed to raising awareness and thereby reducing the risk of human trafficking and forced labor in every aspect of our organization. BFS is fully aware and fully supports the US Government’s zero-tolerance policy in connection to any Government employees, contractors, personnel, and their agents engaging in any form of trafficking in persons.

Trafficking in persons has been defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, debt bondage or slavery and sex trafficking to include but not limited to, procuring commercial sex acts”. BFS strongly opposes any form of prostitution and related activities because these activities are inherently harmful, dehumanizing, and contribute to human trafficking.

 

APPLICABILITY

BFS’ employees, sub-subcontractors, and agents are required to comply with the provisions contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, 52.222-50 (Combating Trafficking in Persons) and with any other applicable State, Local and International law to combat and prevent the same as applicable.

With respect to entities that BFS neither wholly owns nor controls, but in which BFS owns a substantial interest, BFS will communicate an expectation that the entity will adopt this compliance program.

BFS’ Trafficking in Persons (“TIP”) policy does not distinguish between severe and non-severe forms of TIP activities, and therefore its employees are held to the highest standards.  BFS employees are prohibited from engaging in or supporting any form of trafficking.

 

DEFINED TERMS

Personnel/Employees – A directly hired individual of the Contractor engaged in the performance of work under the contract who has other than a minimal impact or involvement in contract performance.

Subcontractor – Any supplier, distributor, vendor, or firm that furnishes supplies or services to or for a prime contractor or another subcontractor.

Agent – Any individual, including a director, officer, an employee, or independent contractor, authorized to act on behalf of the organization.

Commercial Sex Act – Any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any persons in especially while in the performance of the contract.

PILLARS OF COMPLIANCE PLAN

  1. Awareness & Training
  2. Recruitment
  3. Wage Plan
  4. Housing Plan
  5. Reporting
  6. Notification
  7. Supply Chain Accountability
  8. Remedies & Prevention
  9. Periodic Reassessment of the Plan

AWARENESS & TRAINING

All BFS’ employees working under this contract will be required to attend a training event introducing the policy before they can begin to support any work under the contract. As a result of the training, attendees will be able to: (1) define trafficking in person (“TIP”), (2) identify where TIP most frequently occurs around the globe, (3) describe the roles and motivations of the parties involved, (4), understand the legal framework governing TIP, (5) state what INL/WHP clients expect from BFS employees to combat TIP, and (6) know the steps to prevent, recognize, and report trafficking activities.

This training will be offered and renewed on an annual basis and will be mandatory for all employees directly performing work under the contract. Furthermore, the program will be offered in both English and Spanish as it is expected that most of the work under the contract will take place in Latin America. Nonetheless, BFS acknowledges that the contract scope includes other regions of the world and could very well issue a delivery order for an other-than-English or Spanish speaking country. In such event, BFS will work hard to acquire the tools to clearly communicate the policy in the native and/or host-country language.

Upon completion, employees will be required to sign a training completion certificate as evidence and record of their training.  All training will be tracked by the Corporate Program Manager (CPM).  BFS shall post this compliance plan on the BFS website during contract performance and will make this available to the Contracting Officer upon request.

RECRUITMENT

BFS’ Hiring Managers, Recruitment Team, and contract recruitment agencies that support BFS recruitment activities shall adhere to all internal policies (domestic and international) and host-country recruitment standards to combat trafficking in person and trafficking related activities.

BFS prohibits charging of recruitment fees, as defined in FAR 52.222-50, to employees and prospective employees and prohibits the use of any recruitment firms unless the firm’s employees have received training on combating trafficking related activities.  BFS also prohibits the use of any fraudulent or misleading recruitment practices.

All employees shall be presented a written employment contract in the official language of the respective country or in a language the employee understands.

WAGE PLAN

BFS requires that all employee wages must meet or exceed applicable host-country legal requirements and explain any variance. BFS will provide compensation and benefits that comply with country-specific laws and regulations while being competitive with country-specific labor markets and levels of employee performance.

HOUSING PLAN

Should housing be necessary for a respective assignment, adherence to host-country and safety standards is mandatory.

REPORTING

Any credible information received from any source that an employee, subcontractor, subcontractor employee, or agent has violated FAR 52.222-50 must be immediately reported to BFS.

Reporting may be made to any of the following persons as appropriate:

  1. Corporate Program Manager (CPM)
  2. Human Resources Manager
  3. President
  4. Chief Legal Officer (CLO)
  5. Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  6. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  7. The National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, help@befree.org, or through their website at humantraffickinghotline.org/chat.

Should an employee be unsure of what to do in a particular situation or require guidance on any aspect of the policy, they should consult their manager or any of the persons listed above.  Though a report may be provided anonymously, such reports must contain sufficient information to permit the organization to investigate.

Employees are required to report or cooperate in an investigation without fear of retaliation and reprisal. It is a violation of this plan and strictly prohibited for any BFS employee to punish or conduct reprisals against another employee for making a good faith report of, or cooperating in the investigation of, illegals acts or violations of TIP Policy and the Plan.

NOTIFICATION

BFS shall promptly inform the Contracting Officer upon receipt of credible information alleging a violation of FAR 52.222-50 and any actions taken against a BFS employee, subcontractor, subcontractor employee or agent pursuant to FAR 52.222-50.

 

As part of this reporting procedure, BFS is required, upon receipt of credible information alleging a violation of FAR 52.222-50, to inform the Contracting Officer of:

  1. Any credible information it receives from any source, including host country law enforcement, that alleges a Contractor employee, a subcontractor’s employee or their agent has engaged in conduct that violates the policy in paragraph (b) of FAR 52.222.50, and 52.203-13 (b)(3)(i)(A), which requires disclosure to the agency Office of the Inspector General when the Contractor has credible evidence of fraud; and

 

  1. Any action taken against a Contractor employee, subcontractor employee, or their agent pursuant to this clause

SUPPLY CHAIN ACCOUNTABILITY

BFS uses subcontractors during the performance of its contracts and recognizes how they play a vital role in preventing human trafficking and related activities.

 

BFS employs the following multi-pronged approach to mitigate the risk of human trafficking in its supply chain:

 

  1. MONITORING GOVERNMENT DATABASES

BFS will screen all future subcontractors and agents to ensure that they do not appear on the Advance Search Exclusions List in the U.S. Government’s System for Award Management (SAM), the UN Consolidated List, or the OFAC Sanction List (U.S. Department of Treasury).

 

  1. CERTIFICATION

BFS requires all future subcontractors and agents to certify its policies and practices regarding the prohibition in the trafficking of persons, the use of forced labor, or the procuring of commercial sex acts in the country or countries in which it conducts business. If applicable, subcontractors and agents must certify implementation of a compliance plan to prevent any prohibited activities identified in FAR 52.222-50 (b) and to monitor, detect, and terminate any agent, subcontractor or subcontractor employee engaging in prohibited activities after conducting due diligence.

 

Further, all subcontractors and agents must certify that:

  • To the best of the subcontractor or agent’s knowledge, neither it nor any of its agents, subcontractors, or their agents is engaged in any such prohibited activities identified in FAR 52.222.50; and
  • To the best of the subcontractor or agent’s knowledge, they have taken any and all appropriate remedial and referral actions for any abuse found relating to any of the prohibited activities identified in FAR 52.222-50(B)

 

  1. FLOWDOWNS

All applicable FAR and DFARS clauses are flowed down to subcontractors to ensure compliance with this Plan and requirements of prime contracts.

REMEDIES & PREVENTION

BFS will take appropriate action when employees, subcontractors, or agents are found to engage in prohibited conduct, including the remedies specified in FAR 52.222-50. When appropriate or required, BFS will coordinate with the U.S. Government prior to implementation of remedies against subcontractors.

As part of the prevention policy of this plan, employees, subcontractors, and agents who violate the policy or commit illegal acts are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Employees who report their own illegal acts or improper conduct, however, will have such self-reporting taken into account when determining the appropriate disciplinary action.

Appropriate disciplinary action could mean:

  1. Removal of employees from the contract, or requiring the subcontractor/agent to remove a subcontractor employee or employees from the contract
  2. Declining to exercise available option under the contract
  3. Termination of contract for default or cause, in accordance with the termination clause of the contract.

PERIODIC REASSESSMENT OF THE PLAN

BFS will periodically review this Plan.  Additional or different controls and measures will be implemented as required.

REFERENCES