The governor of Ohio issued an executive order prohibiting use of public funds for outsourcing. Seems like a no brainer right? Don't use our taxpayer dollars to offshore outsource our jobs? Believe this or not, use of our money to offshore outsource our jobs happens every day, from food stamp and unemployment support to large software design projects. Yet as a result of an investigative journalism piece, Ohio, finally, does the right thing.
Columbus, Ohio--Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today issued an executive order that prohibits the expenditure of public funds for services provided offshore.
"Outsourcing jobs does not reflect Ohio values," Strickland said. "Ohioans have been among the hardest hit by more than a decade of unfair trade agreements and the trickle-down economic policies that promoted offshoring jobs at the expense of Ohioans who work for a living. We must do everything within our power to prevent outsourcing jobs because it undermines our economic development objectives, slows our recovery and deprives Ohioans and other Americans of employment opportunities."
"Ohio's policy has been--and must continue to be--that public funds should not be spent on services provided offshore," Strickland says in the order. "Throughout my Administration, procurement procedures have been in place that restrict the purchase of offshore services. Despite these requirements, federal stimulus funds were recently used to purchase services from a domestic company which ultimately provided some of those services offshore. This incident was unacceptable and has caused me to redouble my commitment to ensure that public funds are not expended for offshore services."
Seems the State awarded a stimulus contract to support the appliance rebate program. As a result the contractor hired a bunch of El Salvadorians who also were gathering personal, sensitive financial data from Ohioans.
In March, the Department of Development awarded a $357,300 contract to Parago Inc. of Texas to administer the $11 million rebate program, which rewarded consumers with federal stimulus dollars when they bought energy-efficient appliances.
Parago never told the state that it would use a foreign call center, and the state did not require the information with bids. State officials learned about the call center from an Ohio resident who asked a call center employee where the operation was.
Below is a video report from local Columbus Ohio station NBC4i:
Any local news could find state contracts where the jobs are offshore outsourced by skimming the surface of the public records. That's if they bothered.
While this is one, just how much of Stimulus dollars alone, never mind the routine offshore outsourcing of other state and federal contracts, have been creating jobs...in other countries instead of in the United States?
More importantly, why are not other states banning the use of public funds for offshore outsourcing?