Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Discouraging Offshore Work - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy

Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Discouraging Offshore Work

The law, signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, makes Tennessee the first state to offer businesses an incentive for not sending data-entry and call-center work out of the country.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Phil Bredesen has signed a law that may have made Tennessee the first state to give businesses an incentive for not outsourcing data-entry and call-center work to cheaper offshore locales.

The new law asks state procurement officials to give preference in bids for such services to contractors employing workers only in the United States. It was approved overwhelmingly by lawmakers last month and signed into law last week.

"It is significant because it is the first time for a state to do preferences for data-entry and call-center work through legislation," said Justin Marks, a policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The bill was filed in response to the growing controversy over outsourcing of white-collar jobs to India and other countries with large populations of educated English speakers willing to work for significantly less money.

Legislatures in 35 states have introduced bills seeking to address the issue, usually by banning the state from contracting with companies planning to employ offshore workers. Intense lobbying by business groups has helped prevent passage of those bills in other states.

Business groups say a ban would be illegal and could prompt other countries to retaliate by preventing U.S. companies from doing business with foreign governments.

The original bill in Tennessee sought to ban the state from contracting with companies employing foreign workers, but it was watered down.

The legislation doesn't affect existing contracts and is vague about how much preference should be given to bidders who hire only U.S. workers, leaving that task to the state's commissioner of finance and administration.

Lola Potter, a spokeswoman for the department, said the most likely answer would be granting extra points to contractors under the scoring system used to determine bid winners.

"We'll have to try to find a way to make that happen," she said.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll