With fall in the air in Washington, D.C., our thoughts turn (naturally) to lobbying. On October 25, the American Translators Association (ATA) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS) held the first-ever Translation Advocacy Day. Fifty delegates went to more than 75 meetings on Capitol Hill, to argue for better federal contracting policies, improvements to the prevailing wage calculations made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and clear federal guidance on the use of raw machine translation in language access. The position papers prepared by JNCL-NCLIS are posted to the ATA website:
With regard to federal contracting, we are supporting efforts to restrict the Department of Defense's use of lowest-price, technically acceptable, and reverse auctions in the procurement of professional services, including language services. A section was added to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to that effect (read about it here), and it will be strengthened in 2018.
On the employee classification front, we still await Senate confirmation of Cheryl Stanton as the director of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Our collective state-level messaging and the hard grassroots work being done by a great many ALC member companies across the country will feed into this effort.
Finally, as always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. I look forward to seeing you at the UNConference in Amelia Island!
With Best Wishes,
Executive Director, JNCL-NCLIS