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The Obama administration has attempted to impose increased burdens on federal government contractors via policies that needlessly injure competition, increase taxpayer costs, stifle job creation, and delay the delivery of goods and services to the government and its customers. The most abusive federal contracting policies affecting the construction industry are the administration’s continued efforts to expand the use of project labor agreements and the expanded enforcement of “prevailing wage” requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act.

See below for the latest news, legislative action, regulatory developments and compliance tools for hot button issues in federal, state and local procurement.

SBA Adjusts Monetary-Based Small Business Size Standards For Construction

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an interim final rule June 12 that will adjust monetary-based small business size standards to account for inflation. The rule will go into effect July 14 and the SBA is accepting comments from the public until August 11. 

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Proposal on Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Moves Forward

On June 17, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division issued a proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13658, which would establish a minimum wage for federal contractors. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the executive order will require the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing on covered federal contracts to be $10.10 per hour. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the executive order allows the minimum wage to be determined annually by the Secretary of Labor. Comments on the proposal are due July 17, 2014.

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DOL’s Latest Regulatory Agenda Highlights Apprenticeship, Affirmative Action, Overtime

In addition to providing updates on numerous OSHA rulemakings and the controversial proposal to narrow the “advice” exemption for persuaders and other labor relations advisors, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released updated timeframes for pending rules addressing apprenticeship, affirmative action and the classification of independent contractors. In addition, the agency laid out for the first time its plan to issue a new proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility.

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Federal Contracting

The Obama administration has attempted to impose increased burdens on federal government contractors via executive actions that needlessly restrain competition, increase taxpayer costs, stifle job creation, and delay the delivery of goods and services to the government and its customers.

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What Are Public-Private Partnerships?

Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) are defined by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) as: “a contractual arrangement whereby the resources, risks and rewards of both the public agency and private company are combined to provide greater efficiency, better access to capital, and improved compliance with a range of government regulations regarding the environment and workplace.”

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ABC Concerned Senate Water Resource Bill will Expand Davis Bacon, Exclude P3s

In response to the House-Senate Conference meeting on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (H.R. 3080) and the Water Resources Development Act (S. 601), ABC Jan. 7 sent a letter to members of Congress thanking them for recognizing the importance of our nation’s water infrastructure and for moving forward with the first Water Resource Reauthorization bill since 2007. However, ABC also expressed concern that the proposed Senate bill would expand Davis Bacon requirements and exclude a public-private partnership (P3s) program.

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Join ABC At The P3 Conference In Dallas Feb. 24-25, 2014

Join ABC and a growing list of industry peers, Feb. 24-25, 2014, in Dallas for the annual Public-Private Partnership Conference. Hundreds of developers, public-planners and A/C/E experts from across the country will be in attendance to discover opportunities to partner with cities, states and local agencies. 

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Experts Discuss P3s and Maryland’s New Law June 27

During a public-private partnership conference June 27 in Linthicum, Md., experts on P3s gathered to discuss their advantages, how they can provide savings over the long-term and Maryland’s new P3 law (H.B. 560) that went into effect July 1. 

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ABC is Vehemently Opposed to Regulations Creating Blacklists of Companies

ABC is vehemently opposed to regulations which, in effect, create a “blacklist” of companies and other employers who are alleged to have “unsatisfactory” labor and employment policies and practices. “Persuasive evidence,” including alleged violations of a contractor's lack of compliance with tax laws, or substantial noncompliance with antitrust, labor employment, worker safety, environmental or consumer protection laws may cause a prospective contractor to be denied a federal contract.

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a proposal to require federal contractors to certify that they and their subcontractors are in full compliance with all labor laws and agree to report future violations, or risk “corrective action.” The rule also would have forced contractors to notify the government of mere allegations of wrongdoing, under penalty of “corrective action.” In January 2012, due to strong opposition by ABC and other federal contractor representatives, USDA withdrew the rule.

USDA Withdraws Procurement Rule Reminiscent of Clinton-Era Blacklisting Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it is withdrawing a Dec. 1 direct final rule that would have altered the USDA’s procurement policies to require federal contractors to certify that they, as well as their subcontractors and suppliers, were in compliance with all applicable labor laws. 

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