The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently issued surveys requesting information from the construction industry on the potential use of government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on two large-scale projects. The USACE is requesting information on the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and the VA is requesting information on a new parking structure at the VA San Juan Medical Center in Puerto Rico.
All ABC members and construction professionals are encouraged to respond to the request for information. Tell the USACE and the VA that government-mandated PLAs injure competition, increase costs, and will not advance the economy and efficiency in government contracting.
It is important to express your opposition to government-mandated PLAs today before they are mandated or encouraged on future USACE, VA and/or state and local projects in your community.
All surveys regarding the USACE Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio must be submitted to Alisa Marshall by close of business Monday, March 7, 2011. Surveys regarding the parking structure in San Juan should be submitted to Diane Campbell by March 30, 2011.
The USACE and other federal agencies have issued PLA surveys as a result of President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502 and federal regulations implementing the discriminatory and costly order. The order and regulations encourage federal agencies to mandate anti-competitive and costly PLAs on a case-by-case basis on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost. The survey results are an important source of information used to determine whether a PLA is appropriate for federal projects.
In the past few months, the USACE has issued multiple surveys requesting information about the potential use of PLAs on construction projects in numerous USACE districts across the country. ABC National and construction stakeholders and contractors responded to these surveys.
Here are ABC National’s responses to the USACE’s recent PLA surveys:
- Letter to USACE, New York District on multiple projects at West Point in Orange County, NY (2/18/11).
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing projects at White Sands Missile Range, NM (2/3/11).
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Brigade Combat Team Barracks at Fort Jackson, SC (2/3/11).
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning future projects in USACE Ft. Worth District boundaries (12/14/10)
- Letter to USACE Mobile, AL District concerning Ft. Rucker airport hangar and Mobile, AL projects (11/24/10)
- Letter to USACE Honolulu, HI District concerning four projects (11/23/10)
- Letter to USACE Louisville concerning Danbury, CT project (11/4/10)
- Letter to USACE Louisville concerning Ft. Campbell, KY area projects (11/1/10)
- Letter to USACE Savannah District (10/28/10)
For contractors, taxpayers and construction professionals unfamiliar with the problems with federal PLAs and regulations implementing President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502, please review the letters sent by ABC National to the USACE, which may be helpful information for contractors to review before responding to the USACE PLA surveys.
Responding with accurate and timely information is critical and effective. The USACE recently removed government-mandated PLAs from the Army Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, Calif. and the Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Fla. after a strong grassroots response and survey participation from the contracting community. The USACE removed a PLA mandate on the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Camden, N.J. following a legal challenge and robust grassroots response from the construction stakeholders. Similarly, earlier this year the VA recently removed a PLA from the bidding process for the construction of a $50 million VA Research Office Building in Pittsburgh after a legal chalenge and a robust grassroots response from construction stakeholders.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to these surveys. Your responses will help maintain an open and competitive environment that will allow all qualified contractors to fairly compete for contracts to build the best possible construction projects at the best possible price.
Additional helpful links:
- PLA Final Rule Takes Effect Today: Let the Waste, Cronyism and Discrimination Begin(provides a helpful overview about the current state of federal PLAs and the Obama order.)
- Project Labor Agreement Basics: What is a PLA?
- Get the Truth About PLAs
- ABC National’s Main Comments to the FAR Council’s Proposed Rule
- ABC Member Survey/Comment Supplement to Main Comments
- ABC National Comments Specifically Addressing the Regulatory Flexibility Act