The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently issued three surveys requesting information from the construction industry on potential project labor agreement (PLA) mandates for USACE construction projects in Louisiana, Nebraska and Hawaii.
A May 4 survey issued by USACE asks for feedback on a PLA mandate for the VOLAR Barracks renovation in Fort Polk, Louisiana. Responses should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 13.
The USACE’s Omaha district is asking for feedback on the use of a PLA for a 1 million square-foot building at Offutt Air Force Base. Responses should be no longer than five pages and submitted to email@example.com by May 19.
Finally, the USACE Honolulu District is requesting feedback on the use of a mandatory PLA on phase one of a multi-phased Command and Control Facility for the U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Responses should be sent to POH-CECT@usace.army.mil no later than 1:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time on May 20 and should include the title, “C2F Phase 1 PLA Response.”
All members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and merit shop construction professionals and tradespeople are encouraged to respond to the request for information. Tell the USACE 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 and/or state and local projects in your community.
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.
Over the past year, the USACE has issued dozens of similar surveys requesting information about the potential use of PLAs on construction projects in USACE districts nationwide. ABC National has responded to surveys as they are issued by the USACE on fbo.gov and encourage ABC members to do the same.
Here are ABC National’s responses to the USACE’s recent PLA surveys:
- Letter to USACE Ft. Fort, TX District concerning VOLAR III Barracks and CEP Renovations, Ft. Hood, Texas. (5/12/11) (pdf)
- Letter to USACE New York, concerning$25 million to $50 million Operational Readiness Training Complex (ORTC) project at Fort Drum in Jefferson County, New York. (5/12/11) Survey (pdf).
- Letter to USACE Los Angeles, concerning Luke Air Force Base PLA survey (blog post) (4/26/11)
- Letter to USACE, Louisville, KY District concerning Wright-Patterson AFB PLA (survey) (blog post) (3/22/11).
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Lackland AFB projects (survey) (3/7/11)
- 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 previous letters sent by ABC National to the USACE, which may be helpful information for contractors to review before responding to the USACE PLA survey.
Responding with accurate and timely information is critical and effective. In 2010, the USACE 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.
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