United States Army Corps of Engineers Requests Information on Project Labor Agreements

1 October 25, 2010  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently issued three surveys requesting information about the potential use of controversial government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on construction projects in the Savannah, Georgia district; at Fort Campbell in Kentucky; and at the Newtown/Bridgeport Armed Forces Reserve Center in Danbury, Connecticut.

All ABC members, employees and construction community stakeholders are encouraged to respond to the requests for information and tell the USACE that government-mandated PLAs injure competition, increase costs, and will not advance economy and efficiency in government contracting.

Stakeholders that participate on projects in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama may want to respond to the Savannah request for information by the Oct. 29 deadline.  Contractors in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan may want to respond to the Fort Campbell survey, which is due Nov. 1 by 1:00 p.m. (EST), and contractors in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island may want to respond to the Newtown/Bridgeport Armed Forces Reserve Center survey, which is due Nov. 4 by 1:00 p.m. (EST).

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.

In response to the USACE Honolulu District’s Sept. 24 request for information about PLAs on large scale construction projects (exceeding $25 million) within the State of Hawaii (Sources Sought Notice W9128A-PLA-INFO), ABC National sent an Oct. 18 letter in opposition to government-mandated PLAs on USACE projects in Hawaii.

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 illegal 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. The survey results are an important source of information used to determine whether a PLA is appropriate for a federal project.

Construction stakeholders interested in responding to these surveys should review the Oct. 18 letter to the USACE Honolulu District office as well as additional resources linked after the jump.

UPDATE: Here are ABC National’s responses to the USACE’s RFI on PLAs in various markets:

For contractors, taxpayers and construction professionals unfamiliar with the problems with federal PLAs and regulations implementing President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502, below are links to ABC National comments, which may be helpful information for contractors to review before responding to the USACE PLA survey.

The blog post, “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.

On April 21, 2010, ABC National released, “The Final Rule Implementing the PLA Executive Order: Why it Should Be Challenged” by ABC general council Maurice Baskin, Esp., Venable LLP.  This document argues that the Obama Administration’s actions and the FAR Council’s final rule violate federal procurement laws; discriminate against 85 percent of the construction industry workforce and many small businesses; and hurt taxpayers.

Here is a blog post about this document.

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.

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