The New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a survey soliciting comments from the construction community addressing the potential use of government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) for three large scale construction contracts totaling about $200 million at West Point in Orange County, NY.
All ABC members, employees and construction industry stakeholders are encouraged to respond to the request for information. Tell the USACE that government-mandated PLAs injure competition, increase costs, and will not advance 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 other federal projects in the West Point and Orange County, NY area and other markets in the region.
TheTruthAboutPLAs.com wrote in September of 2010 about how two Congressman from New York have been pressuring the USACE to mandate PLAs on West Point construction projects. Give it a read, as it illustrates how government-mandated PLAs are spawned by the desire to reward special interests with lucrative federal contracts, rather than creating sound public policy that will deliver to taxpayers the best possible construction project at the best possible price.
UPDATE: The USACE has not mandated PLAs on any of these three construction projects.
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, 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 important. 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.
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