GSA Wasted Millions on Union Handout: Where’s the Outrage?

7 April 10, 2012  Federal Construction

Here are highlights from the GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita’s attempt to explain the GSA’s PLA preference policy before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee from a previous blog post:

Drawing from his experience bidding on projects in the private sector prior to becoming a Congressman, Rep. Mike Kelly (R.-Pa.) argued that the GSA’s PLA preference discourages some contractors from competing for federal contracts by tilting the RFP process in favor of contractors submitting PLA offers.

“A 10 percent bonus doesn’t level the playing field, that totally tilts it,” said Kelly. “You set those type of parameters [in GSA RFPs], you are setting them to get one type of a bidder to get the award.”

“I see it as exclusionary,” said Kelly. “I don’t see it as increasing the field of bidders, I see it as narrowing it down.”

Chairman Lankford and Kelly questioned Brita about the findings of a consultant’s report funded by the GSA that was critical of government-mandated PLAs on construction projects in the GSA’s PLA pilot program in various construction markets across the country.

Brita’s testimony indicated the consultant’s Jan. 27, 2010, report was “suspended” and only remains in draft form. Brita said it was shelved to “let the marketplace determine the applicability of PLAs rather than rely on the report.”

Chairman Lankford and Kelly suggested the report was suspended because its initial findings contradicted the GSA’s existing PLA pilot program, which had already been well underway since its launch in August 2009.

“It seems to me that the information they [the GSA] got back is not consistent with what they were looking to find,” said Kelly.

In addition, subcommittee members and witnesses raised objections to the GSA’s April 2010 implementation of the anti-competitive and discriminatory PLA preference policy that awards additional credit to PLA offerors since the GSA’s report was critical of PLAs in various markets across the country.

Note: This exchange between Kelly and Brita summarizes the problems with the GSA’s PLA preference policy.

GSA PLA Policy Created Delays
So much for government-mandated PLAs delivering efficiency in government contracting.

The GSA Headquarters at 1800 F Street in Washington, D.C., suffered delays as a result of the local building trades council unions refusing to agree to the terms of a PLA the contractor presented and signed with the carpenters union, which is not represented by the local construction trade union council.  Contentious PLA negotiations are commonplace when government entities require firms to negotiate a PLA with unions post contract award. Unions know the project cannot proceed without a PLA, so they refuse to make concessions.  The dispute delayed the project by months and refuted the common pro-PLA claim that these schemes deliver coordination and efficiency in contracting. Susan Brita talks about it here.

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7 Responses to GSA Wasted Millions on Union Handout: Where’s the Outrage?

Stanley McCumber April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

When you own a grocery store and find out someone is giving free groceries to the customer they are not only FIRED, but put in JAIL, along with who ever they gave the merchandise to as well as made to make restitution. What makes these people any better than any other THIEF..?????? THIEF????..THIEF???..

areopagitica April 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Only 300 and not 3000 carousers on the taxpayer’s nickel? What pikers! This was
a pretty small offense compared to recent
outrages. The root of the matter is why we
have allowed public service unionization, a
monopoly of special interests against the
general interests of citizens and taxpayers.
The Union has shown us their gratitude in
the Wisconsin rioting, the petition stuffing
and nuisance recall elections and Occupy.
Now our answer has to be a pushback on all the union supported candidacies anyplace, until sanity and solvency can if ever return.

openureyes April 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm

On noes GSA violated this, GSA violated that. Were any of you people around during the Carter/Regan years or even remember? Corruption happens everywhere. Look at the FBI/CIA.

joe workerman May 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

pla`s and prevailing wage are very good for worker,and also no company is forced to double pay for benefits,out right lie.heres how i see it,workers are paid a livable wage,so all contractors are on a even field there,now they must cut other waste,like high ceo salaries and office waste,and bid the lowest,without taking it out of the actual workers pay,and workers are only 13% union,because it is impossible to organize a company,it takes years and all the pro-union workers are fired by the time the vote comes around,these are the facts,no non-union worker in the construction trades make more than a union worker,and a union worker only makes a fair wage,they are not getting rich,ceo`s used to make 30X a wokers pay in the 70`s,now it is 30,000x`s,pla`s seem fair now,and i am a republican,but as union membership went down,so did the middle class`s salaries,these are the facts,very simple,and you can`t deny anything i said,check the statistics to see if i`m lying,union yes,obama no

joe workerman May 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

pla`s are good for the worker,and no emplyer is made to pay double benefits,simple lie.pla`s are good for worker and fair for companies,because there labor costs are all the same,now they have to find another way to be the lowest bidder,besides just cutting the labor costs,like cutting the waste in the ceo`s pay and the office workers`s pay used to be 30x the workers pay in the `70`s,now it is 30,000x.fact,and no union worker is getting rich off of their union wage,it is just a livable wage,any worker who is in a union makes more than their non-union conter-parts,the reason union membership is down is because of companies shipping there jobs overseas.90& of workers would love to make prevailing wage,which is what the government says a person should make for there trade to live above the poverty line,who would not want that,most people who are non-union make about a third of prevailing wage.the reason more workers aren`t union now,is because of how hard republicans have changed the NLRB`s laws on unionizing,it favors big corps.with the decline in union membership,the decline in the middleclass has followed directly,check all the statistics i have quoted and see if i am lying,the hardest thing is to organize a company,it takes years to get a vote,and all pro-union workers are fired by the timethe vote happens and everyone else is scared by then,these are the facts,people who knew the truth would want to be union,but it`s to hard,UNITED WE BARGAIN,DIVIDED WE BEG!!! why do corps hate unions so much,that tells you it is good for worker,they like their “open door” policy,if you don`t like it here,the door is open,to leave! wake up america,what`s wrong with a worker having a say in their job and some security,and a contract,you have a contract for everything else from corps,even for your cell phone,your car,your home,but they don`t want you to have one for your work and compensation,scumbags

Nicola Cifaretto May 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

NOT Good at All
If I wanted a union rep as my community organizer I would have voted for tNot Good at All
If I wanted a union rep as my community organizer I would have voted for the great campaigner
Please don’t fall into the trap of “getting along” You promised as a christen (not like Obama) to serve all of the people not a selected group, selected by Obahma,
Do what’s right even if it costs you your seat. You will then be able to look your kids in the eye.
Your pension and financial well being are already established. Now complete the establishment of your integrity.
Nicola Cifaretto, Lavallette, NJ
he great campainger

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