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October 28, 2022

ACEC Comments on Proposed Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects

The FAR Council published a proposed rule implementing Executive Order 14063, which requires Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on federal construction contracts exceeding $35 million. Executive Order 14063 applies to direct federal construction contractors, not Federal-Aid (e.g. federal-aid transportation) contractors. This policy could drive up the costs of projects by the Corps of Engineers, NAVFAC, GSA and others and discourage firms from pursuing federal contracting opportunities.

In comments sent raising ACEC’s concerns, the Council reaffirmed its belief that employees of engineering firms should be excluded from being parties to PLAs. This is essential to avoid conflicts of interest and to protect the public and property from short and long term harm and to prevent negative impacts on the performance, costs, and schedules of projects being implemented.

Employees of engineering firms perform critical roles on construction sites. These include field representatives and surveyors monitoring to ensure that the work is being performed in compliance with design documents. To perform such work, these personnel must remain independent and objective. While this rule is directed at construction labor, its terms do not exclude designers, site engineers, surveyors, and other engineering related site personnel.

ACEC also expressed its concern that an engineer’s quality assurance role risks being compromised if engineering field representatives and surveyors are not specifically excluded from PLA coverage. This quality assurance/quality control process is vital to protect public welfare, safety and health. PLA coverage would likely create a conflict of interest, pitting the field representative’s oversight role against the interests of union members among the construction workers.

ACEC is working with coalition partners in the built environment supporting (H.R. 1284/S.403) the Fair and Open Competition Act, which protects federal construction contracts from government-mandated project labor agreements. 

See our comments here.



All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


October 28, 2022



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