On behalf of, SMACNA of Western Oklahoma, I submit these comments in support of the reformed Davis Bacon Act regulations that will modernize the nation’s prevailing wage law.
From decades of experience SMACNA member firms understand the merit in a public procurement policy that encourages employers to provide a skilled workforce, quality wages, benefits, and training. Therefore, we applauded the U.S. Department of Labor on March 18, 2022, when it issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), to make necessary and long overdue reforms, such as restoring the “30 percent rule” to the existing wage determination process.
The Davis-Bacon reform proposal includes many SMACNA – endorsed revisionsoffered to the DOL over decades of advocacy. Most of the key proposals would reverse harmful and misguided regulatory changes that were crafted to largely undermine the Act and its statutory protections.
SMACNA supported reforms include:
- Definition of Prevailing Wage – reverses an outdated administrative interpretation of the definition of prevailing wage to modernize the definition of “building or work”.
- Federal Project Data – revises when survey data from federal or federally assisted building and residential projects are subject to Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements.
- Use and Effectiveness of Wage Determinations – requires the most recent version of any applicable wage determination must be incorporated when a contract or order is changed.
- Debarment – proposes a series of needed revisions to DOL’s debarment regulations.
- Requiring Federal Agencies to Report Planned Construction for an additional two years.
SMACNA member companies and chapters also support providing substantial resources to the Wage and Hour Division’s contract monitoring and wage survey effort to sustain this long overdue program reform. Submitting bid packages on federal construction with substandard wages drives down the quality of bidding firms to include those unable to perform on complex, high-value projects.
The endorsed enhancements should greatly improve the overall efficiency of the Act, its enforcement, and ensure that wages remain current. Further, the reforms would invigorate the registered apprentice program to grow the nation’s skilled workforce at a time of widespread skilled labor shortages.
In conclusion, SMACNA of Western Oklahoma endorses the Wage and Hour Division’s important and necessary regulatory reforms to the Davis-Bacon Act as outlined above.