Infrastructure

November 13, 2015


As previously reported by AGC, the Bipartisan Budget Act was a two-year budget agreement that Present Obama signed into law on Nov. 2. The bill included a provision that repeals the prohibition against adjusting the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalties for inflation.  Unlike other similar federal civil penalties – which are covered by the Federal Civil Penalties Adjustment Act of 1990 – the OSHA civil penalties have been explicitly exempted from inflation since 1990.  This means that OSHA penalties will now increase for the first time in 25 years.

November 13, 2015

AGC Federal Procurement Priorities to Become Law

Both the House (last week) and Senate (this week) overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2016 (NDAA Bill), a bill the president vetoed just two weeks ago. The president is expected to sign the bill into law as a result of the bipartisan budget agreement reached two weeks ago. Compared to the vetoed version of the bill, this NDAA bill has slightly lower levels of spending for Department of Defense programs.

November 13, 2015

AGC was instrumental in advancing the debate for a private activity bond (PAB) provision during the debate on the surface transportation reauthorization and funding measure last week in the House. The Performance Based Building Coalition is promoting the creation for a new category of Exempt Facility Bonds for public buildings (e.g. courthouses and universities) that would utilize public-private partnerships (P3s) to advance public projects and unlock the doors for private investment in our nation’s public building infrastructure.

October 30, 2015

Extension Through Nov. 20

This week saw significant progress in moving a multi-year highway & transit bill.  Following passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA) in the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last week, the full House is expected to consider the bill next week.

October 29, 2015
  Recently, AGC sent letters opposing the possible use of a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate posted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC) and the General Services Administration Mid-Atlantic Region (GSA). The letters address the possible use of mandatory PLAs involving the construction of the Special Operations Forces Logistics Support Unit One Operations Facility at the Navy’s Silver Strand Training Complex in Imperial Beach, California and a Measurement Systems Laboratory at the NASA Langley Research Center located in Hampton, Virginia.
October 15, 2015

Visit AGC’s Action Center at www.agc.org/TakeAction

One of the numerous issues AGC is working on in the highway & transit bill is to provide some relief from hours of service restrictions on construction industry drivers.  For the past 20 years, current law has provided a limited construction industry exemption which has had no negative impact on driver safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently provided an additional similar exemption for certain construction material deliveries. AGC is seeking to modernize the existing exemption to meet the challenges of construction material and equipment delivery.

October 9, 2015

The House and Senate approved the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes several AGC-supported procurement reforms. Those reforms:

October 9, 2015

Positive Change Stemming from AGC Legislative Action

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a proposed rule that would allow prime contractors to count lower-tier, small business subcontracts towards their small business subcontracting goals. Currently, prime contractors can only take credit for their small business subcontracts at the first tier. This proposed rule will allow prime contractors to take credit for such subcontracts—above $650,000—at any tier to meet such goals.  

October 8, 2015

AGC Legislative Success Begins Implementation Process

The FAR Council released a proposed rule that would help limit the number of short-listed design-build teams to no more than five during a two-step design-build procurement through federal agencies. The proposed rule takes a two-pronged approach to implementing this policy. First, for contracts at or below $4 million, contracting officers will have to document their reasons for including more than five teams on the short-list. Second, for contracts above $4 million, contracting officers will not only have to provide such documentation to include more than five teams, but also have approval from the head of the contracting agency—i.e., Chief of Engineers at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—to include more than five teams on the short-list.

October 8, 2015

Prohibits Reverse Auctions for Construction Services Contracts

This week, Sens. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced and passed legislation out of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee that would help prohibit federal agencies from conducting reverse auctions for construction services contracts. A reverse auction is a procurement process through which contractors bid down price—and can see others’ bids—for a good or service contract in real time. Many federal agencies use reverse auctions to procure non-variable commodities like pens and paper. However, several federal agencies also use reverse auctions to procure construction services, which are inherently variable based on the project, site location and construction professionals.

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