On April 22, 2009, AGC CEO Steve Sandherr and AGC General Counsel Mike Kennedy met with senior acquisition officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss AGC concerns with the Obama Administration’s Executive Order 13502, “Relating to the Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects,” which rescinded the Bush Administrations’ prohibition on Project Labor Agreements.
In a letter sent to EPA on March 3, 2009, AGC noted that the order does not mandate PLAs, rather it merely encourages agencies to consider project labor agreements on a case-by-case basis for projects exceeding $25 million in total cost to the federal government. AGC has outlined numerous concerns with any government mandates that would serve as the functional equivalent of “union only” policies.
In the meeting, EPA acknowledged that it does not directly contract a substantial amount of construction and is not currently exploring the use of PLAs either for its directly procured federal programs such as the Superfund hazardous waste remediation program or in federally-assisted construction programs, such as the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs. EPA officials also indicated that they are waiting for further guidance from the Office of Management and Budget on FAR guidance that will accompany the Executive Order before they make any additional determinations.
AGC will discuss this topic further at the 2009 Federal Contractors Conference during the Federal Owners Advisory Council roundtable discussion. This event features discussions on federal contracting topics with AGC leaders and representatives from 18 federal agencies. In addition to the April 22 meeting with the EPA, AGC has requested one on one meetings with all federal agencies that fund construction activities.