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AGC-Backed Bill to Ensure Fair and Open Competition on Federal Construction Introduced

February 25, 2021

Would Prohibit Government-Mandated PLAs on Federal & Federal-Aid Projects

On February 24, Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Reps. Ted Budd (D-N.C.) and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) introduced the AGC-supported Fair and Open Competition Act (bill numbers pending) that would prohibit government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on direct federal (i.e., projects for federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs) and federal-aid (i.e., federally funded transportation projects for state departments of transportation) construction projects. The bill would not prohibit all PLAs, as a firm could still voluntarily enter into a PLA.

The bill is in response to attempts from federal agencies to encourage or mandate contractors to sign a PLA as a condition of winning a federal or federally assisted construction contract and from implementing a preference policy for bids with a PLA.

Under current procurement policies, federal agencies are encouraged to mandate PLAs on projects valued at $25 million or more. AGC expects additional attempts via legislation or regulation to broaden preferences and mandates to impose more government-mandated PLAs on federal and federally assisted projects in the near future. While AGC supports the Fair and Open Competition Act, it is not expected to legislatively advance given the political dynamics in Congress.

More information on government-mandated PLAs can be found on the AGC website.

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