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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: December 16, 2004

SUBJECT: Department of Labor; Service Contract Act Wage Determination OnLine Request Process

SOURCE: Federal Register, December 16, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 241, page 75407

AGENCIES: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor (DOL) Labor

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: DOL is proposing to amend its regulations to allow full implementation of the Wage Determinations OnLine (WDOL) website (http://www.wdol.gov).

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received by January 18, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments on this proposed rule may be submitted by mail or hand-carried to Alfred B. Robinson, Jr., Acting Administrator, Wage and Hour Division (Attention: Office of Wage Determinations), Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3028, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210; on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; by e-mail to WHD-REG-1215-AB47@dol.gov; or by fax: 202-693-1302.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Gross, Director, Office of Wage Determinations, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3028, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210; 202-693-0062.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality as determined by DOL, or the rates contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement. The DOL issues wage determinations on a contract-by-contract basis in response to specific requests from contracting agencies.

DOL's regulations in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4, Labor Standards for Federal Service Contracts, contain the rules related to SCA administration. 29 CFR 4.3, Wage Determinations, and 29 CFR 4.4, Obtaining a Wage Determination, require federal contracting agencies to file a Standard Form (SF) 98, Notice of Intention to Make a Service Contract, with the WHD if the agency believes the contract may be subject to the SCA. The WHD uses contracting agency filings to issue appropriate wage determinations.

The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) requires that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works contain a clause that specifies the minimum wages to be paid to various classes of laborers and mechanics employed under the contract. Under DBA provisions, contractors or their subcontractors are to pay workers employed directly upon the site of the work no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character. The DBA directs DOL to determine the local prevailing wage rates and requires contractors to post the wages to be paid in a prominent and easily accessible place at the site of the work.

DOL's regulations in 29 CFR Part 1, Procedures for Predetermination of Wage Rates, contains the procedures for making and applying determinations of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits in accordance with the DBA. 29 CFR 1.5, Procedure for Requesting Wage Determinations, and 29 CFR 1.6, Use and Effectiveness of Wage Determinations, require federal contracting agencies to file a SF 308, Request for Wage Determination and Response to Request, with the WHD if the agency believes the contract may be subject to the DBA, and specifies how to use the wage determinations.

DOL is proposing to revise 29 CFR Part 1 and Part 4 to require contracting agencies to use the WDOL website to obtain SCA and DBA wage determinations from the WHD. Under the proposal, WHD will publish wage determinations solely through WDOL and will no longer publish notice of changes in the Federal Register, and the Government Printing Office (GPO) will no longer publish paper copies of general wage determinations. Also, for SCA wage determinations, the DOL proposes to eliminate the paper SF-98 and replace it with an electronic "e98" process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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