March 6, 2008
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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Testifies on Negative Impact of Reverse Auctions on Contractors
AGC Testifies on Federal Procurement Before the House T&I Committee
IMMIGRATION
Senate Introduces New Immigration Enforcement Bills—AGC to Determine Impact to Contractors
FEDERAL SPENDING
House and Senate Committees Approve Budget Blueprint, Propose Additional Infrastructure Spending and Fix to Highway Trust Fund
OSHA
AGC Comments on Confined Space Rule—Outcome Could be Complicated and Costly

  AGC Testifies on Negative Impact of Reverse Auctions on Contractors

Today, AGC’s U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Committee Chairman Tony Zelenka (Bertucci Contracting, New Orleans, La.) testified on the negative impact from online reverse auctions as a procurement method to small businesses. 

Zelenka explained why reverse bid auctions are inappropriate for use as a construction procurement vehicle. In additional testimony before the House Small Business Committee, Major General Ron Johnson, Deputy Commander of the USACE, stated that the findings of the 2004 pilot program on reverse auctions also recommended against using reverse auctions to procure construction services. AGC will continue to educate Congress and federal agencies on its position against reverse auctions for construction.

View the hearing on You Tube.
 
For more information, contact Perry Fowler at fowlerp@agc.org or (202) 547-1983.
 


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  AGC Testifies on Federal Procurement Before the House T&I Committee

AGC member Joel Zingeser (Grunley Construction, Rockville, Md.) testified today before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.

Zingeser’s testimony highlighted AGC concerns with construction inflation and the negative impact of increasing material prices on the industry.  In addition, Zingeser discussed difficulties with reprogramming authority, contracting practices, contract bundling, subcontractor participation goals, and the need for consistency of regional agency affiliates in contracting practices.
 
For more information, contact Perry Fowler at fowlerp@agc.org or (202) 547-1983. [ return to top ]

  Senate Introduces New Immigration Enforcement Bills—AGC to Determine Impact to Contractors

On Wednesday, nine Senators introduced new immigration enforcement bills designed to secure U.S. borders, increase enforcement in the workplace, and improve the deportation process. 

AGC is mainly focused on three of the bills that will directly affect employers: 

  • A bill that provides statutory authority for the Department of Homeland Security to use “no-match” letters as potential evidence against employers accused of knowingly hiring undocumented aliens. 
  • A worksite enforcement bill that establishes the mandatory use of an Electronic Employment Verification System. 
  • A bill that requires 700 miles of border fencing be complete by 2010. 

The worksite enforcement bill was introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) who sponsored legislation last year to debar federal contractors for 10 years for a single paperwork violation.  AGC will study the text of the bills to look for debarment provisions and to determine other effects on the industry. 

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at knottk@agc.org or (202) 547-4685. [ return to top ]

  House and Senate Committees Approve Budget Blueprint, Propose Additional Infrastructure Spending and Fix to Highway Trust Fund

The House and Senate Budget Committees today approved budget resolutions for fiscal year 2009 that would provide increases in infrastructure spending above the amounts proposed in the President’s budget request to Congress. 

The Senate resolution proposes to fully fund the highway, safety and transit programs authorized in SAFETEA-LU, as well as fix the projected Highway Trust Fund deficit in fiscal year 2009.  The Senate resolution also proposes to provide almost $9 billion more than the president’s request for transportation, water and energy infrastructure, including an additional $6.5 billion for transportation projects and $3.5 billion for “ready-to-go” transportation projects to help stimulate the economy. 

The House resolution also proposes to fully fund the SAFETEA-LU guaranteed levels for highways and transit, and rejects other cuts to federal construction accounts in the President’s budget, such as for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   

The annual Congressional budget resolution establishes a non-binding blueprint for the upcoming appropriations process. 

For more information, contact Karen Bachman at bachmank@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. [ return to top ]

  AGC Comments on Confined Space Rule—Outcome Could be Complicated and Costly

On November 28, 2007, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published the proposed rule for confined space in construction with comments due on January 28, 2008, and later extended the deadline for comments to February 28, 2008.

The notice for proposed rule-making states that employers must determine if there is confined space on the job site, according to the proposed rule, and if such a confined space exists, the employer would determine if there are existing or potential hazards.  If there are such hazards, the employer then would classify the space according to the physical and atmospheric hazards found in it.

AGC submitted comments on February 28, 2008 expressing concern that the proposed rule for confined space in construction will be complicated and costly. AGC is concerned about the enforcement of and compliance with vague definitions throughout the proposed rule and also, the language included in the proposed rule on controlling contractor/host employer.

For more information, contact Michele Myers at (703) 837-5410 or myersm@agc.org. [ return to top ]