US DOL Enforcement Efforts to Focus on Subcontractors
The number of Davis-Bacon investigations in 2010 as compared to 2009 has nearly quadrupled. The DOL has increased the number of investigators on its staff, and recently indicated that future enforcement efforts would focus on subcontractor compliance.
Since prime contractors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all subs on a project are in compliance with the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, this is news that will impact contractors at all tiers of a project. Prior to using a subcontractor, prime contractors should:
– check the “excluded party list system”, available at epls.gov, to be certain the subcontractor is not listed
– include contract language stipulating that the prime has the right to review all records and to schedule and conduct its own audits
Lower-tier subcontractors should also be informed of their responsibilities to comply with the Davis-Bacon Act. Penalties for failure to comply with the laws attendant to taxpayer-funded projects can be quite severe, and can even include debarment from working on federal projects for three years.