Federal Contractor Report
August 2021
Federal Contractors Conference
In-Person on November 8-9, 2021
Register today for the 2021 AGC Federal Contractors Conference taking place November 8-9, 2021 in-person in Washington, D.C. The Federal Contractors Conference is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, General Services Administration, and Small Business Administration.

In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from experts about the latest federal regulations that will impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
Federal Government
Urge President Biden and your members of Congress to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Simply complete the AGC Action Alert to send the pre-written message and/or tweet to your elected leaders or modify it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your business.
After years of politicians in Washington, D.C. talking about rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, this bipartisan bill currently being considered in the Senate represents a prime opportunity for talk to turn into action. This measure would invest more than $1.2 trillion to build and rebuild key components of our nation’s physical infrastructure. In addition to making a step towards returning our infrastructure system to world-class, this historic investment will create a significant number of new construction career opportunities that pay well above jobs in other industries.

Read AGC’s full analysis of the bill for more information. Additionally, below is a linked summary of what’s in the bill for each construction market:

Highway Contractors
Utility Contractors
Direct Federal Contractors
Other Markets (Transit, Rail, Waterways, Airports)
AGC has weighed in on a few of the amendments that have been offered during the Senate’s debate of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and is monitoring to see if they will get a vote:
Federal Agencies
Awaiting implementation guidance
On July 27, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense announced the implementation of mask mandates for all federal workers, contractors and visitors to federal in areas that have substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19 infections. Federal employees and “onsite contractors” will be required to “attest” to vaccination or be required to wear a mask. However, federal contractors nor agencies have received any implementation guidance which has resulted in confusion. Fundamental questions remain unanswered, including what is the scope of the mandate, who will bear the cost of testing, will contractors working at multiple offices or for multiple agencies be required to attest at each site. AGC has heard it could be as long as two weeks before guidance is issued. AGC will update our membership as soon as such guidance is released.
Lastly, it is important to note that the White House has not announced any initiative for mandatory vaccination for federal employees or contractors. It is uncertain whether this mask mandate or a more general vaccine mandate will be expanded to include all federal contractors.
For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Increases domestic content preferences on federal construction projects
On July 29, a prososed rule was released to amend to the FAR to add Buy American Act Requirements. The proposed rule increases the domestic content required to 60% with increases in two years to 70% and then 75% in five years. It permits acceptance of products and construction materials up to 6 years after publication of the rule which are unavailable at an acceptable cost. It also states that a higher price preference may be identified for critical end products and construction materials. However, the new requirements will not apply to Commercially Off The Shelf (COTS) items. A virtual public meeting will be held on August 26 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern. Comments are due in roughly 60 days.

The rule was initiated based on President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. That executive order directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to consider proposing for notice and public comment amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to promote enforcement of the Buy American Act of 1933. Shortly after this Executive Order was signed the White House staff briefed AGC on the direction of proposed rulemaking and AGC gave feedback to inform the FAR Council’s process. AGC will comment on this proposed rule and continue to advocate for the construction industry to ensure that policy makers are well informed about the uniqueness of construction.

For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
In early August, AGC released the latest AGC Construction Inflation Alert. Every week brings new reports of materials costs hitting record highs, while lead times lengthen or become ever more uncertain. This downloadable PDF helps chapters and members explain to owners, government officials, and others, what is happening and what all parties can do to minimize the damage.

To address some of the material price escalation and substitutions issues contractors are facing, AGC is hosting a townhall-style webinar on Tuesday, Aug. 10 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT. Join Ken Simonson, AGC Chief Economist, as he moderates a roundtable discussion among CM/GC, an owner, and a steel and dry wall specialty contractor. During this townhall discussion each participant will share how they are grabbling with the surging prices of materials, managing owners and GC expectations, and keeping jobs on time and schedule.

Topics to be addressed during townhall include:

• Lead times for procurement and locking in pricing
• Managing expectation of clients
• Lack of continuity from suppliers
• The concept of construction halting entirely and when is that coming
Increasingly, federal contractors are facing visits by fraud investigators and demands for information related to a particular contract. The government has added sureties, brokers, and bond producers to its ever-growing list of targets of False Claims Act (FCA) fraud investigations. Read the informative posting on AGC’s Reports & Hot Topic Papers page – Federal Fraud Investigations Update: Some Construction and Surety Industry Hotspots, by Timothy Heffernan and Nicole Gregory at Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, L.L.P. and William Boeck at Lockton Companies (June 2021) – to learn of compliance issues and potential for fraud, including the policy and other concerns raised by pending cases involving fraud claims, the recommended steps to take to avoid fraud investigations, and a discussion of how insurance policies respond to FCA claims.

Investigations of labor charging and progress payment applications remain a top priority for government auditors. Also under the spotlight is fraud in connection with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) set-aside programs, preferences afforded to qualifying disadvantaged contractors, as well as SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program loans and self-certifications. The message to the construction and surety industries is clear -- be prepared and stay vigilant. To see AGC’s entire collection of hot topic (substantive research) papers on top business challenges facing today’s construction firms, as presented by leading experts at recent AGC Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management meetings, visit AGC’s risk management website.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
The survey will close on August 13
The construction industry has experienced some very significant and sudden changes during the past few months that have led to dramatic changes in demand for work and the need for new workers. We need to understand exactly how those changes are impacting the industry’s current workforce needs to be better able to advocate for measures to help the industry’s labor needs in both the short- and long-term. That is why we are asking you to take a few minutes to complete the following workforce survey that we and our partners at Autodesk have prepared. The more people understand the scope, and consequences, of current labor market conditions, the more likely they are to enact measures to help meet the industry’s needs. The more members who take the survey, the better able we all will be to describe labor market conditions where you operate.
Association details measures needed to lead to a more environmentally friendly built environment, also outlines steps firms can take to operate more efficiently
Construction officials outlined a series of steps public officials and the construction industry should take to address the impacts of the built environment on climate change. The new initiative from the AGC of America is designed to lessen the carbon footprint of the built environment while also making the process of building projects even more efficient.
Upcoming Events

August 10, 2021
WebEd: AGC Townhall: Material Price Escalation and Substitutions
2 – 3 p.m.

August 10-12, 2021
IT Conference
Chicago, Illinois

August 11-13, 2021
Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Leadership Development Conference
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chicago, Illinois

August 17, 2021
WebEd Series: Building A Resilient Future for Your Company
2 – 3 p.m.

August 18, 2021 and September 14, 2021
Three Part Webinar Series: Claims, Change, Scheduling, Close Out--OH MY!
2 – 3 p.m.

August 19-31, 2021
WebEd Series: Perfecting Your Virtual Pitch: Prepare, Execute & Deliver Like the Best
2 – 3 p.m.

September 8, 2021
WebEd: Construction Jobsite Automation and Human Augmentation
Sponsored by: Hilti
2 – 3 p.m.

September 12-17, 2021
Construction Project Manager Course
Atlanta, Georgia

September 14, 2021
Virtual CM-Lean Workshop: Lean in Pre-construction: How to Win from the Start
12 – 4 p.m.

September 19-20, 2021
National Chapter Leadership Conference
Orlando, Florida

AGC News
Need surety bonds for your next construction job or contract? AGC recently collaborated with the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) to assemble various materials on surety bonding that contractors will find useful and informational, many created just for contractors. You can access this information – including downloadable documents, articles, videos, and podcasts – from AGC’s Risk Management website at agc.org/risk.
Event will take place on October 13 in St. Louis, Missouri

Registration is now open for AGC of America’s inaugural National Construction Industry Workforce Summit. The summit, which is taking place on October 13 in St. Louis, Missouri, is designed to bring together leaders in the construction and workforce development community to focus on establishing solutions to chronic worker shortages. During this day-long summit, construction and workforce development professionals will learn about successful programs that are helping recruit, develop and retain high-quality construction professionals. The goals of the summit are to identify a more consistent approach that industry should take to improve the workforce pipeline, leverage existing strategies proven successful, and make connections that provide support and resources to attendees to continue addressing workforce development issues long after the summit ends. You can find more details about the summit hereContact Brian Turmail at brian.turmail@agc.org or (703) 459-0238 for more information.
September 21-23, Orlando, FL

AGC is excited to announce that the full agenda for the 2021 AGC Annual Convention is now available. From risk management strategies to safety innovations on the jobsite to emerging cyber risks in construction, you'll find this year’s convention agenda packed with experts from across the industry delivering topics to help every level of your organization build better.
For more details visit http://convention.agc.org.



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