Federal Contractor Report
July 2022
Federal Contractors Conference
Leaders from federal agencies make major announcements at the conference.
Hundreds of federal construction contractors descended on Washington, D.C., June 20-22 to meet with major federal construction agencies and members of Congress at the AGC Federal Contactors Conference.
Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, General Services Administration, Small Business Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Air Force Civil Engineer Center participated, with several agencies making significant announcements about their respective programs.
Among the discussions included challenges surrounding construction material price inflations, the upcoming proposed rule on government mandated project labor agreements, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and ways the industry and federal agencies can work together to meet the challenges and deliver projects in a safe and efficient manner. In addition, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (MS) spoke to the audience on a wide range of topics affecting the construction industry.
All presentations and other information from the conference have been made available to the attendees of AGC’s Federal Contractors ConferenceFor more information, please contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Federal Government
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans learn the real impacts of inflation on infrastructure projects with AGC member George Palko, President/CEO of Great Lakes Construction in Hinckley, Ohio. 
On July 14, George Palko, President/CEO of Great Lakes Construction in Hinckley, Ohio and Chairman of AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division, joined House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans for a roundtable discussion on the impact of inflation on infrastructure projects. In his remarks, Mr. Palko emphasized the real-world effects that the broken construction material supply chain and increased cost of materials are having on projects in his home state. Due to inflation, many projects are severely outrunning initial estimates, causing project bids to be rejected in some cases. Mr. Palko stated his worry that, with transportation construction projects running 15-20% plus over cost, the general public won’t be able to see contracting partners putting additional work in the ground as provided for in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. AGC was happy to participate in this roundtable to bring this very significant matter directly to Congressional members. You may view video of the discussion here.
AGC urged action against several amendments to the House of Representative’s version National Defense Authorization Act (House NDAA) bill that would negatively impact military construction contractors. Among other things, these amendments would:
• Require prime contractors and subcontractors to be licensed in the state of the military construction project;
•  Establish local hiring preferences; and
• Impose subjective criteria into the suspension and debarment process that would make it easier to blacklist contractors, among others.
AGC also fought for the inclusion of beneficial amendments, such as the AGC backed bipartisan bill—Small Business Payment for Performance Act—that will require agencies to pay upfront at least a portion of directed change orders. The House NDAA passed (329 - 101) on July 15. The Senate has yet to bring its version of the NDAA to the floor to vote on amendments. Congress has passed the NDAA for about 60 consecutive years and it is considered must-pass legislation, which is why AGC is taking seriously any attempt to add harmful construction policy to it. AGC will continue to advocate for contractor priorities as the House and Senate work to a final NDAA. 
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
High-ranking House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) joins AGC for project tour to learn about the issues impacting the industry.
On July 11, AGC of Washington Chapter and AGC of America, working with AGC member, Granite Construction, led Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) on a tour of the $24 Million Padden Creek - Fish Passage project in Bellingham, Washington by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  The scope of Granite’s work includes the replacement of two existing fish barriers with new fish passable structures, part of WSDOT efforts to remove nearly 800 fish barriers around Washington State by 2030. The construction site tour provided AGC with an opportunity to discuss with Rep. Larsen the benefits of infrastructure investment, as well as the many challenges facing the construction industry, including the rising cost of construction materials and workforce shortages, and to thank him for his vote in support for AGC-Backed Bipartisan Infrastructure bill. For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Seeking to find ways to help America build, key congressional leaders bring in AGC to talk about its Climate Change Task Force report, the challenges of the federal environmental permitting process and more.
On Tuesday, July 19, AGC’s Leah Pilconis participated in a roundtable discussion with the House Republican’s Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force. This particular discussion was part of their Let America Build series discussing obstacles to the United States producing energy, deploying innovative technologies, and building infrastructure. The event provided AGC with an opportunity to talk to Members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Select Climate Committee on Climate Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-La.), about the AGC Climate Change Task Force including key findings from the final report.
In addition, AGC discussed challenges to the permitting process and how regulatory uncertainty out of Washington has created instability and made it harder to plan and manage construction projects. Others included on the panel were representatives from GE, Duke Energy, Ascent Resources, The Williams Companies, Utah Department of Transportation, and the Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources. For more information, contact Alex Etchen at Alex.etchen@agc.org.
Federal Agencies
Guidance from the U.S. Department of Defense, impacting Army Corps and Navy construction contractors, largely restricts contracting officers from issuing price adjustments for inflation under firm-fixed price contracts.
On May 25, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued Guidance on Inflation and Economic Price Adjustments (EPAs) on existing and future DOD contracts due to the ongoing inflation. Disappointingly, the DOD specifically excludes EPAs on firm fixed price contracts, representing virtually every military construction and civil works contract for DOD. The relevant text from the guidance states:
Unlike contractors performing under cost-reimbursement, FPIF, or FPEPA contracts, contractors performing under firm-fixed-price (FFP) contracts generally must bear the risk of cost increases, including those due to inflation. In the absence of an applicable contract clause, such as an EPA clause authorizing a contract price adjustment as a result of inflation, there is no authority for providing contractual relief for unanticipated inflation under an FFP contract. We are fielding questions about the possibility of using requests for equitable adjustment (REAs) under FFP contracts to address unanticipated inflation.
AGC is disappointed with the guidance and plans to meet with officials from DOD in the coming days to discuss industry’s concerns. In addition, AGC of America continues to share its Construction Inflation Alert, a guide to inform owners, officials, and others about the cost and supply-chain challenges, with DoD and other federal decision makers. For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Policy experts debate EPA’s options to address climate change going forward.
On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a climate change related case that invoked the “major questions doctrine” to determine that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act Section 111 to force an energy generational shift away from coal (West Virginia v. EPA). In the aftermath of this ruling, policy experts have been discussing whether this prohibits EPA from taking regulatory action to address climate change and whether the major questions doctrine will be called into play more frequently. Another recent example of the Court applying the doctrine is when it halted enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard.
AGC helped bring together nearly 200 organizations to oppose efforts to increase taxes on small, individually, and family-owned construction businesses amid record-setting levels of inflation.
On July 11, AGC helped lead an effort joined by 192 trade associations outlining opposition to two tax increases that, if enacted, would adversely impact small, individually, and family-owned construction businesses.  On July 14, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) agreed with AGC, at least for now.
An OSHA proposal would require construction firms with 100 or more employees to electronically submit on an annual basis their OSHA Form 300, OSHA Form 300A, and OSHA Form 301 without meaningful context regarding firms’ safety and health record, among other things.
On June 30, AGC along with more than 60 organizations took issue with OSHA’s proposed rule to expand the scope and revise the provisions of its “Improved Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illness” regulation. If finalized as proposed, the rule will require construction firms with 100 or more employees to electronically submit their OSHA Form 300 (log of work-related injuries and illnesses), OSHA Form 300A (summary of work-related injuries and illnesses), and OSHA Form 301 (injury and illness incident report) on an annual basis. For construction firms with 20 – 100 employees, the rule will require the annual submission of their OSHA Form 300A (summary of work-related injuries and illnesses).
Upcoming Events

July 26, 2022
2022 AGC Construction Safety, Health and Environmental Conference
Washington, District of Columbia

August 2-September 1, 2022
Project Manager Development Program
Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 PM-6 PM

August 10-22, 2022
Construction Supervision Fundamentals
Classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 AM – 1 PM

August 16, 2022
2022 IT Conference
Chicago, Illinois

August 17, 2022
Five-Part Webinar Series: Top 10 Safest Construction Companies in America
2 p.m.

Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
AGC News
Survey closes August 12
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, availability of key construction materials, and the need for new workers. In order to better understand the impact of these changes on member firms so AGC of America can best tailor advocacy efforts and services, the association is asking members to take a few minutes to complete a workforce survey prepared by AGC and Autodesk. The more data the association has to describe the scope and consequences of current labor market conditions, the more able AGC will be to educate government officials about the industry’s needs; and the more educated those officials are, the more likely they are to enact measures to help meet those needs. So, please take the survey today!
Apply by Monday, October 24, 2022!
AGC of America is proud to announce the launch of the 2023 AGC Awards competitions! The Construction Risk Partners Build America Awards (including the Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence category) and AGC in the Community competitions recognize the nation's most impressive construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy divisions; those contractors excelling in their partnering and collaborative endeavors; and the charitable contractors and chapters giving back to their communities. 
The AGC Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Awards recognize contractors that are champions in advancing diversity and inclusion within their workforce, subcontractor-partners, supply chain, the association, and in the communities they serve. The AGC Diverse Business of the Year competition honors an outstanding diverse AGC member-firm that is committed to achieving business success, while also contributing to the association and communities in which they work.
In 2018, AGC of America celebrated 100 years of serving the construction industry. While we celebrated and recognized the past it is important that we continue to look to the future to address ongoing issues affecting the industry. In this spirit, AGC decided to make the Innovation Awards an annual award to incentivize and encourage free thinkers to provide pioneering solutions to industry challenges. 
Apply by Monday, October 24, 2022 for full consideration. Learn more about AGC of America's awards programs at www.agc.org/awards.
Who’s on the hook for design defects in design-build projects?  It may not always be who you think. In this episode, Dirk Haire, co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s Construction Law Practice Group, and David Hecker, group general counsel overseeing all claims, litigation, and investigations for Kiewit Corporation, share their wealth of knowledge on design-build risk. Find out when and why contractors do not always bear the risk of design errors or omissions on a design-build project.  This episode explains design-builders’ liability standard and discusses certain types of overreach by owners that merit pushback from design-builders.
Deadline to Apply is November 1, 2022
Each year the AGC Education and Research Foundation offers undergraduate and graduate level scholarships to students enrolled in ABET or ACCE accredited construction management or construction related engineering programs. The application opened July 1, 2022 and closes November 1, 2022.  Over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than 4,000 students attending colleges and universities across the country. Through endowments made by AGC members and supporters, as well as AGC Chapters, the Education and Research Foundation awards over 100 scholarships each year to students dedicated to pursuing a career in the construction industry.  Students can click here to apply.  If you have any questions please contact Paige Packard, Program Director, AGC Education and Research Foundation, paige.packard@agc.org
For more than two years, the U.S. construction industry has been buffeted by unprecedented increases in material costs, supply-chain bottlenecks, and a tight labor market. AGC’s Construction Inflation Alert is intended to help owners, public officials, and others understand what contractors are experiencing. The July 2022 edition—the 8th since early 2021, outlines steps owners and contractors can take to adjust to the fast-changing market conditions. Chapters and members are encouraged to forward the latest information about conditions, such as supplier newsletters and “Dear Valued Customer” letters, to Chief Economist Ken Simonson at ken.simonson@agc.org. AGC will continue to update the Alert as needed. 



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