Last week the final rule was published regarding President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 which allows agencies to require participation in a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) as a condition of bid solicitations on "large-scale" construction projects. Yesterday, Government Executive reported that Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) recently criticized these developments as changing the government’s federal procurement policy from "neutral" on union issues to one that is "pro-labor.":
"When it comes to spending taxpayer money, the decisions should always be based on the best value possible," Collins said. "Such decisions should not be driven by partisanship, politics or other agendas. With this change … the administration has eliminated the practice of awarding contracts based on an objective assessment that puts the taxpayers’ interests first."
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"This is one more example where the administration is taking a position that creates barriers for small businesses and blocks the participation of entrepreneurial startup companies," Collins said.
The article provides additional comment from Jim Elmer, national chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors; Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden; and, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. Our initial analysis of the Order and Rule can be found here.