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Home>>> Wage Determination

Wage Determination

A "wage determination" is the listing of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefit rates for each classification of laborers and mechanics which the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has determined to be prevailing in a given area for a particular type of construction (e.g., building, heavy, highway, or residential).

The Wage and Hour Division issues two types of wage determinations: general determinations, also known as area determinations, and project determinations. The term "wage determination" is defined as including not only the original decision but any subsequent decisions modifying, superseding, correcting, or otherwise changing the rates and scope of the original decision.

General Wage Determination

This reflects those rates determined by the Division to be prevailing in a specific geographic area for the type of construction described. General wage decisions and modifications and supersedeas decisions thereto, contain no expiration dates and are effective from their date of notice in the Federal Register, or on the date written notice is received by the agency, whichever is earlier. If a contracting agency has a proposed construction project to which a general determination would be applicable, the published determination may be used by the contracting agency without consulting the Department of Labor, provided that questions concerning its use shall be referred to the Department of Labor.

Project Wage Determination

These rates are issued at the specific request of a contracting agency; each is applicable to the named project only; and expires 180 calendar days from the date of issuance unless an extension of the expiration date is requested by the agency and approved by the Wage and Hour Division. If such a wage determination is not used in the period of its effectiveness, it is void. Project determinations are issued in response to contracting agencies submitting to the Wage and Hour Division a Standard Form 308 requesting a wage determination.

Modifications of general and project wage determinations are issued to update data in the original determination. Where a contract will be entered pursuant to competitive bidding procedures, a modification, notice of which is published in the Federal Register less than 10 days before the opening of bids shall be effective unless the agency finds that there is not a reasonable time still available before bid opening to notify bidders of the modification and a report of the finding is inserted in the contract file. For projects assisted under the National Housing Act, and for projects to receive housing assistance payments under section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, dates other than bid opening apply. See Regulations, 29 CFR Part 1, section 1.6.

If the contracting officer chooses to disregard a modification, a report of this action shall be inserted in the contract file and made available to the Wage and Hour Division upon request.

If a contract has not been awarded within 90 days after bid opening, modifications prior to award to a general wage rates in the contract shall be effective with respect to that contract unless the agency requests and obtains an extension of the 90-day period from the Wage and Hour Division.

Supersedeas Wage Determinations are issued annually to replace general decisions issued in the previous edition of the publication entitled General Wage Determinations Issued Under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. Supersedeas project wage rates may also be issued. Supersedeas decisions affecting determinations are effective under the same circumstances as "modifications." Whereas a modification to a wage rate may make changes in only selected provisions of the wage rates, a supersedeas determination replaces the entire existing wage decision.

Notice is published in the Federal Register each week (usually on Friday) to advise the public of the publication of general wage determinations, modifications, supersedeas actions, withdrawal actions, and corrections affecting such wage rates.

Extensions of Wage Determinations

When a general wage rate has not been awarded within 90 days after bid opening, the head of the contracting/assisting agency may request an extension of the 90 day period from the Wage and Hour Administrator. When, due to unavoidable circumstances, a project wage rate expires before award but after bid opening, the head of the contracting/assisting agency may request an extension of the expiration date of the project wage rates in the bid specifications instead of issuing a new wage determination. (For projects assisted under the National Housing Act, and for projects to receive housing assistance payment under section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, dates other than bid opening apply. See Regulations 29 CFR, Part 1, section 1.6.)

Extension requests should be supported by a written finding including a brief statement of the factual support, that extension of the expiration date of the determination is necessary and proper in the public interest to prevent injustice or undue hardship or to avoid serious impairment in the conduct of Government business.

The Administrator will either grant or deny the request for an extension after consideration of all the circumstances, including an examination to determine if the previously issued rates remain prevailing. If a request for the extension of a project wage rate is denied, a new wage will be issued to replace an expired project wage rate.

 



 

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