Human Capital:

Davis-Bacon Act

HEHS-94-95R: Published: Feb 7, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed changes to Davis-Bacon Act regulations since 1979. GAO found that: (1) regulation has prohibited the use of federal construction wages for determining prevailing wage rates; (2) the Department of Labor's 1982 regulatory change prohibited the combination of urban and rural wages in area wage surveys; (3) since 1983, Labor has been less likely to use union wages to determine prevailing wage rates; (4) the regulations governing the use of federal construction project helpers have been revised, but Congress has prohibited the expenditure of funds to administer the revised regulations; (5) the quality of the data that Labor uses in determining the prevailing wage rate remains a concern because contractor response rates vary, and Labor does not verify the accuracy of the data it receives; and (6) major technological changes have improved Labor's administration of the wage determination process.

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