[Request for Reconsideration of Debarment Action]

B-209979: Aug 31, 1983

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Ralph O. White
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Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205


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A firm's president requested reconsideration of his and his firm's debarment for violations of the Davis-Bacon Act. The firm was a subcontractor under an Army contract for construction of a laboratory at an arsenal to perform electrical work. In response to a complaint that employees were not being paid for all hours worked, a labor standards investigation revealed numerous irregularities which included the use of biweekly pay periods, in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, unexplained deductions, and discrepancies in the number of hours worked. The Army recommended that the Department of Labor consider debarment sanctions against the subcontractor and its president. Since the subcontractor disagreed with the investigation's findings, Labor offered an opportunity for a hearing before an administrative law judge. When Labor attempted to deliver this offer, it found that the subcontractor had discontinued its post office box and left no forwarding address. Labor subsequently forwarded the record to GAO with a recommendation that the subcontractor and its president be debarred. Because of the firm's violations of the Davis-Bacon Act and the falsification of its payrolls, GAO concluded that the subcontractor had not shown good faith in complying with the Davis-Bacon Act and the contractual provisions. Therefore, the subcontractor and its president were placed on the February 1, 1983, debarred bidders list. When the president of the firm requested that he and his firm be removed from the list, he was advised to submit a written request and furnish sufficient evidence to overcome the evidence of record upon which the debarment was based. He responded with his brother's sworn statement that the discrepancies in the employees' working hours were caused because they were late for work. The subcontractor had allowed them to make up the hours which they had not worked, but for which they had already been paid. GAO stated that requiring employees to work without compensation to make up for past wage payments for which they did not work was an unauthorized withholding in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act. GAO concluded that it had sufficient basis for the debarment and denied the request that the firm and its president be removed from the debarred bidders list.

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