Recipients of federal government contracts for services are subject to wage, hour, benefits, and safety and health standards under the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) of 1965, as amended, which specifies wage rates and other labor standards for employees of contractors. SCA requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to set locally prevailing wage rates and other labor standards for employees of contractors furnishing services to the federal government. DOL's Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers the SCA and each year determines prevailing wage and fringe benefit rates for over 300 standard service occupations in 205 metropolitan areas. SCA also authorizes DOL to enforce contractor compliance with SCA provisions. This report describes how DOL (1) establishes locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits and (2) enforces SCA.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Labor||In an effort to provide stakeholders with a general understanding of how WHD determines wage rates, the Secretary of Labor should direct WHD to make publicly available the basic methodology WHD uses to issue wage determinations.|
|Department of Labor||To better support WHD and federal contracting agencies in their implementation of SCA, the Secretary of Labor should direct WHD to develop a procedure for updating the SCA directory of occupations at regular intervals and include criteria for listing and removing occupations as the need emerges.|
|Department of Labor||To further WHD's efforts to obtain better information concerning the presence of and potential for violations involving SCA contracts, the Secretary of Labor should direct WHD to analyze its historical SCA contractor violation data in the Wage and Hour Investigative Support and Reporting Database (WHISARD), as well as debarment information not included in WHISARD, and to the extent appropriate, use this information to help plan its compliance assistance and investigative efforts, and to identify additional industries, if any, that WHD should establish enforcement goals similar to those it currently has for repeat violators and industries with chronic violations.|
|Department of Labor||To facilitate the reporting of SCA complaints, the Secretary of Labor should direct WHD to update and revise the 1996 Service Contract Act/Walsh-Healey worksite poster, to include national and regional office telephone numbers and a Web site address that complainants may use to report alleged SCA violations.|