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Highlights

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) has the broad purpose of stimulating the economy. It includes substantial appropriations for construction projects that, under the act's prevailing wage provision, are subject to Davis-Bacon Act requirements. That is, contractors must pay laborers and mechanics who work on those projects at least the prevailing wage rates set for their local area by the Secretary of Labor. In addition, contractors must submit certified payrolls and pay their workers weekly. Prior to the Recovery Act, some federal programs with construction projects were already subject to Davis-Bacon Act requirements. Others, however, are subject to the requirements for the first time because the Recovery Act extended the requirements to all construction projects supported by the act. GAO was asked to (1) identify the programs that are newly affected by the Recovery Act's prevailing wage provision and (2) examine the extent to which that provision is expected to affect each of those newly affected programs. GAO obtained data from 27 agencies and spoke with federal, state, and local officials as well as contractors involved with the newly affected programs. Although GAO is not making recommendations in this report, these findings may be helpful in considering and designing legislation with similar objectives.

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