The Davis-Bacon Act requires payment of minimum prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics working on federal contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings and public works. The U.S. Department of Labor last revised the regulations governing the DBA and the Related Acts over 40 years ago, in 1981-1982. However, since then the DOL’s DBRA program has continued to evolve, Congress has expanded the reach of the Davis-Bacon labor standards, and the federal contracting system has undergone significant change. Consequently, DOL embarked on a rulemaking process to update and modernize the DBRA regulations and requested ERG’s support.
ERG conducted the Regulatory Impact Analyses and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses for both the proposed and final rules. These analyses help DOL and its stakeholders understand the rule’s costs and benefits and may help DOL formulate better policy decisions. As part of this work, ERG estimated the number of affected firms (between 152,900 and 184,500), the number of potentially affected workers (1.2 million), and regulatory familiarization and implementation costs for affected firms ($5.1 million per year). ERG also evaluated the likely impact of two components of this rule on prevailing wages using illustrative analyses: an amendment to the definition of “prevailing wage” and implementation of a mechanism to regularly update certain non-collectively bargained prevailing wage rates.