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Rule

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Application of the Davis-Bacon Act to Construction Contracts With Options To Extend the Term of the Contract

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCIES:

Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the requirement of Department of Labor (DoL) All Agency Memorandum No. 157 (AAM 157), as clarified in the Federal Register on November 20, 1998, at 63 FR 64542. The rule requires incorporation of the current Davis-Bacon Act wage determination at the exercise of each option period in construction contracts.

DATES:

Effective Date: December 21, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS Building, Washington, DC, 20405, (202) 501-4755, for information pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of content, contact Ms. Linda Nelson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-1900. Please cite FAC 2001-01, FAR case 1997-613.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This final rule provides for incorporation of the current Davis-Bacon Act wage determination at the exercise of each option to extend the term of a contract for construction, or a contract that includes substantial and segregable construction work. Unlike the Service Contract Act, the Davis-Bacon Act and its implementing regulations do not state that new or revised wage determinations must be incorporated at the exercise of each contract option period.

On December 9, 1992, DoL issued AAM 157, which required incorporation of a current Davis-Bacon Act wage determination at the exercise of each option period in construction contracts containing options to extend the term of the contract. Following several years of controversy regarding the authority of the DoL to issue AAM 157, DoL Administrative Review Board confirmed on July 17,1997, the authority of the DoL Administrator's ruling that a current Davis-Bacon Act wage determination must be incorporated at the exercise of an option to extend the term of the contract. The Review Board also directed DoL to clarify the language of AAM 157 and to republish the memorandum in the Federal Register at 63 FR 64542, November 20, 1998.

On December 3, 1999, DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 64 FR 67986. Eight respondents submitted comments on the proposed rule. The comments were considered in the development of the final rule.

This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., applies to this final rule. The Councils prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA). The FAR Secretariat has submitted a copy of the FRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

The FRFA is summarized as follows:

The final rule amends FAR Parts 1, 22, and 52 to implement the requirement of Department of Labor (DoL) All Agency Memorandum No. 157 (AAM 157), as clarified in the Federal Register on November 20, 1998. The rule requires incorporation of the current Davis-Bacon Act wage determination at the exercise of each option period in construction contracts. The rule provides four alternative methods of adjusting the contract price when exercising the option to extend the term of the contract.

1. No adjustment in contract price (because the option prices may include an amount to cover estimated increases);

2. Price adjustment based on a separately specified pricing method, such as application of a coefficient to an annually published unit pricing book incorporated at option exercise;

3. A percentage price adjustment, based on a published economic indicator; and

4. A price adjustment based on a specific calculation to reflect the annual increase or decrease in wages and fringe benefits as a result of incorporation of the new wage determination.

The last method, applying calculations similar to the calculations of price Start Printed Page 53480adjustments in contracts subject to the Service Contract Act, removes the risk to the contractor, but imposes some reporting requirements, to provide the required information upon which to base the price adjustment. However, the contractor is already required to keep payroll records upon which the calculations are based, so the burden is not significant. Data for fiscal year 1998 indicates the Government awarded 229 indefinite-delivery construction contracts, of which 121 were awarded to small businesses. Nearly all construction contracts with delivery contracts and most indefinite-delivery contracts have options to extend the term. Although there is no database to determine the number of contracts for other than construction that have substantial and segregable construction requirements, we estimate 225 prime contractors and 675 subcontractors, of which approximately 50 percent are small businesses.

Interested parties may obtain a copy of the FRFA from the FAR Secretariat.

DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 64 FR 67986, December 3, 1999. Eight respondents submitted comments on the proposed rule. No comments were received on the IRFA.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act applies. The FAR Secretariat submitted a request for approval of a revised information collection requirement concerning application of the Davis-Bacon Act to construction contracts with options to extend the term of the contract to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The burden associated with this rule has been approved under OMB Control No. 9000-0154.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1, 22, and 52

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Dated: October 12, 2001.

Al Matera,

Director, Acquisition Policy Division.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 U.S.C. 2473(c).

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PART 1—FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATIONS SYSTEM

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2. Amend section 1.106 in the table following the introductory paragraph by adding an entry to read as follows:

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OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
*    *    *    *    *
FAR segmentOMB Control No.
*    *    *    *    *
52.222-329000-0154
*    *    *    *    *
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PART 22—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS

[Amended]
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3. Amend section 22.403-4 in paragraph (b)(5) by removing the words “Wage Appeals” and by adding “Administrative Review” in its place.

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4. Amend section 22.404-1(a)(1) by revising the third sentence; and paragraph (b) by revising the fourth sentence to read as follows:

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Types of wage determinations.

(a) General wage determinations. (1) * * * Once incorporated in a contract, a general wage determination normally remains effective for the life of the contract, unless the contracting officer exercises an option to extend the term of the contract (see 22.404-12). * * *

(b) * * * Once incorporated in a contract, a project wage determination normally remains effective for the life of the contract, unless the contracting officer exercises an option to extend the term of the contract (see 22.404-12).

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5. Amend section 22.404-2 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

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General requirements.

(a) The contracting officer must incorporate only the appropriate wage determinations in solicitations and contracts and must designate the work to which each determination or part thereof applies. The contracting officer must not include project wage determinations in contracts or options other than those for which they are issued. When exercising an option to extend the term of a contract, the contracting officer must select the most current wage determination(s) from the same schedule(s) as the wage determination(s) incorporated into the contract.

* * * * *
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6. In section 22.404-3, revise the last sentence of paragraph (c); remove paragraph (d); and redesignate paragraph (e) as (d) to read as follows:

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Procedures for requesting wage determinations.
* * * * *

(c) * * * Accordingly, agencies should submit requests to the Department of Labor at least 45 days (60 days if possible) before issuing the solicitation or exercising an option to extend the term of a contract.

* * * * *
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7. In section 22.404-6, revise paragraph (a); and add paragraph (d) to read as follows:

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Modifications of wage determinations.

(a) General. (1) The Department of Labor may modify a wage determination to make it current by specifying only the items being changed or by reissuing the entire determination with changes incorporated.

(2) All project wage determination modifications expire on the same day as the original determination. The need to include a modification of a project wage determination in a solicitation is determined by the time of receipt of the modification by the contracting agency. Therefore, the contracting agency must annotate the modification of the project wage determination with the date and time immediately upon receipt.

(3) The need for inclusion of the modification of a general wage determination in a solicitation is determined by the publication date of the notice in the Federal Register, or by the time of receipt of the modification (annotated with the date and time immediately upon receipt) by the contracting agency, whichever occurs first. (Note the distinction between receipt by the agency (modification is effective) and receipt by the contracting officer, which may occur later.)

* * * * *

(d) The following applies when modifying a contract to exercise an option to extend the term of a contract:

(1) A modified wage determination is effective if—

(i) The contracting agency receives a written action from the Department of Labor prior to exercise of the option, or within 45 days after submission of a wage determination request (22.404-3(c)), whichever is later; or

(ii) The Department of Labor publishes notice of modifications to general wage determinations in the Federal Register before exercise of the option.

(2) If the contracting officer receives an effective modified wage determination either before or after execution of the contract modification to exercise the option, the contracting officer must modify the contract to incorporate the modified wage determination, and any changed wage rates, effective as of the date that the option to extend was effective.

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8. Revise section 22.404-7 to read as follows:

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Correction of wage determinations containing clerical errors.

Upon the Department of Labor's own initiative or at the request of the contracting agency, the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, may correct any wage determination found to contain clerical errors. Such corrections will be effective immediately, and will apply to any solicitation or active contract. Before contract award, the contracting officer must follow the procedures in 22.404-5(b)(1) or (2)(i) or (ii) in sealed bidding, and the procedures in 22.404-5(c)(3) or (4) in negotiations. After contract award, the contracting officer must follow the procedures at 22.404-6(b)(5), except that for contract modifications to exercise an option to extend the term of the contract, the contracting officer must follow the procedures at 22.404-6(d)(2).

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9. In section 22.404-10, revise the first sentence to read as follows:

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Posting wage determinations and notice.

The contractor must keep a copy of the applicable wage determination (and any approved additional classifications) posted at the site of the work in a prominent place where the workers can easily see it. * * *

[Amended]
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10. In section 22.404-11, amend the first sentence by removing “a Wage Appeals” and adding “an Administrative Review” in its place.

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11. Add section 22.404-12 to read as follows:

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Labor standards for contracts containing construction requirements and option provisions that extend the term of the contract.

(a) Each time the contracting officer exercises an option to extend the term of a contract for construction, or a contract that includes substantial and segregable construction work, the contracting officer must modify the contract to incorporate the most current wage determination.

(b) If a contract with an option to extend the term of the contract has indefinite-delivery or indefinite-quantity construction requirements, the contracting officer must incorporate the wage determination incorporated into the contract at the exercise of the option into task orders issued during that option period. The wage determination will be effective for the complete period of performance of those task orders without further revision.

(c) The contracting officer must include in fixed-price contracts a clause that specifies one of the following methods, suitable to the interest of the Government, to provide an allowance for any increases or decreases in labor costs that result from the inclusion of the current wage determination at the exercise of an option to extend the term of the contract:

(1) The contracting officer may provide the offerors the opportunity to bid or propose separate prices for each option period. The contracting officer must not further adjust the contract price as a result of the incorporation of a new or revised wage determination at the exercise of each option to extend the term of the contract. Generally, this method is used in construction-only contracts (with options to extend the term) that are not expected to exceed a total of 3 years.

(2) The contracting officer may include in the contract a separately specified pricing method that permits an adjustment to the contract price or contract labor unit price at the exercise of each option to extend the term of the contract. At the time of option exercise, the contracting officer must incorporate a new wage determination into the contract, and must apply the specific pricing method to calculate the contract price adjustment. An example of a contract pricing method that the contracting officer might separately specify is incorporation in the solicitation and resulting contract of the pricing data from an annually published unit pricing book (e.g., the R.S. Means Cost Estimating System, or the U.S. Army Computer-Aided Cost Estimating System), which is multiplied in the contract by a factor proposed by the contractor (e.g., .95 or 1.1). At option exercise, the contracting officer incorporates the pricing data from the latest annual edition of the unit pricing book, multiplied by the factor agreed to in the basic contract. The contracting officer must not further adjust the contract price as a result of the incorporation of the new or revised wage determination.

(3) The contracting officer may provide for a contract price adjustment based solely on a percentage rate determined by the contracting officer using a published economic indicator incorporated into the solicitation and resulting contract. At the exercise of each option to extend the term of the contract, the contracting officer will apply the percentage rate, based on the economic indicator, to the portion of the contract price or contract unit price designated in the contract clause as labor costs subject to the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act. The contracting officer must insert 50 percent as the estimated portion of the contract price that is labor unless the contracting officer determines, prior to issuance of the solicitation, that a different percentage is more appropriate for a particular contract or requirement. This percentage adjustment to the designated labor costs must be the only adjustment made to cover increases in wages and/or benefits resulting from the incorporation of a new or revised wage determination at the exercise of the option.

(4) The contracting officer may provide a computation method to adjust the contract price to reflect the contractor's actual increase or decrease in wages and fringe benefits (combined) to the extent that the increase is made to comply with, or the decrease is voluntarily made by the contractor as a result of incorporation of, a new or revised wage determination at the exercise of the option to extend the term of the contract. Generally, this method is appropriate for use only if contract requirements are predominately services subject to the Service Contract Act and the construction requirements are substantial and segregable. The methods used to adjust the contract price for the service requirements and the construction requirements would be similar.

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12. In section 22.406-3, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:

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Additional classifications.
* * * * *

(e) In each option to extend the term of the contract, if any laborer or mechanic is to be employed during the option in a classification that is not listed (or no longer listed) on the wage determination incorporated in that option, the contracting officer must require that the contractor submit a request for conformance using the procedures noted in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.

[Amended]
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13. Amend section 22.406-10 in the last sentence of paragraph (e) by removing the words “Wage Appeals” and by adding “Administrative Review” in its place.

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14. In section 22.407, add paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.
* * * * *

(e) Insert the clause at 52.222-30, Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (None or Separately Specified Pricing Method), in solicitations and contracts if the contract is expected to be—

(1) A fixed-price contract subject to the Davis-Bacon Act that will contain option provisions by which the Start Printed Page 53482contracting officer may extend the term of the contract, and the contracting officer determines the most appropriate contract price adjustment method is the method at 22.404-12(c)(1) or (2); or

(2) A cost-reimbursable type contract subject to the Davis-Bacon Act that will contain option provisions by which the contracting officer may extend the term of the contract.

(f) Insert the clause at 52.222-31, Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Percentage Method), in solicitations and contracts if the contract is expected to be a fixed-price contract subject to the Davis-Bacon Act that will contain option provisions by which the contracting officer may extend the term of the contract, and the contracting officer determines the most appropriate contract price adjustment method is the method at 22.404-12(c)(3).

(g) Insert the clause at 52.222-32, Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Actual Method), in solicitations and contracts if the contract is expected to be a fixed-price contract subject to the Davis-Bacon Act that will contain option provisions by which the contracting officer may extend the term of the contract, and the contracting officer determines the most appropriate method to establish contract price is the method at 22.404-12(c)(4).

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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15. Add sections 52.222-30, 52.222-31, and 52.222-32 to read as follows:

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Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (None or Separately Specified Method).
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As prescribed in 22.407(e), insert the following clause:

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Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (None or Separately Specified Method) (Dec 2001)

(a) The wage determination issued under the Davis-Bacon Act by the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, that is effective for an option to extend the term of the contract, will apply to that option period.

(b) The Contracting Officer will make no adjustment in contract price, other than provided for elsewhere in this contract, to cover any increases or decreases in wages and benefits as a result of—

(1) Incorporation of the Department of Labor's wage determination applicable at the exercise of the option to extend the term of the contract;

(2) Incorporation of a wage determination otherwise applied to the contract by operation of law; or

(3) An increase in wages and benefits resulting from any other requirement applicable to workers subject to the Davis-Bacon Act.

(End of clause)

Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Percentage Method).
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As prescribed in 22.407(f), insert the following clause:

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Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Percentage Method) (Dec 2001)

(a) The wage determination issued under the Davis-Bacon Act by the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, that is effective for an option to extend the term of the contract, will apply to that option period.

(b) The Contracting Officer will adjust the portion of the contract price or contract unit price(s) containing the labor costs subject to the Davis-Bacon Act to provide for an increase in wages and fringe benefits at the exercise of each option to extend the term of the contract in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) The Contracting Officer has determined that the portion of the contract price or contract unit price(s) containing labor costs subject to the Davis-Bacon Act is ______ [Contracting Officer insert percentage rate] percent.

(2) The Contracting Officer will increase the portion of the contract price or contract unit price(s) containing the labor costs subject to the Davis-Bacon Act by the percentage rate published in ______[Contracting Officer insert publication].

(c) The Contracting Officer will make the price adjustment at the exercise of each option to extend the term of the contract. This adjustment is the only adjustment that the Contracting Officer will make to cover any increases in wages and benefits as a result of—

(1) Incorporation of the Department of Labor's wage determination applicable at the exercise of the option to extend the term of the contract;

(2) Incorporation of a wage determination otherwise applied to the contract by operation of law; or

(3) An increase in wages and benefits resulting from any other requirement applicable to workers subject to the Davis-Bacon Act.

(End of clause)

Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Actual Method).
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As prescribed in 22.407(g), insert the following clause:

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Davis-Bacon Act—Price Adjustment (Actual Method) (Dec 2001)

(a) The wage determination issued under the Davis-Bacon Act by the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, that is effective for an option to extend the term of the contract, will apply to that option period.

(b)(1) The Contractor states that if the prices in this contract contain an allowance for wage or benefit increases, such allowance will not be included in any request for contract price adjustment submitted under this clause.

(2) The Contractor shall provide with each request for contract price adjustment under this clause a statement that the prices in the contract do not include any allowance for any increased cost for which adjustment is being requested.

(c) The Contracting Officer will adjust the contract price or contract unit price labor rates to reflect the Contractor's actual increase or decrease in wages and fringe benefits to the extent that the increase is made to comply with, or the decrease is voluntarily made by the Contractor as a result of—

(1) Incorporation of the Department of Labor's Davis-Bacon Act wage determination applicable at the exercise of an option to extend the term of the contract; or

(2) Incorporation of a Davis-Bacon Act wage determination otherwise applied to the contract by operation of law.

(d) Any adjustment will be limited to increases or decreases in wages and fringe benefits as described in paragraph (c) of this clause, and the accompanying increases or decreases in social security and unemployment taxes and workers’ compensation insurance, but will not otherwise include any amount for general and administrative costs, overhead, or profit.

(e) The Contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer of any increase claimed under this clause within 30 days after receiving a revised wage determination unless this notification period is extended in writing by the Contracting Officer. The Contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer promptly of any decrease under this clause, but nothing in this clause precludes the Government from asserting a claim within the period permitted by law. The notice shall contain a statement of the amount claimed and any relevant supporting data, including payroll records that the Contracting Officer may reasonably require. Upon agreement of the parties, the Contracting Officer will modify the contract price or contract unit price in writing. The Contractor shall continue performance pending agreement on or determination of any such adjustment and its effective date.

(f) Contract price adjustment computations shall be computed as follows:

(1) Computation for contract unit price per single craft hour for schedule of indefinite-quantity work. For each labor classification, the difference between the actual wage and benefit rates (combined) paid and the wage and benefit rates (combined) required by the new wage determination shall be added to the original contract unit price if the difference results in a combined increase. If the difference computed results in a combined decrease, the contract unit price shall be decreased by that amount if the Contractor provides notification as provided in paragraph (e) of this clause.

(2) Computation for contract unit price containing multiple craft hours for schedule of indefinite-quantity work. For each labor classification, the difference between the actual wage and benefit rates (combined) paid and the wage and benefit rates (combined) required by the new wage Start Printed Page 53483determination shall be multiplied by the actual number of hours expended for each craft involved in accomplishing the unit-priced work item. The product of this computation will then be divided by the actual number of units ordered in the preceding contract period. The total of these computations for each craft will be added to the current contract unit price to obtain the new contract unit price. The extended amount for the contract line item will be obtained by multiplying the new unit price by the estimated quantity. If actual hours are not available from the preceding contract period for computation of the adjustment for a specific contract unit of work, the Contractor, in agreement with the Contracting Officer, shall estimate the total hours per craft per contract unit of work.

Example: Asphalt Paving—Current Price $3.38 per Square Yard

DBA craftNew WDHourly rate paidDiff.Actual hrs.Actual units (sq. yard)Increase/sq. yard
Equip. Opr.$18.50$18.00=$.50×600 hrs./3,000 sq. yrd.=$.10
Truck Driver$19.00$18.25=$.75×525 hrs./3,000 sq. yrd.=$.13
Laborer$11.50$11.25=$.25×750 hrs./3,000 sq. yrd.=$.06
Total increase per square yard* $.29
* Note: Adjustment for labor rate increases or decreases may be accompanied by social security and unemployment taxes and workers' compensation insurance.
Current unit price (per square yard)$3.38
Add DBA price adj.+.29
New unit price (per square yard)$3.67

(End of clause)

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[FR Doc. 01-26296 Filed 10-19-01; 8:45 am]

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