29 CFR § 4.111 - Contracts “to furnish services.”

§ 4.111 Contracts “to furnish services.”

(a) “Principal purpose” as criterion. Under its terms, the Act applies to a “contract * * * the principal purpose of which is to furnish services * * *.” If the principal purpose is to provide something other than services of the character contemplated by the Act and any such services which may be performed are only incidental to the performance of a contract for another purpose, the Act does not apply. However, as will be seen by examining the illustrative examples of covered contracts in §§ 4.130 et seq., no hard and fast rule can be laid down as to the precise meaning of the term principal purpose. This remedial Act is intended to be applied to a wide variety of contracts, and the Act does not define or limit the types of services which may be contracted for under a contract the principal purpose of which is to furnish services. Further, the nomenclature, type, or particular form of contract used by procurement agencies is not determinative of coverage. Whether the principal purpose of a particular contract is the furnishing of services through the use of service employees is largely a question to be determined on the basis of all the facts in each particular case. Even where tangible items of substantial value are important elements of the subject matter of the contract, the facts may show that they are of secondary import to the furnishing of services in the particular case. This principle is illustrated by the examples set forth in § 4.131.

(b) Determining whether a contract is for “services”, generally. Except indirectly through the definition of service employee the Act does not define, or limit, the types of services which may be contracted for under a contract “the principal purpose of which is to furnish services”. As stated in the congressional committee reports on the legislation, the types of service contracts covered by its provisions are varied. Among the examples cited are contracts for laundry and dry cleaning, for transportation of the mail, for custodial, janitorial, or guard service, for packing and crating, for food service, and for miscellaneous housekeeping services. Covered contracts for services would also include those for other types of services which may be performed through the use of the various classes of service employees included in the definition in section 8(b) of the Act (see § 4.113). Examples of some such contracts are set forth in §§ 4.130 et seq. In determining questions of contract coverage, due regard must be given to the apparent legislative intent to include generally as contracts for services those contracts which have as their principal purpose the procurement of something other than the construction activity described in the Davis-Bacon Act or the materials, supplies, articles, and equipment described in the Walsh-Healey Act. The Committee reports in both the House and Senate, and statements made on the floor of the House, took note of the labor standards protections afforded by these two Acts to employees engaged in the performance of construction and supply contracts and observed: “The service contract is now the only remaining category of Federal contracts to which no labor standards protections apply” (H. Rept. 948, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 1; see also S. Rept. 798, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 1; daily Congressional Record, Sept. 20, 1965, p. 23497). A similar understanding of contracts principally for services as embracing contracts other than those for construction or supplies is reflected in the statement of President Johnson upon signing the Act (1 Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, p. 428).

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