29 CFR 4.123 - Administrative limitations, variances, tolerances, and exemptions.

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§ 4.123 Administrative limitations, variances, tolerances, and exemptions.

(a)Authority of the Secretary. Section 4(b) of the Act as amended in 1972 authorizes the Secretary to “provide such reasonable limitations” and to “make such rules and regulations allowing reasonable variations, tolerances, and exemptions to and from any or all provisions of this Act (other than § 10), but only in special circumstances where he determines that such limitation, variation, tolerance, or exemption is necessary and proper in the public interest or to avoid the serious impairment of Government business, and is in accord with the remedial purpose of this Act to protect prevailing labor standards.” This authority is similar to that vested in the Secretary under section 6 of the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act ( 41 U.S.C. 40) and under section 105 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act ( 40 U.S.C. 331).

(b)Administrative action under section 4(b) of the Act. The authority conferred on the Secretary by section 4(b) of the Act will be exercised with due regard to the remedial purpose of the statute to protect prevailing labor standards and to avoid the undercutting of such standards which could result from the award of Government work to contractors who will not observe such standards, and whose saving in labor cost therefrom enables them to offer a lower price to the Government than can be offered by the fair employers who maintain the prevailing standards. Administrative action consistent with this statutory purpose may be taken under section 4(b) with or without a request therefor, when found necessary and proper in accordance with the statutory standards. No formal procedures have been prescribed for requesting such action. However, a request for exemption from the Act's provisions will be granted only upon a strong and affirmative showing that it is necessary and proper in the public interest or to avoid serious impairment of Government business, and is in accord with the remedial purpose of the Act to protect prevailing labor standards. If the request for administrative action under section 4(b) is not made by the headquarters office of the contracting agency to which the contract services are to be provided, the views of such office on the matter should be obtained and submitted with the request or the contracting officer may forward such a request through channels to the agency headquarters for submission with the latter's views to the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor, whenever any wage payment issues are involved. Any request relating to an occupational safety or health issue shall be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Labor.

(c)Documentation of official action under section 4(b). All papers and documents made a part of the official record of administrative action pursuant to section 4(b) of the Act are available for public inspection in accordance with the regulations in 29 CFR part 70. Limitations, variations, tolerances and exemptions of general applicability and legal effect promulgated pursuant to such authority are published in the Federal Register and made a part of the rules incorporated in this part 4. For convenience in use of the rules, they are generally set forth in the sections of this part covering the subject matter to which they relate. (See, for example, §§ 4.5(b), 4.6(o), 4.112 and 4.113.) Any rules that are promulgated under section 4(b) of the Act relating to subject matter not dealt with elsewhere in this part 4 will be set forth immediately following this paragraph.

(d) In addition to the statutory exemptions in section 7 of the Act (see § 4.115(b)), the following types of contracts have been exempted from all the provisions of the Service Contract Act of 1965, pursuant to section 4(b) of the Act, prior to its amendment by Public Law 92-473, which exemptions the Secretary of Labor found to be necessary and proper in the public interest or to avoid serious impairment of the conduct of Government business:

(1) Contracts entered into by the United States with common carriers for the carriage of mail by rail, air (except air star routes), bus, and ocean vessel, where such carriage is performed on regularly scheduled runs of the trains, airplanes, buses, and vessels over regularly established routes and accounts for an insubstantial portion of the revenue therefrom;

(2) Any contract entered into by the U.S. Postal Service with an individual owner-operator for mail service where it is not contemplated at the time the contract is made that such owner-operator will hire any service employee to perform the services under the contract except for short periods of vacation time or for unexpected contingencies or emergency situations such as illness, or accident; and

(3) Contracts for the carriage of freight or personnel where such carriage is subject to rates covered by section 10721 of the Interstate Commerce Act.

(e) The following types of contracts have been exempted from all the provisions of the Service Contract Act of 1965, pursuant to section 4(b) of the Act, which exemptions the Secretary of Labor found are necessary and proper in the public interest or to avoid serious impairment of the conduct of Government business, and are in accord with the remedial purpose of the Act to protect prevailing labor standards:

(1)

(i) Prime contracts or sub contracts principally for the maintenance, calibration, and/or repair of:

(A) Automated data processing equipment and office information/word processing systems;

(B) Scientific equipment and medical apparatus or equipment where the application of microelectronic circuitry or other technology of at least similar sophistication is an essential element (for example, Federal Supply Classification (FSC) Group 65, Class 6515, “Medical Diagnostic Equipment”; Class 6525, “X-Ray Equipment”; FSC Group 66, Class 6630, “Chemical Analysis Instruments”; Class 6665, “Geographical and Astronomical Instruments”, are largely composed of the types of equipment exempted under this paragraph);

(C) Office/business machines not otherwise exempt pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(i)(A) of this section, where such services are performed by the manufacturer or supplier of the equipment.

(ii) The exemptions set forth in this paragraph (e)(1) shall apply only under the following circumstances:

(A) The items of equipment are commercial items which are used regularly for other than Government purposes, and are sold or traded by the contractor (or subcontractor in the case of an exempt subcontract) in substantial quantities to the general public in the course of normal business operations;

(B) The prime contract or subcontract services are furnished at prices which are, or are based on, established catalog or market prices for the maintenance, calibration, and/or repair of such commercial items. An “established catalog price” is a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule, or other form that is regularly maintained by the manufacturer or the contractor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers, and states prices at which sales currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public. An “established market price” is a current price, established in the usual course of trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain, which can be substantiated from sources independent of the manufacturer or contractor; and

(C) The contractor utilizes the same compensation (wage and fringe benefits) plan for all service employees performing work under the contract as the contractor uses for these employees and equivalent employees servicing the same equipment of commercial customers;

(D) The contractor certifies to the provisions in this paragraph (e)(1)(ii). Certification by the prime contractor as to its compliance with respect to the prime contract also constitutes its certification as to compliance by its subcontractor if it subcontracts out the exempt services. The certification shall be included in the prime contract or subcontract.

(iii)

(A) Determinations of the applicability of this exemption to prime contracts shall be made in the first instance by the contracting officer on or before contract award. In making a judgment that the exemption applies, the contracting officer shall consider all factors and make an affirmative determination that all of the conditions in paragraph (e)(1) of this section have been met.

(B) Determinations of the applicability of this exemption to subcontracts shall be made by the prime contractor on or before subcontract award. In making a judgment that the exemption applies, the prime contractor shall consider all factors and make an affirmative determination that all of the conditions in paragraph (e)(1) have been met.

(iv)

(A) If the Administrator determines after award of the prime contract that any of the requirements in paragraph (e)(1) of this section for exemption has not been met, the exemption will be deemed inapplicable, and the contract shall become subject to the Service Contract Act, effective as of the date of the Administrator's determination. In such case, the corrective procedures in § 4.5(c) shall be followed.

(B) The prime contractor is responsible for compliance with the requirements of the Service Contract Act by its subcontractors, including compliance with all of the requirements of this exemption (see § 4.114(b)). If the Administrator determines that any of the requirements in paragraph (e)(1) for exemption has not been met with respect to a subcontract, the exemption will be deemed inapplicable, and the prime contractor may be responsible for compliance with the Act effective as of the date of contract award.

(2)

(i) Prime contracts or sub contracts principally for the following services where the services under the contract or subcontract meet all of the criteria set forth in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section and are not excluded by paragraph (e)(2)(iii):

(A) Automobile or other vehicle (e.g., aircraft) maintenance services (other than contracts to operate a Government motor pool or similar facility);

(B) Financial services involving the issuance and servicing of cards (including credit cards, debit cards, purchase cards, smart cards, and similar card services);

(C) Contracts with hotels/motels for conferences, including lodging and/or meals which are part of the contract for the conference (which shall not include ongoing contracts for lodging on an as needed or continuing basis);

(D) Maintenance, calibration, repair and/or installation (where the installation is not subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, as provided in § 4.116(c)(2)) services for all types of equipment where the services are obtained from the manufacturer or supplier of the equipment under a contract awarded on a sole source basis;

(E) Transportation by common carrier of persons by air, motor vehicle, rail, or marine vessel on regularly scheduled routes or via standard commercial services (not including charter services);

(F) Real estate services, including real property appraisal services, related to housing federal agencies or disposing of real property owned by the Federal Government; and

(G) Relocation services, including services of real estate brokers and appraisers, to assist federal employees or military personnel in buying and selling homes (which shall not include actual moving or storage of household goods and related services).

(ii) The exemption set forth in this paragraph (e)(2) shall apply to the services listed in paragraph (e)(2)(i) only when all of the following criteria are met:

(A) The services under the prime contract or subcontract are commercial - i.e., they are offered and sold regularly to non-Governmental customers, and are provided by the contractor (or subcontractor in the case of an exempt subcontract) to the general public in substantial quantities in the course of normal business operations.

(B) The prime contract or subcontract will be awarded on a sole source basis or the contractor or subcontractor will be selected for award on the basis of other factors in addition to price. In such cases, price must be equal to or less important than the combination of other non-price or cost factors in selecting the contractor.

(C) The prime contract or subcontract services are furnished at prices which are, or are based on, established catalog or market prices. An established price is a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule, or other form that is regularly maintained by the contractor or subcontractor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers, and states prices at which sales are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public. An established market price is a current price, established in the usual course of trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain, which can be substantiated from sources independent of the manufacturer or contractor.

(D) Each service employee who will perform services under the Government contract or subcontract will spend only a small portion of his or her time (a monthly average of less than 20 percent of the available hours on an annualized basis, or less than 20 percent of available hours during the contract period if the contract period is less than a month) servicing the government contract or subcontract.

(E) The contractor utilizes the same compensation (wage and fringe benefits) plan for all service employees performing work under the contract or subcontract as the contractor uses for these employees and for equivalent employees servicing commercial customers.

(F) The contracting officer (or prime contractor with respect to a subcontract) determines in advance, based on the nature of the contract requirements and knowledge of the practices of likely offerors, that all or nearly all offerors will meet the requirements in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section. Where the services are currently being performed under contract, the contracting officer or prime contractor shall consider the practices of the existing contractor in making a determination regarding the requirements in paragraph (e)(2)(ii). If upon receipt of offers, the contracting officer finds that he or she did not correctly determine that all or nearly all offerors would meet the requirements, the Service Contract Act shall apply to the procurement, even if the successful offeror has certified in accordance with paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(G) of this section.

(G) The contractor certifies in the prime contract or subcontract, as applicable, to the provisions in paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(A) and (C) through (E) of this section. Certification by the prime contractor as to its compliance with respect to the prime contract also constitutes its certification as to compliance by its subcontractor if it subcontracts out the exempt services. If the contracting officer or prime contractor has reason to doubt the validity of the certification, SCA stipulations shall be included in the prime contract or subcontract.

(iii)

(A) If the Administrator determines after award of the prime contract that any of the requirements in paragraph (e)(2) of this section for exemption has not been met, the exemption will be deemed inapplicable, and the contract shall become subject to the Service Contract Act. In such case, the corrective procedures in § 4.5(c) shall be followed.

(B) The prime contractor is responsible for compliance with the requirements of the Service Contract Act by its subcontractors, including compliance with all of the requirements of this exemption (see § 4.114(b)). If the Department of Labor determines that any of the requirements in paragraph (e)(2) for exemption has not been met with respect to a subcontract, the exemption will be deemed inapplicable, and the prime contractor may be responsible for compliance with the Act, as of the date of contract award.

(iv) The exemption set forth in this paragraph (e)(2) does not apply to solicitations and contracts:

(A) Entered into under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, 41 U.S.C. 47;

(B) For the operation of a Government facility or portion thereof (but may be applicable to subcontracts for services set forth in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) that meet all of the criteria of paragraph (e)(2)(ii)); or

(C) Subject to section 4(c) of the Service Contract Act, as well as any options or extensions under such contract.

[ 48 FR 49762, Oct. 27, 1983, as amended 66 FR 5134, Jan. 18, 2001; 70 FR 50899, Aug. 26, 2005]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 41 - PUBLIC CONTRACTS
Statutes at Large
Public Laws