Physical Inclusion Of Wage Determination(s) in Bid Specifications And Contract

DOL regulations, at 29 C.F.R. Part 1, establish the procedures for predetermining the wage rates required to be included in bid specifications/contracts for construction projects to which the Davis-Bacon and related Acts apply. (See excerpt, above, from the Davis-Bacon Act.) The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) also discuss the application of proper wage determinations in 48 C.F.R. Subpart 22.4 - "Labor Standards for Contracts Involving Construction."

It is important for the actual wage determination(s) to be physically included in the bid specifications/contract. Contractors need to see the minimum wages they will be required to pay while they develop their cost estimates for work to be performed. Most Davis-Bacon wage determinations are available at

It is generally the responsibility of the federal agency that funds or assists Davis-Bacon covered construction:

  1. To ensure that the proper Davis-Bacon wage determination(s) is/are applied to such construction contract(s). (See 29 C.F.R. § 1.5, and 1.6(b)).
  2. To advise contractors which schedule of prevailing wages applies to various construction items if a contract includes multiple wage schedules.
  3. To be able/ready to advise contractors regarding the duties performed by the various crafts in the wage determination, if they inquire. If two or more classifications in the applicable wage determination may perform the work in question, an area practice survey may be required. Where the classifications are from a single sector of the industry (union or non-union), data needs to be collected only from that sector of the construction industry (for the type of construction involved). Where union and non-union-based classifications are involved, the data should be obtained from both segments. (See the "area practice" section of the materials in the "DB/DBRA Compliance Principles" chapter, below, for a detailed discussion of area practice surveys.)

Questions and disputes regarding the application of the proper Davis-Bacon wage determination(s) to covered construction projects should be referred to the WHD Branch of Construction Wage Determinations.

It can be disruptive and costly for an agency to correct a situation where a covered contract is awarded without a wage determination, or with the wrong wage determination (i.e., a wage determination that by its terms or according to the requirements of 29 C.F.R. Part 1, further discussed below, clearly does not apply to the contract). When this happens, corrective action is required:

The agency shall terminate and resolicit the contract with the valid wage determination, or incorporate the valid wage determination retroactive to the beginning of construction through supplemental agreement or through change order provided that the contractor is compensated for any increases in wages resulting from such change. The method of incorporation of the valid wage determination and adjustment in contract price, where appropriate, should be in accordance with applicable procurement law. [29 C.F.R. § 1.6(f)].

Consulting Services We Provide

  • Review public works preconstruction contracts
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  • Audit labor classification for each worker employed
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  • Review DIR Fringe Benefits Statement PW-26
  • Monitor DIR wage determinations
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  • Federal FAA AIP Goal Setting
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