Federal Construction Contracting Laws


From the Paper
"The federal government is the largest owner of real property in the world (Bastianelli, et. al., 1998), so it stands to reason that they spend an enormous amount of money on construction and maintenance of that property. It is difficult to gauge exactly how much the federal government spends on construction annually, but it is noteworthy that the Department of Defense alone planned to award over $10 billion on construction contracts in 2002 (Bush, 2001). Because of this significant amount of construction outsourcing, and the intricacies that go along with construction contracting, the federal government has been justified in developing unique regulations and rules for construction contracts. The federal government, in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), defines construction as, "construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging, excavating, and painting) of buildings, structures, or other real property" (FAR 2.101). Determining whether or not something is considered a building or a structure is general straightforward, although there are always exceptions. However, the line defining whether or not something is real property can, at times, be somewhat unclear. The FAR does not provide a definition for real property, but in federal contracts the common legal definition is used, that real property is, "land and all things that are attached to it" (Lectric Law Library, 2003). Though many of the clauses, terms and conditions, and rules applicable to federal construction contracts are the same, or similar, to those that are used on federal contracts for supplies, there are a number of differences in the nature of contracting for construction that have caused the federal government to create separate laws that deal specifically with federal construction contracts. One of the major differences is that construction contracts are performed on Government property. Because of this, construction contractors are subject to a great deal more in the area of inspections and general surveillance on their contracts (Abernathy and Kelleher, 1976). Construction contracts typically have much more paperwork than federal supply contracts. On construction contracts, a contractor is required to file daily reports showing that they complied with all the unique construction regulations, including safety, schedules, and submittals of material samples (Arnavas, 2001, 27.4.a.). Construction contracts are subject to much greater scrutiny on performance than supply contracts, as detailed analysis and explanation of any deficiencies are reported to contractors and contractors have the right to respond. Past performance information is also kept on construction contracts for six years, where the norm on supply contracts is three years (Arnavas, 2001, 27.4.a). Other differences that will be the focus of this paper include contract types, labor laws, specifications, payments, delays, and differing site conditions."

Federal contracts for construction, while similar in many respects to other types of federal contracts, have some unique aspects that have caused the federal government to create a system of rules within the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) specific to construction contracts. The federal government has been justified in creating these rules separate from those that apply specifically to supply and service contracts. This paper focuses on some of the unique rules and regulations that apply to federal construction contracts, including those related to contract types, labor laws, specifications, payments, delays, and differing site conditions.


3,737 words (approx. 14.9 pages), 15 sources, APA, 2003, $ 103.95
Essay (General) # 53329

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