“It only makes sense that when changes are made to a federal construction contract, money should be available to pay for the additional work requested,” SMACNA President Thomas Szymczak said. “And unfortunately, in many instances that is not the case.”
In order to remedy this situation the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) is spearheading a drive with eight other associations representing construction contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals. This group petitioned the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to modify the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in a letter to Ms. Anne Rung, the administrator for federal procurement policy.
The letter stated: Our members are facing increasing numbers of instances in which a contracting officer will direct a change in the scope of work on a construction project, lacking funds available to pay for the increased costs being imposed upon the contractor.
The changes the group recommended would involve a new provision under FAR Subpart 36.5 requiring the contracting officer to take actions required by FAR Part 43.105 (Availability of Funds) as well as the requirements of the Anti-Deficiency Act. In addition, an amendment to FAR Part 52.243.4 (Changes) would allow the contracting officer to continue to make changes in the work within the general scope of the contract, at any time and without notice to sureties, “but only if funds are available to pay the costs of such changes.”
Associations represented in addition to SMACNA are the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Subcontractors Association, Associated General Contractors of America, Design-Build Institute of America, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Association of Surety Bond Producers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and the Surety & Fidelity Association of America.
SMACNA, an international trade association representing 4,500 contributing contractor firms, is a leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry. SMACNA has national offices in Chantilly, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill. Visit www.smacna.org.