Enhancing Highway Workforce Development Opportunities Contracting Initiative, 8081-8082 [2022-02974]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 29 / Friday, February 11, 2022 / Notices their partners to assignments in the U.S. Embassies, Consulates or Mission abroad. The authority is the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, and 22 U.S.C. 2669(c). Methodology Member: Dawn Shackleford, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Member: Dan Mullaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East Member: Julie Callahan, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs Member: Juan Millan, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Monitoring and Investment Candidates for employment use the DS–0174 to apply for Missionadvertised positions around the world. Mission recruitments generate approximately 1 million applications per year, the majority of which are collected electronically using an applicant management system, Electronic Recruitment Application (ERA). Data that HR and hiring officials extract from the DS–0174 determine employment eligibility and qualifications for the position, and selections according to Federal Policies. Fred Ames, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Administration, Office of the United States Trade Representative. Kevin E. Bryant, Deputy Director, Office of Directives Management, Department of State. Federal Highway Administration [FR Doc. 2022–02999 Filed 2–10–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3390–F2–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Enhancing Highway Workforce Development Opportunities Contracting Initiative [FR Doc. 2022–02941 Filed 2–10–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice announces the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) staff members selected to serve on the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level (SL) Performance Review Board (PRB). This notice supersedes all previous PRB membership notices. DATES: The staff members in this notice will begin serving as PRB members on February 11, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cassie Ender, Human Capital Specialist, Office of Human Capital and Services, at (202) 395–7360 or Cassie.L.Galla@ ustr.eop.gov. SUMMARY: USTR is required (see 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)) to establish a PRB to review and make recommendations to the U.S. Trade Representative for final approval of the performance rating, performance-based pay adjustment, and performance award for each incumbent SES and SL. The following staff members have been selected to serve on USTR’s PRB: Chair: Bill Jackson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textile Affairs lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Feb 10, 2022 The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, authorizes a recipient or subrecipient of a grant provided by the DOT Secretary under Title 23 or 49, United States Code, to implement a local or other geographical or economic hiring preference relating to the use of labor for construction of a project funded by the grant subject to any applicable State and local laws, policies, and procedures. Based on this statutory authorization, FHWA is announcing a transition from its initiative announced in May 2021, which permitted, on an experimental basis, recipients and subrecipients of Federal funds for Federal-aid highway projects to utilize geographic, economic, or other hiring preferences or innovative contracting approaches not otherwise authorized by law. The May 2021 initiative was carried out as a pilot program under FHWA’s existing experimental contracting authority and the legal authority in the Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorizing such hiring preferences ‘‘not otherwise authorized by law.’’ Now that BIL creates the legal authority for local or other geographical or economic hiring preferences, an experimental pilot program for such hiring preferences is no longer needed. In Addition, the use of such preferences SUMMARY: Performance Review Board Membership Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8081 going forward are subject to Section 25019 of the BIL, not Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. DATES: This action is applicable immediately. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information: Mr. James DeSanto, Office of Preconstruction, Construction and Pavements, (614) 357– 8515, James.DeSanto@dot.gov, or Mr. Patrick Smith, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366–1345, Patrick.C.Smith@ dot.gov, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register’s website at www.FederalRegister.gov and the Government Publishing Office’s website at www.GovInfo.gov. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law The BIL, enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law 117–58 (Nov. 15, 2021), authorizes a recipient or subrecipient of a grant provided by the DOT Secretary under Title 23 or 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), to implement a local or other geographical or economic hiring preference relating to the use of labor for construction of a project funded by the grant, including prehire agreements, subject to any applicable State and local laws, policies, and procedures. BIL, § 25019(a)(1). The BIL also provides that the use of a local or other geographical or economic hiring preference authorized by Section 25019(a)(1) in any bid for a contract for the construction of a project funded by a grant described in Section 25019(a)(1) shall not be considered to unduly limit competition. BIL, § 25019(a)(2). Enhancing Highway Workforce Development Opportunities Contracting Initiative On May 21, 2021, at 86 FR 27667, FHWA announced an initiative to permit and evaluate geographic, economic, or other hiring preferences or innovative contracting approaches not otherwise authorized by law that have the potential to enhance workforce development opportunities in the transportation construction industry, including for low-income communities. As discussed in the Federal Register notice for that initiative, FHWA historically disallowed such requirements out of concern for their potential impact on competition. E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 8082 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 29 / Friday, February 11, 2022 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Generally, Federal law requires Federalaid highway and roadway projects (apart from a few exceptions) to be awarded on the basis of competitive bidding. The initiative announced in May 2021 was authorized under Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law 116–260, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat 1182, which allowed DOT-assisted contracts under Titles 49 and 23 of the U.S.C. to use geographic, economic, or any other hiring preference not otherwise authorized by law, with certain limitations including required certifications. The initiative was also based on FHWA’s Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP–14) authority for special experimental projects set forth at 23 U.S.C. 502(b)(2) to allow FHWA to continue to gather data and evaluate experimental contracting practices. Under the May 2021 initiative FHWA required State and local recipients and subrecipients to request prior approval from FHWA to use a specific contracting requirement under SEP–14 by submitting work plans to the appropriate FHWA Division Office. Transition From Pilot Program Based on the statutory authority for local or other geographical or economic hiring preferences in Section 25019(a) of the BIL, FHWA is transitioning from its initiative announced in May 2021. Since Section 25019 authorizes the use of certain hiring preferences, the use of such preferences going forward are subject to Section 25019 of the BIL, not Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Also, while local hiring preferences have traditionally been disallowed in accordance with 23 CFR 635.117(b) and 636.107, given the statutory authority for local or other geographical or economic hiring preferences under the BIL, an experimental pilot program is no longer needed for labor hiring preferences that fall within the legislatively authorized parameters. Innovative contracting approaches or requirements, including those related to workforce development, falling outside of the parameters authorized by Section 25019(a) of the BIL may still be considered by FHWA under its experimental SEP–14 authority on a case-by-case basis. Upon publication of this notice, and based on Section 25019(a) of the BIL, FHWA approval is no longer needed for authorized labor hiring preferences. As discussed in the Federal Register notice announcing the May 2021 initiative, DOT generally exercises discretion under 23 U.S.C. 112 to evaluate whether VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Feb 10, 2022 Jkt 256001 a State or local law or policy is compatible with the competitive bidding requirement under the statute. The DOT has historically disallowed certain hiring preferences out of concern for their potential impact on competition. Based on the clear direction in Section 25019(a)(2) of the BIL that the use of a local or other geographical or economic hiring preference authorized by Section 25019(a)(1) shall not be considered to unduly limit competition, DOT will not engage in or have a role in evaluating the effects on competition, if any, of labor hiring preferences expressly authorized under the BIL. Although DOT evaluation is no longer required, State and local recipients and subrecipients remain responsible for ensuring that the establishment and implementation of a hiring preference is otherwise consistent with applicable Federal, State, and local laws as provided in Section 25019(a)(1). State and local recipients and subrecipients may continue to administer any contracts authorized under the May 2021 initiative for the duration of these contracts per the requirements of their approved workplans. The FHWA may continue to use SEP–14 to authorize and evaluate contracting methods that are outside the scope of Section 25019(a) of the BIL. Authority: Section 25019 of Pub. L. 117–58; 23 U.S.C. 502(b); Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021. Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2022–02974 Filed 2–10–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2022–0002–N–3] Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its implementing regulations, FRA seeks approval of the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below. Before submitting this ICR to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 approval, FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified in the ICR. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 12, 2022. ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for the proposed ICR should be submitted on regulations.gov to the docket, Docket No. FRA–2022– 0002. All comments received will be posted without change to the docket, including any personal information provided. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Hodan Wells, Information Collection Clearance Officer, at email: hodan.wells@dot.gov or telephone: (202) 493–0440. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to provide 60-days’ notice to the public to allow comment on information collection activities before seeking OMB approval of the activities. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. Specifically, FRA invites interested parties to comment on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA’s estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1). FRA believes that soliciting public comment may reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information that Federal regulations mandate. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (1) Reduce reporting burdens; (2) organize information collection requirements in a ‘‘user-friendly’’ format to improve the use of such information; and (3) accurately assess the resources E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 29 (Friday, February 11, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8081-8082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02974]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Enhancing Highway Workforce Development Opportunities Contracting 
Initiative

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), 
enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, authorizes a 
recipient or subrecipient of a grant provided by the DOT Secretary 
under Title 23 or 49, United States Code, to implement a local or other 
geographical or economic hiring preference relating to the use of labor 
for construction of a project funded by the grant subject to any 
applicable State and local laws, policies, and procedures. Based on 
this statutory authorization, FHWA is announcing a transition from its 
initiative announced in May 2021, which permitted, on an experimental 
basis, recipients and subrecipients of Federal funds for Federal-aid 
highway projects to utilize geographic, economic, or other hiring 
preferences or innovative contracting approaches not otherwise 
authorized by law. The May 2021 initiative was carried out as a pilot 
program under FHWA's existing experimental contracting authority and 
the legal authority in the Section 199B of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2021, authorizing such hiring preferences ``not 
otherwise authorized by law.'' Now that BIL creates the legal authority 
for local or other geographical or economic hiring preferences, an 
experimental pilot program for such hiring preferences is no longer 
needed. In Addition, the use of such preferences going forward are 
subject to Section 25019 of the BIL, not Section 199B of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

DATES: This action is applicable immediately.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information: Mr. James 
DeSanto, Office of Preconstruction, Construction and Pavements, (614) 
357-8515, [email protected], or Mr. Patrick Smith, Office of Chief 
Counsel, (202) 366-1345, [email protected], Federal Highway 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the 
Office of the Federal Register's website at www.FederalRegister.gov and 
the Government Publishing Office's website at www.GovInfo.gov.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

    The BIL, enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 
Public Law 117-58 (Nov. 15, 2021), authorizes a recipient or 
subrecipient of a grant provided by the DOT Secretary under Title 23 or 
49, United States Code (U.S.C.), to implement a local or other 
geographical or economic hiring preference relating to the use of labor 
for construction of a project funded by the grant, including prehire 
agreements, subject to any applicable State and local laws, policies, 
and procedures. BIL, Sec.  25019(a)(1). The BIL also provides that the 
use of a local or other geographical or economic hiring preference 
authorized by Section 25019(a)(1) in any bid for a contract for the 
construction of a project funded by a grant described in Section 
25019(a)(1) shall not be considered to unduly limit competition. BIL, 
Sec.  25019(a)(2).

Enhancing Highway Workforce Development Opportunities Contracting 
Initiative

    On May 21, 2021, at 86 FR 27667, FHWA announced an initiative to 
permit and evaluate geographic, economic, or other hiring preferences 
or innovative contracting approaches not otherwise authorized by law 
that have the potential to enhance workforce development opportunities 
in the transportation construction industry, including for low-income 
communities. As discussed in the Federal Register notice for that 
initiative, FHWA historically disallowed such requirements out of 
concern for their potential impact on competition.

[[Page 8082]]

Generally, Federal law requires Federal-aid highway and roadway 
projects (apart from a few exceptions) to be awarded on the basis of 
competitive bidding.
    The initiative announced in May 2021 was authorized under Section 
199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law 116-260, 
Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat 1182, which allowed DOT-assisted contracts 
under Titles 49 and 23 of the U.S.C. to use geographic, economic, or 
any other hiring preference not otherwise authorized by law, with 
certain limitations including required certifications. The initiative 
was also based on FHWA's Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14) 
authority for special experimental projects set forth at 23 U.S.C. 
502(b)(2) to allow FHWA to continue to gather data and evaluate 
experimental contracting practices.
    Under the May 2021 initiative FHWA required State and local 
recipients and subrecipients to request prior approval from FHWA to use 
a specific contracting requirement under SEP-14 by submitting work 
plans to the appropriate FHWA Division Office.

Transition From Pilot Program

    Based on the statutory authority for local or other geographical or 
economic hiring preferences in Section 25019(a) of the BIL, FHWA is 
transitioning from its initiative announced in May 2021. Since Section 
25019 authorizes the use of certain hiring preferences, the use of such 
preferences going forward are subject to Section 25019 of the BIL, not 
Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Also, while 
local hiring preferences have traditionally been disallowed in 
accordance with 23 CFR 635.117(b) and 636.107, given the statutory 
authority for local or other geographical or economic hiring 
preferences under the BIL, an experimental pilot program is no longer 
needed for labor hiring preferences that fall within the legislatively 
authorized parameters. Innovative contracting approaches or 
requirements, including those related to workforce development, falling 
outside of the parameters authorized by Section 25019(a) of the BIL may 
still be considered by FHWA under its experimental SEP-14 authority on 
a case-by-case basis.
    Upon publication of this notice, and based on Section 25019(a) of 
the BIL, FHWA approval is no longer needed for authorized labor hiring 
preferences. As discussed in the Federal Register notice announcing the 
May 2021 initiative, DOT generally exercises discretion under 23 U.S.C. 
112 to evaluate whether a State or local law or policy is compatible 
with the competitive bidding requirement under the statute. The DOT has 
historically disallowed certain hiring preferences out of concern for 
their potential impact on competition. Based on the clear direction in 
Section 25019(a)(2) of the BIL that the use of a local or other 
geographical or economic hiring preference authorized by Section 
25019(a)(1) shall not be considered to unduly limit competition, DOT 
will not engage in or have a role in evaluating the effects on 
competition, if any, of labor hiring preferences expressly authorized 
under the BIL. Although DOT evaluation is no longer required, State and 
local recipients and subrecipients remain responsible for ensuring that 
the establishment and implementation of a hiring preference is 
otherwise consistent with applicable Federal, State, and local laws as 
provided in Section 25019(a)(1).
    State and local recipients and subrecipients may continue to 
administer any contracts authorized under the May 2021 initiative for 
the duration of these contracts per the requirements of their approved 
workplans. The FHWA may continue to use SEP-14 to authorize and 
evaluate contracting methods that are outside the scope of Section 
25019(a) of the BIL.
    Authority: Section 25019 of Pub. L. 117-58; 23 U.S.C. 502(b); 
Section 199B of the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021.

Stephanie Pollack,
Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2022-02974 Filed 2-10-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P