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AGC Urges Administration to Reject 'High Road' Rules

The Associated General Contractors of America cautioned the Obama Administration to reject calls to impose new contracting rules that would allow for blacklisting of companies based on arbitrary reasons, false accusations and unproven anonymous complaints. The proposed changes, referred to as ‘High Road’ contracting rules, also have the potential to delay countless federal construction projects by adding new levels of time-consuming and costly bureaucratic reviews.

“Under these proposed rules, it could take little more than an anonymous call to deny a contractor the opportunity to compete for federal contracts” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “With privately funded construction activity continuing to decline, these rules will put many small contractors on the high road to ruin.”

Sandherr noted that a report detailing the draft ‘High Road’ contracting rules being circulated ignores existing due process procedures designed to allow contractors engaged in illegal and inappropriate activities to be banned from federal work. In its place, the draft rules encourage federal officials to refuse contracts to firms based on an arbitrary and unproven scoring system, or based on the mere allegation of labor, tax, environmental and other violations.

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