ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
In the March 6, 2015 edition of the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a one-year pilot program that will enable grantees, including states and local recipients and subrecipients, to utilize social and/or economic contracting requirements in order to evaluate the impacts to the competitive bidding process for highway and related construction projects. The pilot program will focus on local or other geographic labor hiring preferences, economic-based labor hiring preferences (i.e., low-income workers), and labor hiring preferences for veterans. This program allows recipients and subrecipients of Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration funds to use such requirements pursuant to the experimental authorities of those agencies. For any such projects, the DOT will monitor and evaluate whether the contracting requirements approved for use under the pilot program have an undue restriction on competition.
At the same time that it announced this pilot program, DOT also issued a proposed rule that would allow more broadly for the application of this geographic-based hiring policy. It called for comments on the proposed rule. As of September, 2017 the DOT had received 177 comments.
On October 6, 2017 the DOT announced that it was withdrawing the proposed rule because it determined after review of the comments "that promulgating a provision to allow geographic-based hiring preferences is not practicable for the efficient and cost-effective delivery of projects." The DOT also announced that it was rescinding the related pilot program (which had already expired by that time).
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