Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Zag2009

Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act

Recommended Posts

Our prime contracts contains FAR 52.222-20, Walsh-Healey Contracts Act. In researching the applicability of the Act to subcontracts, it appears the flow-down requirement is limited to 8(a) subcontractors (see FAR 22.602).  Is this interpretation accurate?  Or does the Act need to be incorporated into ALL subcontracts for manufacture or furnishing of supplies?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zag,

The clause at FAR 52.222-20 now has the title "Contracts for Materials, Supplies, Articles, and Equipment Exceeding $15,000" and a date of May 2014.  This is still the same subject matter as Walks-HealyWalsh-Healey.  Anyway, your contract has an old version of the clause, and the old version is applicable for the life of your contract (see FAR 1.108(d)), but one would have to know what FAR revision was in effect at the time of your contract to give you a definitive answer.

But I wonder if FAR Subpart 22.6 has really changed all that much, other than the title?  Nothing in the current clause or the current 22.6 requires a flow-down, to 8(a) contractors or anyone else.  The prime contractor must ensure that subcontractors comply with the clause, but it can achieve that end by ways other than a flow-down.  What are you looking at that requires a flow-down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, it would be best practice to flow the clause, indicating that it is included in your prime and applies to the extent applicable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, ji20874 said:

Zag,

The clause at FAR 52.222-20 now has the title "Contracts for Materials, Supplies, Articles, and Equipment Exceeding $15,000" and a date of May 2014.  This is still the same subject matter as Walks-Healy.  Anyway, your contract has an old version of the clause, and the old version is applicable for the life of your contract (see FAR 1.108(d)), but one would have to know what FAR revision was in effect at the time of your contract to give you a definitive answer.

But I wonder if FAR Subpart 22.6 has really changed all that much, other than the title?  Nothing in the current clause or the current 22.6 requires a flow-down, to 8(a) contractors or anyone else.  The prime contractor must ensure that subcontractors comply with the clause, but it can achieve that end by ways other than a flow-down.  What are you looking at that requires a flow-down?

Thank you for your response.  FAR 52.222-20, W-H Public Contracts Act (Dec 1996) is incorporated into my prime contract.  There isn't any language that implies to me that the Act is a required flow-down, unless the prime contractor is acting as a government agent (which we are not) or if the subcontractor is 8(a).  I am seeking confirmation that we are not required to include FAR 52.222-20 in our subcontracts, understanding that the basic principles (min wage, working conditions, etc..) are covered by other labor laws applicable to all our subcontracts.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zag,

I'm curious -- I found and read the 1996 version of the Walsh-Healey clause -- it says nothing about flow-down, to 8(a) subcontractors or anyone else. Where are you finding the requirement to flow-down the FAR 52.222-20 clause to 8(a) subcontractors?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ji20874 said:

Zag,

I'm curious -- I found and read the 1996 version of the Walsh-Healey -- it says nothing about flow-down, to 8(a) subcontractors or anyone else. Where are you finding the requirement to flow-down the FAR 52.222-20 clause to 8(a) subcontractors?

See 22.603 Applicability.  "The requirements in 22.602 apply to contracts (including for this purpose, indefinite-delivery contracts, basic ordering agreements, and blanket purchase agreements) and subcontracts under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act..." 

My use of the word "flow-down" was misleading when I was referring to the Act's applicability.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zag,

FAR 22.603 should be read like this:

The requirements in 22.602 apply to

1. contracts (including for this purpose, indefinite-delivery contracts, basic ordering agreements, and blanket purchase agreements) and

2. subcontracts under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act

Remember, under the 8(a) Program, the agency has a contract with the SBA. The SBA subcontracts to the 8(a) Participant. The requirements of FAR 22.602 apply to the subcontract between the SBA and the 8(a) Participant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I'm thinking -- a prime contractor with a subcontractor holding 8(a) status is not reached by FAR 22.603 -- well, the prime contractor is reached, but the 8(a) subcontractor is not.  In FAR 22.603, 8(a) subcontractor is included to make sure coverage reaches to an 8(a) contractor who holds a contract directly with the Government (whether a subcontract issued by the SBA, a tripartite contract, or a direct award).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Zag,

For additional guidance, see the DOL Wage and Hour Division’s Field Operations Handbook (2016).  Chapter 13 addresses WH and 13a01 "coverage of secondary contractors," specifically, 13a01 subsections (a)(1), (4) & (5) which define the circumstances under which products provided by a sub would be covered under the WH prime - they include those components of the product which are customarily produced and assembled directly by a typical provider of the finished product (within the respective industry).  If that standard isn’t definitive in your circumstances, note that the requirements under WH (as you stated) are essentially the same as those under the FLSA and OSHA (there are additional restrictions under WH for work on a contract by minors and incarcerated individuals).

Note also that if the components you're subbing out do fall under the prime contract coverage, the subcontract value - because the regulations do not articulate a subcontract coverage threshold for outsourced components (as opposed to SBA negotiated contracts, which are essentially prime contracts themselves) - should be considered as included in the prime contract's value.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×