Additional Extension of DOT Contracting Initiative Pilot Program
The DOT has further extended the contracting initiative pilot program for an additional period of 5 years until March 6, 2022. This pilot program became effective on March 6, 2015. On March 6, 2015, DOT published a notice in the Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 12257) establishing a contracting initiative pilot program under which, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recipients and subrecipients could utilize various contracting requirements that generally have been disallowed due to concerns about adverse impacts on competition. The purpose of the pilot program is to determine whether the use of such requirements “unduly limit competition,” as provided in an August 23, 2013, opinion from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). DOT established the pilot program for a period of 1 year unless extended. On March 17, 2016, DOT extended this pilot program for a period of 1 additional year, until March 6, 2017 (81 Fed. Reg.14524). To date, DOT has received only limited data from the program. As a result, DOT has decided to extend the pilot program until March 6, 2022, so that it can gather additional data from more projects to better assess the effect of local hire preferences on competition. The extension of this pilot program will provide FHWA and FTA recipients and subrecipients flexibility to continue operating under the pilot program while DOT conducts its evaluation as well as provide DOT with additional projects to consider in evaluating the impacts on competition.