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Part Number: 970

Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation

Subpart 970.22 - Application of Labor Policies

970.2200 Scope of subpart.

This subpart prescribes Department of Energy (DOE) labor policies pertaining to the award and administration of management and operating contracts.

970.2201 Basic labor policies.

970.2201-1 Labor relations.

970.2201-1-1 General.

Contracting officers shall, in appropriate circumstances, follow the requirements in 48 CFR subpart 22.1, as supplemented in this section, in the award and administration of management and operating contracts.

970.2201-1-2 Policies.

(a) The extent of Government ownership of the nation's energy plant and materials, and the overriding concerns of national defense and security, impose special conditions on personnel and labor relations in the energy program. Such special conditions include the need for continuity of vital operations at DOE installations; retention by DOE of absolute authority on all questions of security; and DOE review of labor expenses under management and operating contracts as a part of its responsibility for assuring judicious expenditure of public funds. It is the intent of DOE that personnel and labor policies throughout the energy program reflect the best experience of American industry in aiming to achieve the type of stable labor-management relations that are essential to the proper development of the energy program. The following enunciates the principles upon which the DOE policy is based:

(1) Employment standards.

(i) Management and operating contractors are expected to bring experienced, proven personnel from their private operations to staff key positions on the contract and to recruit other well-qualified personnel as needed. Such personnel should be employed and treated during employment without discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. Contractors shall be required to take affirmative action to achieve these objectives.

(ii) The Contractor must conduct a thorough review, as defined at 904.401, of an uncleared applicant's or uncleared employee's background, and test the individual for illegal drugs, as part of its determination to select that individual for a position requiring a DOE access authorization.

(A) A review must - Verify an uncleared applicant's or uncleared employee's educational background, including any high school diploma obtained within the past five years, and degrees or diplomas granted by an institution of higher learning; contact listed employers for the last three years and listed personal references; conduct local law enforcement checks when such checks are not prohibited by state or local law or regulation and when the uncleared applicant or uncleared employee resides in the jurisdiction where the contractor is located; and conduct a credit check and other checks as appropriate.

(B) Contractor reviews are not required for an applicant for DOE access authorization who possesses a current access authorization from DOE or another federal agency, or whose access authorization may be reapproved without a federal background investigation pursuant to Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information (August 4, 1995), Sections 3.3(c) and (d).

(C) In collecting and using this information to make a determination as to whether it is appropriate to select an uncleared applicant or uncleared employee for a position requiring an access authorization, the contractor must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, including those -

(1) Governing the processing and privacy of an individual's information by employers, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; and

(2) Prohibiting discrimination in employment, such as under the ADA, Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, including with respect to pre- and post-offer of employment disability related questioning.

(iii) In addition to a review, each candidate for a DOE access authorization must be tested to demonstrate the absence of any illegal drug, as defined in 10 CFR 707.4. All positions requiring access authorizations are deemed testing designated positions in accordance with 10 CFR part 707. All employees possessing access authorizations are subject to applicant, random or for cause testing for use of illegal drugs. DOE will not process candidates for a DOE access authorization unless their tests confirm the absence of any illegal drug.

(iv) When an uncleared applicant or uncleared employee is hired specifically for a position that requires a DOE access authorization, the contractor shall not place that individual in that position prior to the access authorization being granted by DOE, unless an approval has been obtained from the contracting officer, acting in consultation for these purposes with the head of the cognizant local security office. If an uncleared employee is placed in that position prior to an access authorization being granted by the contracting officer, the uncleared employee may not be afforded access to classified information or matter or special nuclear material (in categories requiring access authorization) until the contracting officer notifies the employer that an access authorization has been granted.


(A) The contractor must furnish to the head of the cognizant local DOE Security Office, in writing, the following information concerning each uncleared applicant or uncleared employee who is selected for a position requiring an access authorization -

(1) The date(s) each review was conducted;

(2) Each entity contacted that provided information concerning the individual;

(3) A certification that the review was conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, including those governing the processing and privacy of an individual's information collected during the review;

(4) A certification that all information collected during the review was reviewed and evaluated in accordance with the contractor's personnel policies; and

(5) The results of the test for illegal drugs.

When a DOE access authorization will be required, the aforementioned review must be conducted and the required information forwarded to DOE before a request is made to DOE to process the individual for an access authorization.

(vi) Management and operating contractors and other contractors operating DOE facilities shall include the requirements set forth in this subsection in subcontracts (appropriately modified to identify the parties) wherein subcontract employees will be required to hold DOE access authorizations in order to perform on-site duties, such as protective force operations.

(2) Security. On all matters of security at its facilities, DOE retains absolute authority and neither the regulations and policies pertaining to security, nor their administration, are matters for collective bargaining between the contractor's management and labor. Insofar as DOE security regulations affect the collective bargaining process, the security policies and regulations will be made known to both parties. To the fullest extent feasible, DOE will consult with representatives of the contractor's management and labor when formulating security regulations and policies that may affect the collective bargaining process.

(3) Wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (i) Wages, salaries, and employee benefits shall be administered in a manner designated to adapt the normal practices and conditions of industry or institutions of higher education to the contract work, and to provide for appropriate review by DOE. Area practices, valid patterns, and well-established commercial or academic practices of the contractors, as appropriate, form the criteria for the establishment and adjustment of compensation schedules.

(ii) The aspects of wages, hours, and working conditions which are the substance of collective bargaining in normal organized industries will be left to the orderly processes of negotiation and agreement between DOE contractor management and employee representatives with maximum possible freedom from Government interference.

(4) Employee relations. The handling of employee relations on contract work, including such matters as the conduct and discipline of the work force and the handling of employee grievances, is part of the normal management responsibility of the contractor.

(5) Collective bargaining. (i) DOE review of collective bargaining practices will be premised on the view that management's trusteeship for the operation of the Government facilities includes the duty to adopt practices which are fundamental to the friendly adjustment of disputes, and which experience has shown, promote orderly collective bargaining relationships. Practices inconsistent with this view may be objected to if not found to be otherwise clearly warranted.

(ii) Consistent with the policy of assuring continuity of operation of vital facilities, all collective bargaining agreements at DOE-owned facilities should provide that grievances and disputes involving the interpretation or application of the agreement will be settled without resorting to strike, lockout, or other interruption of normal operations. For this purpose, each collective bargaining agreement entered into during the period of performance of this contract should provide an effective grievance procedure with arbitration as its final step, unless the parties mutually agree upon some other method of assuring continuity of operation for the term of the collective bargaining agreement.

(iii) DOE expects its management and operating contractors and the unions representing the contractor's employees to cooperate fully with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

(6) Personnel training. DOE encourages and supports personnel training programs aimed at improving work efficiency or developing needed skills which are not otherwise obtainable.

(7) Working conditions. Accident, fire, health, and occupational hazards associated with DOE activities will be held to a practical minimum level and controlled in the interest of maintenance of health and prevention of accidents. Subject to DOE control, contractors shall be required to maintain comprehensive continuous preventive and protective programs appropriate to the particular activities throughout all operations. Appropriate financial protection in case of occupational disability must be provided to employees on DOE projects.

(b) Title to payroll and associated records under certain contracts for the management and operation of DOE facilities, and for necessary miscellaneous construction incidental to the function of these facilities, shall vest in the Government. Such records are to be disposed of in accordance with DOE directions. For such contracts, the Solicitor of Labor has granted a tolerance from the Department of Labor Regulations to omit from the prescribed labor clauses the requirement for the retention of payrolls and associated records for a period of three years after completion of the contract. Under this tolerance, the records retention requirements for all labor clauses in the contract and the Fair Labor Standards Act are satisfied by disposal of such records in accordance with applicable DOE directives.

970.2201-1-3 Contract clause.

In addition to the clause at 48 CFR 52.222-1, Notice to the Government of Labor Disputes, the contracting officer shall insert the clause at 970.5222-1, Collective Bargaining Agreements - Management and Operating Contracts, in all management and operating contracts.

970.2201-2 Overtime management.

970.2201-2-1 Policy.

Contracting officers shall ensure that management and operating contractors manage overtime cost effectively and use overtime only when necessary to ensure performance of work under the contract.

970.2201-2-2 Contract clause.

The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 970.5222-2, Overtime Management, in management and operating contracts.

970.2204 Labor standards for contracts involving construction.

970.2204-1 Statutory and regulatory requirements.

970.2204-1-1 Administrative controls and criteria for application of the Davis-Bacon Act in operational or maintenance activities.

(a) Particular work items falling within one or more of the following criteria normally will be classified as non-covered by the Davis-Bacon Act, hereinafter referred to in this section as the “Act.”

(1) Individual work items estimated to cost $2,000 or less. The total dollar amount of the management and operating contract is not a factor to be considered and bears no relation to individual work items classified as construction, alteration and/or repair, including painting and decorating. However, no item of work, the cost of which is estimated to be in excess of $2,000, shall be artificially divided into portions less than $2,000 for the purpose of avoiding the application of the Act.

(2) Work and services that are a part of operational and maintenance activities or which, being very closely and directly involved therewith, are more in the nature of operational activities than construction, alteration, and/or repair work. This includes work and services which would involve a material risk to continuity of operations, to life or property, or to DOE operating requirements, if performed by persons other than the contractor's regular production and maintenance forces. However, any decision that contracts or work items are non-covered for these reasons must be made by the Head of the Contracting Activity without power of delegation.

(3) Assembly, modification, setup, installation, replacement, removal, rearrangement, connection, testing, adjustment, and calibration of machinery and equipment. However, it is noted that these activities are covered if they are part of, or would be a logical part of, the construction of a facility, or if construction-type work which is not “incidental” to the overall effort is involved.

(4) Experimental development of equipment, processes, or devices, including assembly, fitting, installation, testing, reworking, and disassembly. This refers to equipment, processes, and devices which are assembled for the purpose of conducting a test or experiment. The design may be only conceptual in character, and professional personnel who are responsible for the experiment participate in the assembly. Specifically excluded from the category of experimental development are buildings and building utility services, as distinguished from temporary connections thereto. Also specifically excluded from this category is equipment to be used for continuous testing (e.g., a machine to be continuously used for testing the tensile strength of structural members).

(5) Experimental work in connection with peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This refers to equipment, processes and devices which are assembled and/or set in place and interconnected for the purpose of conducting a test or experiment. The nature of the test or experiment is such that professional personnel who are responsible for the test or experiment and/or data to be derived therefrom must, by necessity, participate in the assembly and interconnections. Specifically excluded from experimental work are buildings, building utility services, structural changes, drilling, tunneling, excavation, and back-filling work which can be performed according to customary drawings and specifications, and utility services of modifications to utility services, as distinguished from temporary connections thereto. Work in this category may be performed in mines or in other locations specifically constructed for tests or experiments.

(6) Emergency work to combat the effects of fire, flood, earthquake, equipment failure, accident, or other casualties, and to restart the operational activity following the casualty. Work which is not directly related to restarting the activity or which involves rebuilding or replacement of a structure, structural components, or equipment is excluded from this category.

(7) Decontamination, including washing, scrubbing, and scraping to remove contamination; removal of contaminated soil or other material; and painting or other resurfacing, provided that such painting or resurfacing is an integral part of the decontamination activity and performed by the employees of the contractors performing the decontamination.

(8) Burial of contaminated soil waste or contained liquid; however, initial preparatory work readying the burial ground for use (e.g., any grading or excavating that is a part of initial site preparation, fencing, drilling wells for continued monitoring of contamination, construction of guard or other office space) is covered. Work performed subsequent to burial which involves the placement of concrete or other like activity is also covered.

(b) The classification of a contract as a contract for operational or maintenance activities does not necessarily mean that all work and activities at the contract location are classifiable as outside coverage of the Act since it may be necessary to separate work which should be classified as covered. Therefore, the Heads of Contracting Activities shall establish and maintain controls for the careful scrutiny of proposed work assignments under such contracts to assure that:

(1) Contractors whose contracts do not contemplate the performance of work covered by the Act with the contractor's own forces are neither asked nor authorized to perform work within the scope of the Act. If the actual work assignments do involve covered work, the contract should be modified to include applicable provisions of the Act.

(2) Where covered work is performed by a contractor whose contract contains provisions required by the Act, such work is performed as required by law and the contract. After the contractor has been informed, as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this subsection, that certain work is covered, the responsibilities of the Head of the Contracting Activity to assure compliance is the same as it would be if the work were being performed under a separate construction contract.

(3) Controls provided for above include consideration by the Head of the Contracting Activity and the contractor, before work is begun or contracted out, of the relation of the Act to the annual programming of work; the contractor's work orders; and work contracted out in excess of $2,000. The Head of the Contracting Activity may, if consistent with DOE's responsibilities as described in this subsection, prescribe from time to time classes of work as to which applicability or nonapplicability of the Act is clear, for which the Head of the Contracting Activity will require no further DOE determination on coverage in advance of the work. For all work, controls to be established by the Head of the Contracting Activity should provide for notification to the contractor before work is begun as to whether such work is covered. The Head of the Contracting Activity is responsible for submitting to the Wage and Hours Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20210, all DOE requests for project area or installation wage determinations, or individual determinations, or extensions or modification thereto. Requests for such determinations shall be made on Standard Form 308, at least 30 calendar days before they are required for use in advertising for bids or requests for proposals.

(c) Experimental installations. Within DOE programs, a variety of experiments are conducted involving materials, fuels, coolants, and processing equipment. Certain types of situations where tests and experiments have presented coverage questions are described as follows:

(1) Set-ups of device and/or processes. The proving out of investigative findings and theories of a scientific and technical nature may require the set-up of various devices and/or processes at an early, pre-prototype stage of development. These may range from laboratory bench size to much larger set-ups. As a rule, these set-ups are made within established facilities (normally laboratories), required utility connections are made to services provided as a part of the basic facilities, and the activity as a whole falls within the functional purpose of the facility. Such set-ups are generally not covered. However, the erection of structures which are public works is covered if construction type work, other than incidental work, is involved. Preparatory work for the set-up requiring structural changes or modifications of basic utility services, as distinguished from connections thereto, is covered. The following are illustrations of non-covered set-ups of devices and/or processes:

(i) Assembly of piping and equipment within existing “hot cell” facilities for proving out a conceptual design of a chemical processing unit.

(ii) Assembly of equipment, including adaptation and modification thereof, in existing “hot cell” facilities to prove out a conceptual design for remotely controlled machining equipment.

(iii) Assembly of the first graphite pile in a stadium at Stagg Field in Chicago.

(iv) Assembly of materials and equipment for particular aspects of the direct current thermonuclear experiments to explore feasibility and to study other ramifications of the concept of high energy injection and to collect data thereon.

(2) Loops. Many experiments are carried on in equipment assemblies, called loops, in which liquids or gases are circulated under monitored and controlled conditions. For purposes of determining coverage under the Act, loops may be classed as loop facilities or as loop set-ups. Both of these classes of loops can include in-reactor loops and out-of-reactor loops. In differentiating between clearly identified loop set-ups and loop facilities, an area exists in which there have been some questions of coverage, such as certain loops at the Material Test Reactor and at Engineering Test Reactor and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory site. Upon clarification of this area, further illustrations will be added. In the meantime, the differentiation between loop set-ups and loop facilities must be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the total criteria set forth in this subpart.

(i) Loop set-ups. The assembly, erection, modification, and disassembly of a loop set-up is non-covered. A noncontroversial example of a loop set-up is one which is assembled in a laboratory, e.g., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, or Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for a particular test and thereafter disassembled. However, preparatory work for a loop set-up requiring structural changes or modifications of basic utility services as distinguished from connections thereto is covered, as are material and equipment that are installed for a loop set-up which is a permanent part of the facility or which is use for a succession of experimental programs.

(ii) Loop facilities. A loop facility differs from a loop set-up in that it is of a more permanent character. It is usually, but not always, of greater size. It normally involves the building or modification of a structure. Sometimes it is installed as a part of construction of the facility. It may be designed for use in a succession of experimental programs over a longer period of time. Examples of loop facilities are the in-reactor “K” loops at Hanford and the large Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion loop at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory site. The on-site assembly and erection of such loop facilities are covered. However, once a loop facility is completed and becomes operational, the criteria set forth in this paragraph for operational and maintenance activities apply.

(3) Reactor component experiments. Other experiments are carried on by insertion of experimental components within reactor systems without the use of a loop assembly. An example of reactor facilities erected for such experimental purposes are the special power excursion test reactors (SPETRs) at the National Reactor Test Site which are designed for studying reactor behavior and performance characteristics of certain reactor components. Such a facility may consist of a reactor vessel, pressurizing tank, coolant loops, pumps, heat exchangers, and other auxiliary equipment as needed. The facility also may include sufficient shielding to permit work on the reactor to proceed following a short period of power interruption, and buildings as needed to house the reactor and its auxiliary equipment. The erection and on-site assembly of such a reactor facility is covered, but the components whose characteristics are under study are excluded from coverage. To illustrate, one of the SPETRs planned for studies of nuclear reactor safety is designed to accommodate various internal fuel and control assemblies. The internal structure of the pressure vessel is designed so that cores of different shapes and sizes may be placed in the vessel for investigation, or the entire internal structure may be easily removed and replaced by a structure which will accept a different core design. Similarly, the control rod assembly is arranged to provide for flexibility in the removal of instrument leads and experimental assemblies from within the core.

(4) Tests or experiments in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These tests or experiments are varied in nature and some are only in a planning stage. They consist of one or more nuclear or nonnuclear detonations for the purposes of acquiring data. The data can include seismic effects, radiation effects, amount of heat generated, amount of material moved and so forth. Some of these tests are conducted in existing mines, while others are conducted in facilities specifically constructed for the tests or experiments. In general, all work which can be performed in accordance with customary drawings and specifications, as well as other work in connection with preparation of facilities is treated as covered work. Such work includes tunneling, drilling, excavation and back-filling, erection of buildings or other structures, and installation of utilities. The installation of the nonnuclear material or nuclear device to be detonated, and the instrumentation and connection between such material or device and the instrumentation are treated as non-covered work.

(5) Tests or experiments in military uses of nuclear energy. As in 970.2204-1-1(c)(4), these tests or experiments can be varied in nature. However, under this category it is intended to include only detonation of nonnuclear material or nuclear devices. The material or devices can be detonated either underground, at ground level, or above the ground. These tests or experiments have been conducted in, on, or in connection with facilities specifically constructed for such tests or experiments. As in tests or experiments in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, all work which can be performed in accord with customary drawings and specifications, as well as other work in connection with preparation of facilities are treated as covered work. Such work includes building towers or similar structures, tunneling, drilling, excavation and backfilling, erection of buildings or other structures, and installation of utilities. The installation of the nonnuclear material or nuclear devices and instrumentation are treated as non-covered work.

(d) Construction site contiguous to an established manufacturing facility. As DOE-owned property sometimes encompasses several thousand acres of real estate, a number of separate facilities may be located in areas contiguous to each other on the same property. These facilities may be built over a period of years, and established manufacturing activities may be regularly carried on at one site at the same time that construction of another facility is underway at another site. On occasion, the regular manufacturing activities of the operating contractor at the first site may include the manufacture, assembly, and reconditioning of components and equipment which in other industries would normally be done in established commercial plants. While the manufacture of components and equipment in the manufacturing plant is non-covered, the installation of any such manufactured items on a construction job is covered.

970.2208 Equal employment opportunity.

The equal employment opportunity provisions of 48 CFR subpart 22.8 and subpart 922.8 of this chapter, including Executive Order 11246 and 41 CFR part 60, are applicable to DOE management and operating contracts.

970.2210 Service Contract Act.

The Service Contract Act of 1965 is not applicable to contracts for the management and operation of DOE facilities, but it is applicable to subcontracts under such contracts (see 970.5244-1(x)).

970.2270 Unemployment compensation.

(a) Each state has its own unemployment compensation system to provide payments to workers who become unemployed involuntarily and through no fault of their own. Funds are provided for unemployment compensation benefits through a payroll tax on employers. Most DOE contractors are subject to the unemployment compensation tax laws of the states in which they are located. It is the policy to assure, both in the negotiation and administration of cost-reimbursement type contracts, that economical and practical arrangements are made and practiced with respect to unemployment compensation.

(b) Contract exempt from state laws.

(1) Some contractors are exempt from state unemployment compensation laws, usually on grounds that they are nonprofit organizations or subdivisions of State governments. Most states, however, permit such employers to elect unemployment compensation coverage on a voluntary basis. Under such circumstances, all existing or prospective cost-reimbursement contractors shall be encouraged to provide unemployment compensation coverage or equivalent substitutes.

(2) It is also DOE policy that, prior to the award or extension of a management and operating contract, exempt contractors or prospective contractors shall be required to submit to the contracting officer a statement that they will either elect coverage or provide equivalent substitutes for unemployment compensation, or in the alternative, submit evidence that it is impractical to do so. If any exempt contractor or prospective contractor submits that it is impractical to elect coverage or to provide an equivalent substitute, appropriate Office of Contract and Resource Management, within the Headquarters procurement organization, staff shall review that position prior to recommending an award or extension of the contract. If there are substantial reasons for not electing coverage or for not providing equivalent substitutes, a contract may be awarded or extended. Headquarters' staff review and recommendation shall be based on such factors as -

(i) The specific provisions of the unemployment compensation law of the State;

(ii) The extent to which the establishment of special conditions on DOE work may have an adverse effect on the contractor's general policies and operating costs in its private operations;

(iii) The numerical relationship between the contractor's private work force and its employees performing only work for DOE;

(iv) The contractor's record with respect to work force stability and the general outlook with respect to future work force stability;

(v) In a replacement contractor situation, whether or not the prior contractor had coverage or suitable substitutes; and

(vi) The particular labor relations implications involved.