MCAA Supports Challenge to NASA FOIA Shield on Prevailing Wage Audit

August 11, 2016

MCAA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Bill Albanese and Committee member Jim Gaffney joined in support of the Foundation for Fair Contracting’s (FFC) challenge of an over-broad Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shield by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to withhold certified payrolls in a prevailing wage audit on a NASA job in Greenbelt, MD.

FFC requested certified payroll information on two firms performing on the NASA job. NASA redacted the wage rate information on the certified payroll records, citing an FOIA exemption that permits agencies to refuse disclosure of information or documents that would reveal trade secrets and commercial or financial information considered privileged and confidential.

NASA’s rationale was that revealing actual wages paid to contractor employees on prevailing wage jobs could be used by competitors to predict future bids and estimates and, therefore, undercut that firm’s future competitive position.

MCAA members Albanese and Gaffney filed affidavits in conjunction with FFC’s administrative appeal explaining why the certified payroll information could not be used to predict future project labor estimates and bidding.

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