The Office of the Budget (OB) cannot grant waivers to the Pennsylvania Steel Products Procurement Act (SPPA) unless the terms of the law change. All RACP Grantees must comply with the SPPA. If a Grantee/RACP project fails to abide by the SPPA, it does so at its own risk.
A full explanation on the RACP steel requirements is available as a PDF download.
Up to 2011, OB only accepted the ST-4 Form (justification for the use of foreign steel) that the Department of General Services (DGS) had exclusively devised to address exceptions linked to the requirements of the SPPA, when it was necessary. Since 2011, OB has approved the acceptability of two more DGS ST Forms (ST-2, ST-3) with some caveats, providing that the forms are properly filled out. The ST-1 Form will not be accepted by OB. It is not necessary for the ST-2, ST-3, and ST-4 Forms to be notarized.
Effective January 1, 2013, OB began utilizing the DGS Exempt Machinery and Equipment Steel Products listings (2021, 2020, 2019) as part of our steel policy. DGS published a Statement of Policy- Steel products procurement in the Pennsylvania Bulletin Volume 43, Number 6 dated February 9, 2013 (See PA Bulletin #43, pages 85-86) that discussed the exemption of certain steel products, based on their analysis of ST-4 forms submitted that list products not produced domestically in sufficient quantity. DGS publishes an updated "Exemption List" annually.
Please be aware that ST forms are acceptable only in cases where nonstructural steel needs to be addressed. The DGS ST forms do not replace the steel certification forms associated with structural steel. OB will continue to require the submission of steel mill certifications to demonstrate compliance with the steel requirements for structural steel.
The PDF copies of the three acceptable ST Forms for RACP listed below can be obtained from the RACP website:
It is suggested that the certifications be collected at the time any steel for the project is purchased and delivered to ease the collection process.
Be advised that OB DOES NOT need to approve the ST forms prior to the start of the construction period. The ST forms need to be submitted to demonstrate that compliance, when and where necessary, has been met.
We shall deem as ineligible all contracts that are unable to demonstrate compliance via the submission of steel certifications for Structural Steel and for Non-structural Steel the submission of steel certifications and/or ST forms and/or DGS Exempt Machinery and Equipment Steel Products List. Therefore, the value of construction contracts associated with non-compliant steel will be removed (both materials and labor costs) from the scope of the project, which may in turn affect the project's ability to leverage their full grant amount (project may not receive its full grant).
Recycled products, melted from previously used steel, are acceptable, providing that adequate documentation from the supplier has been furnished. The supplier shall certify that the recycled steel product was produced in the USA.
TRADE PRACTICES ACT
In accordance with the Trade Practices Act of July 23, 1968, P.L. 686 (71 P.S. § 773.101 et seq.), the Grantee cannot and shall not use or permit to be used in the work any aluminum or steel products made in a foreign country which is listed below as a foreign country which discriminates against aluminum or steel products manufactured in Pennsylvania. The countries of Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Spain have been found to discriminate against certain products manufactured in Pennsylvania. Therefore, the purchase or use of those countries' products, as listed below, is not permitted:
Argentina: carbon steel wire rod and cold-rolled carbon steel sheet.
Brazil: welded carbon steel pipes and tubes; carbon steel wire rod; tool steel; certain stainless steel products, including hot-rolled stainless steel bar; stainless steel wire rod and cold-formed stainless steel bar; pre-stressed concrete steel wire strand; hot-rolled carbon steel plate in coil; hot-rolled carbon steel sheet; and cold-rolled carbon steel sheet.
South Korea: welded carbon steel pipes and tubes; hot-rolled carbon steel plate; hot-rolled carbon steel sheet; and galvanized steel sheet.
Spain: certain stainless steel products, including stainless steel wire rod, hot-rolled stainless steel bars; and cold-formed stainless steel bars; pre-stressed concrete steel wire strand; and certain steel products, including hot-rolled steel plate, cold-rolled carbon steel plate, carbon steel structural shapes; galvanized carbon steel sheet, hot-rolled carbon steel bars, and cold- formed carbon steel bars.
Penalties for violation of the above paragraphs may be found in the Trade Practices Act, which penalties include becoming ineligible for public works contracts for a period of three years.
This provision in no way relieves the Grantee of responsibility to comply with those provisions which prohibit the use of foreign-made steel and cast iron products.
PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTORS’ BOND LAW (PAYMENT & PERFORMANCE BONDS)
The requirement for 100% payment and performance (P&P) bonds is a state law; the Office of the Budget cannot waive this requirement.
A performance bond must be obtained at 100% of the contract amount, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract in accordance with the plans, specifications, and conditions of the contract. Such bond shall be solely for the protection of the contracting body which awarded said contract.
A payment bond must be obtained at 100% of the contract amount. Such bond shall be solely for the protection of claimants supplying labor or materials to the Grantee, its contractor or to any of its subcontractors, in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract, and shall be conditioned for the prompt payment of all such material furnished or labor supplied or performed in the prosecution of the work. "Labor or materials" shall include public utility services and reasonable rentals of equipment, but only for periods when the equipment rented is actually used at the site.
PA PREVAILING WAGE ACT (PWA)
The Office of the Budget cannot grant waivers for the PA Prevailing Wage Act. All Grantees must comply with the act. Grantees that fail to abide by the Prevailing Wage Act do so at their own risk. Please do not assume that PA Prevailing Wage is always consistent with your local union wages.
All projects should apply for a wage determination letter prior to the start of construction by registering the project with the PA Department of Labor and Industry to obtain the prevailing wage rates relevant to your project. This determination sheet will provide the necessary trade classifications for the project, along with their corresponding hourly wage and hourly fringe rates that are required for the certified payrolls required as part of RACP. The wage determination should be obtained within 120 days of the award of construction contracts. If necessary, the Department of Labor and Industry can issue determinations letters after construction has begun.
The prevailing wage information and forms can be found on the
PA Department of Labor & Industry website.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
Typically your architect should provide a letter stating the plans and specs are in compliance with ADA regulations. Additionally, the Grantee agrees to comply with the General Prohibitions Against Discrimination, 28 C.F.R. § 35.130, and all other regulations promulgated under Title II of The Americans with Disabilities Act which are applicable to all benefits, services, programs, and activities provided by the commonwealth through contracts.
The Grantee shall procure and furnish evidence to OB of fidelity bonds with coverage to be maintained under the administrative title of the position in amounts and for such positions as are reasonably determined by OB. Fidelity Bonding is also commonly known as "Employee Dishonesty Insurance." The minimum level of coverage should equal the average monthly RACP reimbursement amount based on the total grant amount.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance - The Grantee shall provide Worker's Compensation Insurance where required, and shall accept full responsibility for the payment of premiums for Worker's Compensation Insurance and Social Security, as well as income tax withholding and any other taxes or payroll deductions required by law for its employees who are performing services related to the project.
General Liability & Property Damage Insurance - The Grantee will provide and maintain comprehensive general liability and property damage insurance in the minimum amount of $250,000.00 per person for injury and death in a single occurrence; $1,000,000.00 per occurrence for injury or death of more than one (1) person in a single occurrence; and $500,000.00 for a single occurrence of property damage, and which shall be endorsed to protect the commonwealth.
Flood Insurance – If the project is wholly or partially within a floodplain, proof of sufficient flood insurance coverage must be provided. In any case, a project is required to provide a copy of a floodplain map of the project area, with the project site being delineated thereon.
Identify Commonwealth as Additional Insured: The commonwealth shall be listed on the above insurance policies as an additional insured. Upon request, the Grantee shall furnish proof of insurance as required by this section to OB.
RESTRICTIONS ON GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES SELLING RACP PROJECTS
Article 8 of the RACP Grant Agreement spells out sale price restrictions for a governmental entity that sells property that was acquired and/or improved with RACP funds. The restrictions are required to insure that the Grantees CANNOT sell the property for a net gain or even recoup the value of the grant in the sale price. A PDF download is available that contains more information on Article 8.