When subcontractors are self-employed, are they required to submit certified payrolls under FAR Part 22? Can they list themselves as self-employed or do they have to pay the minimum prevailing wage?
Second question - in this age of electronic signatures, does the federal government still require hard signatures on the certified payrolls?
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#1 - Are self-employed individuals required to submitted certified payrolls?
Yes. Employees on a job site are employed by either the prime contractor or some tier of subcontractor. If the employee is a subcontractor, there must be a signed SF 1413, Statement and Acknowledgement, submitted to the contracting officer. The form provides information on the subcontractor and acknowledges several critical contract clauses including Davis-Bacon Act. Reference FAR 22.406-5 below. In order to comply with Davis-Bacon Act, the prime and subcontractors must comply with FAR 52.222-8 which requires submission of payrolls for each mechanic and laborer and a statement of compliance. I see no exclusion for self-employed mechanics and laborers. Without the payroll and Statement and Acknowledgement, the contracting officer cannot ensure all contractors and subcontractors are in compliance with Davis-Bacon Act.
#2 - Is a hard signature required on certified payrolls? Yes. See FAR 52.222-8(b)(2) below. The statement of compliance must be signed by the contractor or subcontractor or...and shall certify... Signature machines cannot "certify". Only people can certify. In addition, the falsification of the certification subjects the contractor or subcontractor to...prosecution... Without the "hard signature", the possibility of falsification could be called into question. Who actually had the machine signature affixed to the statement of compliance and who actually ensured "compliance" with FAR 52.222-8 and Davis-Bacon Act?
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52.222-8 Payrolls and Basic Records
(2) Each payroll submitted shall be accompanied by a "Statement of Compliance," signed by the Contractor or subcontractor or his or her agent who pays or supervises the payment of the persons employed under the contract and shall certify --
(4) The falsification of any of the certifications in this clause may subject the Contractor or subcontractor to civil or criminal prosecution under Section 1001 of Title 18 and Section 3729 of Title 31 of the United States Code.
22.406-5 -- Subcontracts.
In accordance with the requirements of the clause at 52.222-11 Subcontracts (Labor Standards), the contractor and subcontractors at any tier are required to submit a fully executed SF 1413, Statement and Acknowledgment, upon award of each subcontract.