U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
|Subject:||INFORMATION: Electronic Submission of Weekly Payroll Records||Date:||August 7, 1996|
|From:||Chief, Highway Operations Division||Refer To:||HRC-08|
The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requirements for the weekly submission of payroll records on Federal-aid highway projects. The DOL regulations (29 CFR Part 3, and 29 CFR Part 5) require that contractors and subcontractors submit payroll records for all laborers and mechanics employed on the project during the weekly payroll period to the State highway agency.
It is our understanding that the payroll records and "Statements of Compliance" are currently submitted as paper copies. These paper payroll records are then reviewed by the appropriate official to verify that the records are complete and accurate. This payroll record process is time consuming and costly to both the contractors and contracting agencies.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been looking at innovative ways to streamline the operation and reduce the administrative burden for submitting, reviewing, and maintaining the project payroll records. With the advancement of computer technology, several recipients have requested our approval in submitting project payroll records through electronic means. Some recipients may have already initiated some process of keeping project records electronically.
The DOL concurs that, under current regulations, they will allow electronic submission of weekly payroll records. The payroll records may be submitted either by diskette, e-mail, or other electronic method approved by the contracting agency. The electronic submission of weekly payroll records does not change or revise any DOL regulations, including the contracting agency review of payroll records and conduct of employee interviews. The issues of accessibility, reliability, security, and storage must be addressed by the contracting agency.
We caution that computerized electronic project payroll records must be acceptable from an engineering, audit, and legal perspective. The records must provide the information required to withstand legal scrutiny and be admissible as evidence in a court of law. Each payroll submitted must be accompanied by an original "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. It shall identify the payroll records covered, and contain the information in the "Name and Title" block on Form WH-347 that states "The willful falsification of any of the above (attached) statements may subject the contractor or subcontractor to civil or criminal prosecution. See section 1001 of title 18 and section 231 of title 31 of the United States Code." In compliance with the Copeland Act and 29 CFR 5.5(a)(3), electronic signatures are not acceptable. Since Form WH-347 (attached) is optional, the remaining information can be submitted electronically with the payroll records. The electronic submission of payroll records is not a mandatory requirement.
The electronic process of payroll submission may relieve some of the burden associated with submitting and maintaining payroll records. The State highway agencies and their sub-recipients are encouraged to work with all facets of the contracting community to develop a process that would provide the greatest benefit to all parties. If there are any questions concerning this guidance, please contact Mr. Joseph P. Conway at (202) 366-1558, or Mr. James Daves at (202) 366-0355.
/s/ original signed by
Mr. Donald P. Steinke
August 7, 1996