By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

Two federal agencies say they are investigating anticompetitive highway procurement practices and other potential lawbreaking that could impact the transportation construction industry.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) is auditing the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) current guidance for preventing anticompetitive practices and recommend areas for improvement. The agency’s Office of Inspector General said “highway procurement includes a number of features that make it susceptible to successful and continuous anticompetitive practices.”

The U.S. Department of Justice also has formed a “Procurement Collusion Strike Force.”  Its efforts will focus on “deterring, detecting, investigating and prosecuting antitrust crimes, such as bid-rigging conspiracies and related fraudulent schemes, which undermine competition in government procurement, grant and program funding.”

ARTBA will contact both agencies to obtain additional details on their efforts, and explore the opportunities for input and training for the highway construction industry.