A group of Congressmen recently sent a letter to the Department of the Interior urging it to advise its agencies, including the National Park Service, to abide by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 and not include the recently issued contract clause requiring payment of the federal minimum wage in new outfitter and guide contracts and permits or require that outfitters and guides comply with the clause. The 2016 Appropriations Act states that no funds may be used to “implement, administer, or enforce” the regulation recently issued by the Department of Labor in contracts or permits “offering seasonal recreational services or seasonal recreation equipment rental.”
The Congressmen noted in their letter that they had been informed that “the Department of the Interior is directing the BLM and the National Park Service to disregard the intent of Congress with respect to” the newly issued regulation requiring payment of the federal minimum wage. The letter states that the pertinent provision of the 2016 Appropriations Act “was specifically designed to prevent the Department of Labor contract clause enforcing E.O. 13658 from being included [in] outfitter and guide permits and contracts.”
Notably, NPS recently issued a prospectus for outfitter and guide services in Glacier National Park which explicitly incorporated the clause which the Congressmen stated should not be implemented pursuant to the 2016 Appropriations Act. In that prospectus, NPS stated that “the Concessioner will comply with all provisions of Executive Order 13658- Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, and its implementing regulations, including the applicable contract clause, which are incorporated by reference into this Contract as if fully set forth in this Contract.” This assertion would appear to be in violation of the 2016 Appropriations Act.