Does the number 1273 sound familiar to you? Sometimes we remember bits and pieces of information, like a number, but can’t quite put our finger on the complete information we need when we need it. Then when we do remember it later, we regret being forgetful because it has a severe impact on us…like forgetting to insert FHWA Form 1273 in your contracts with your contractors. Forgetting to include FHWA Form 1273 in an LPA local-let contract with a contractor is a violation of Federal Law and can severely impact reimbursement on your local-let projects. Yikes! Or your contractor forgetting to insert FHWA Form 1273 into their contracts with subcontractors on your local-let jobs. Same result. Double Yikes!
Don’t let this happen to you and your agency! Of all the requirements an LPA needs to complete for a locally-let project, including FHWA Form 1273 in each contract is a simple requirement to meet. Because the requirement seems do simple, it is at times not given a high priority and missed. Don’t let this be your agency!
Why is FHWA Form 1273 so important? The information provided in the form is critical for everyone participating in the federal-aid project, at all contract levels. It provides information from FHWA on:
The form also includes Civil Rights requirements, such as:
The Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency also have sections in the form which outline specific requirements under their agencies’ responsibilities.
It is important to note that FHWA Form 1273 must be inserted into your contracts and related sub-contracts exactly as it is written. Absolutely NO changes can be made to the form. It also can NOT be incorporated by reference in your contracts or related sub-contracts. The whole thing must be in the agreements. You can find the entire FHWA Form 1273 at the following hyperlink: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/1273/1273.pdf
How can my agency simplify including FHWA Form 1273 in each contract or related sub-contract and ensure it is rarely forgotten? Here is a list of recommendations for making this a reality:
- Use a checklist. Whether it is a checklist for your own contract review or for reviewing the related sub-contracts, a checklist will force you to confirm the FHWA Form 1273 is included in the contract / sub-contract.
- Require the FHWA Form 1273 to be printed on special color paper. This will enable you to quickly identify where the FHWA Form 1273 is included in the contract and check for completeness. However, if you are on a paperless system, this won’t work because there is no special colored paper to look for in the packet.
- Designate a person in your agency as the back-up to confirm FHWA Form 1273 was included in each contract. Choose someone who isn’t usually involved in the contract review process, but who is thorough with their work, and put them in charge of checking each contract / sub-contract as it comes through your agency. This does add another step to the process, but it is well worth it if the step keeps your agency risking federal reimbursement denial.
- Build the FHWA Form 1273 into your paperless system as an automatic part of the contract. This works for the paperless system your agency may be using, but the sub-contracts will probably still need to be checked manually.
Whether you choose one of the recommended ideas above or come up with your own, the key is to establish a process to ensure FHWA Form 1273 is always included in your contracts and related sub-contracts. The form itself is FHWA’s way (process) to ensure required provisions are being included at all contract levels. Your agency is securing your place in the overall process by making sure the FHWA Form 1273 is included.
If you have additional questions concerning FHWA Form 1273, the Federal-aid Essentials Video series provides a video on this topic. The video is available for viewing at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials/catmod.cfm?id=22
Courtesy of Ohio LTAP Center