Monday, June 3, 2013

Public Contracting News from Around the Nation

Michigan awards contract without competition:  Ravenna Township has awarded a $275,000 library remodel and addition project to a local contractor without competitively bidding the project.  The surprising thing is that under Michigan law, it's perfectly legal to do so according to the  Municipal Townships Association.  They noted that "local [government] units are not required - state and federal may be - to use competitive bidding on any and all projects."  According to the Association, there is a recognition in state law "that it's not always the best use of the public's money to go for the lowest bid."  Click here for an article with more details.

Nebraska considers bid preference law for disabled veterans:  Nebraska legislators are moving forward with a bill that would give businesses owned by disabled veterans a preference in bidding on state contracts.  The business would need to be owned 51 percent by disabled veterans and apply only to those living in Nebraska.  Contractors have argued that the preference law would increase costs of contracts.  Click here for an article with more details.

Pennsylvania pursues repeal of state prevailing wage law: A coalition is urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to repeal the state's 50 year old prevailing wage law.  They argue that it increases costs on public construction projects by as much as 30 percent, and burdens public agencies struggling with restricted budgets.  Supporters of the law, primarily labor unions, argue that the law ensures quality construction.  Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law applies to construction projects over $25,000.  Click here for an article with more details.

Louisiana rejects contracting changes:  A charter review committee for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana's most populated county, has rejected recommending reforms that would remove the discretion of the Parish Council to award contracts based on political influence rather than published evaluation criteria.  Jefferson Parish has a long history of corruption in contract awards that is based on improper political influences rather than best practices in procurement.  I spoke in New Orleans last year at a forum designed to gain momentum for reforms recommended by the Bureau of Governmental ResearchClick here for an article with more details.  Click here for my previous blog posting that describes more about the unique contracting practices of Jefferson Parish.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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