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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 30, 2021 11:31 AM
From: Representative Dianne Herrin and Rep. Tracy Pennycuick
To: All House members
Subject: Holding Government Contractors Accountable for Past Failures
We are introducing legislation to authorize state procurement officials to consider a prospective contractor’s documented performance in other states or with other public entities prior to awarding, renewing, or extending a Pennsylvania contract to that bidder.
Pennsylvania’s procurement laws require government agencies to award project contracts to the “lowest responsible bidder.” This is generally well-intentioned, as it charges the state to be responsible to taxpayers, but all too often the focus is solely on “lowest” and not “responsible.” The result can be cost overruns, delays, poor service, and change orders that end up costing far more than the original bid. Project examples run the gambit from highway projects to emergency call systems, to human service contracts affecting seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Some lawyers have argued the state doesn’t have the authority to deny a bid or a bidder based on the bidder’s documented performance or failures in other states. Our legislation will negate this argument and provide clear authority to consider prospective contractor performance in other states and with other public entities.
As entrusted stewards of the public interest and public funds, we have an obligation to assure state agencies have the necessary tools to refuse to award, extend, or renew contracts with documented poor performers or change order schemers. Together, we can make sure the people of Pennsylvania are not burdened by a lack of service and/or excessive cost overruns. Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1925