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05/21/2024 03:41 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2023 12:11 PM
From: Representative Dan K. Williams
To: All House members
Subject: Holding Government Contractors Accountable for Past Failures
Pennsylvania’s procurement laws require government agencies to award project contracts to the “lowest responsible bidder.” Generally, this is well-intentioned because it charges the state to be responsible to taxpayers. But some entities add costs over the duration of a project using change orders, leading to longer than expected project timelines and greater than expected costs. Too often, contractors who have a history of using change orders to increase the contract cost end up receiving contracts from government agencies because of their low upfront price estimate.
That is why I am introducing legislation to authorize state procurement officials to consider a prospective contractor’s documented performance in other states and with other public entities prior to awarding, renewing, or extending a Pennsylvania contract to that bidder. This will put a stop to unexpected high costs and to projects that never seem to end.
Being accountable to the people of Pennsylvania means more than just getting the lowest initial price. Major projects such as bridge or highway construction should be completed on time and within budget, and we should hold contractors accountable to these expectations. 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 ensure the people of Pennsylvania are not burdened with unnecessarily long and expensive projects. I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this needed legislation.

Introduced as HB865