SCS/SB 249 - This act creates the "Political Subdivision Construction Bidding Standards Act". This act does not apply to political subdivisions that have specific state or local competitive bidding requirements that are equivalent to, or stricter than, the ones contained in this act. If a political subdivision is not covered by a specific federal, state, or local law that is equivalent to, or stricter in, its requirements, it shall comply with the advertising and bidding requirements outlined in this act when soliciting bids and awarding contracts that exceed $25,000.
Bids shall be advertised in the following manner: through publication in a central repository developed by the office of administration, or a private firm under contract with the office, at no cost to the state; on the political subdivision’s own website if it has a link to the central repository; in a newspaper of general circulation located in the same county as the political subdivision, or an adjoining county, for a period of once a week for two consecutive weeks; or through publication, at no cost to the public subdivision, in a central repository developed by an organization representing political subdivisions. The political subdivision may, in addition to advertising in the manner described above, also advertise the bids in business, trade, or minority newspapers.
The advertising requirements do not apply when a political subdivision has publicly stated, in writing, that the political subdivision is using a sole source method to award a construction contract because of the unique nature or limited availability of materials, equipment, or skills for the construction project.
The contract must be awarded to the lowest and best bidder, however, the political subdivision may reject any and all bids.
Bidding must comply with the following procedures: no bids may be opened in advance of the advertised deadline; bids must be written and sealed; no bids may be accepted after the advertised deadline; and bids must be held confidentially.
A person who would have bid on a contract had it been advertised also may seek a court order to have the contract rebid, but only within fifteen days of the date the political subdivision opened the bids.
Electronic bidding shall be allowed if it meets the standards of confidentiality. Nothing in this section shall require acceptance of a bid which exceeds the amount estimated by the political subdivision for the contract. Also, political subdivisions may award contracts without competitive bidding when there is an immediate public danger, to prevent loss to property, or to prevent or restore essential public services. Under such circumstances, the political subdivision must produce a written public record documenting the need to contract without competitive bidding.
This act is similar to provisions of SCS/HB 142 (2011), SB 729 (2010), HB 2218 (2010), SS/SCS/HCS/HB 1290 (2010), HCS/SB 716 (2010, and HCS/SCS/SB 887 (2010).