Effective January 1, 2016, the thresholds for public bidding by Pennsylvania state authorities and municipalities will remain unchanged from 2015 and are as follows:
- Purchases and contracts below $10,500 require no formal bidding or written/telephonic quotations
- Purchases and contracts between $10,500 and $19,400 require three written/telephonic quotations
- Purchases and contracts over $19,400 require formal bidding
Bidding thresholds are adjusted annually for inflation by the Pa. Department of Labor & Industry under Act 90 of 2011. The Pa. Bulletin announcement announcing the 2016 bidding thresholds can be found here.
Thinking of avoiding the Pa. Prevailing Wage Act? Think again! An intentional violation of the Wage Act can and will result in a debarment for three years.
Section 11(e) of the Wage Act provides:
(e) In the event that the secretary shall determine, after notice and hearing as required by this section, that any person or firm has failed to pay the prevailing wages and that such failure was intentional, he shall thereupon notify all public bodies of the name or names of such persons or firms and no contract shall be awarded to such persons or firms or to any firm, corporation or partnership in which such persons or firms have an interest until three years have elapsed from the date of the notice to the public bodies aforesaid. The secretary may in addition thereto request the Attorney General to proceed to recover the penalties for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which are payable under subsection (f) of this section.
The Pa. Department of General Services maintains a list of debarred contractors, nearly all of whom landed on the list due to intentional violations of the Wage Act. Don’t end up the list!
If you are a public contractor performing construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, or repair work, other than maintenance work, under a public contract in excess of $25,000 paid for with public funds, you must follow the Wage Act. If you don’t, the potential consequences will be harsh and will far outstrip any savings you might enjoy by underpaying your workers.
If you have questions about compliance with the Wage Act, feel free to contact me for further assistance.
E-verify, officially known as the Pennsylvania Public Works Employment Verification, Act 127 of 2012, has now been the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for more than two years, since January 1, 2013. E-verify requires all public works contractors and subcontractors to utilize the federal government’s E-Verify system to ensure that all employees performing work on public works projects are authorized to work in the United States. My earlier post on E-Verify can be found here.
The Pa. Department of General Services continues to enforce the requirements of E-verify, as is evident from the formal notices posted on the DGS E-verify webpage. A sample violation notice can be found here.
DGS has also posted an FAQ for E-verify which can be found here.
Prime contractors should remember that they must inform their subcontractors of their duty to comply with E-verify. If they do this, then prime contractors will not liable for a subcontractor’s failure to comply with E-verify.