On October 25, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett signed HB 1840 which amends the Pa. Steel Products Procurement Act (first passed in 1978) and which directs the Pa. Department of General Services (DGS) to prepare a list of steel products, such as machinery and equipment, that are not produced in the United States in sufficient quantities and that are therefore exempt from the provision in the Act that local governments purchase steel products manufactured only in the United States.
Once prepared and publicly accessible via the internet, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, bidders, and public agencies will be able to rely upon the list in preparing bids and entering into contracts. The list of exempt machinery and equipment is to be updated annually on a date selected by DGS. In addition, prior to publication on its website, and in each subsequent year, DGS must publish the list in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and provide for a 30-day public comment period. DGS is also required, via a statement of policy, to establish a process for creating the list and resolving disputes with respect to items on the list raised during the public comment period prior to the publication on its website.
This new law is sure to be welcomed by contractors and suppliers as it will eliminate uncertainty in bidding and will reduce disputes over whether certain steel products are produced in sufficient quantities in the United States.
HB 1840 takes effect in 60 days and can be found here.