Is there a right to a hearing on a bid protest filed under the Pa. Procurement Code? The answer is no.
In a recent, unreported decision involving a contract issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority for a new red light camera system in the city of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court has re-affirmed long-standing precedent that a hearing is not mandatory on a protest filed under the Pa. Procurement Code. Under 62 Pa. C.S. § 1711.1(e), whether to conduct a hearing is within the “sole discretion” of the head of the purchasing agency. The Commonwealth Court also held that, under the Pa. Procurement Code, 62 Pa. C.S. § 1711.1(d), it is not mandatory for a contracting officer to file a response to a protest before issuance of a determination by the agency head. Finally, the Commonwealth Court found that the denial of a stay of procurement was not in error where the agency head had determined that the protest was clearly without merit and had articulated the substantial interests that would be harmed by a stay.
A copy of the Commonwealth Court decision in Am. Traffic Solutions, Inc. v. Phila. Parking Auth., can be found here.