Now that “best value” contracting is officially the new game in town for City of Philadelphia procurement, with the issuance of the new best value regulations, it’s worth asking whether the longstanding Separations Act precludes the City from using best value contracting for contracts for the construction of public buildings.
The Separations Act provides that, for public building construction in Pennsylvania in excess of $4,000, all public owners must prepare separate specifications, solicit separate bids, and award separate contracts for general construction, plumbing, heating and ventilating, and electrical work, with the additional requirement that the award must be made to the “lowest responsible bidder.”
The Separations Act unquestionably applies to the City. With a mandate to award the contract to “the lowest responsible bidder,” the Separations Act would appear to prohibit the City from using a “best value” standard to award construction contracts for a City public building project. Of course, time will tell whether City officials and the courts will agree with this viewpoint.
If you need assistance on a Separations Act issue, feel free to call or email me for a no-cost consultation. I’ll be happy to assist in anyway possible.
It’s official! Philadelphia voters have voted in favor of the best value ballot question. Read more
On Tuesday, May 16, Philadelphia voters will be asked to vote YES or NO to the following ballot question: “Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the award of certain contracts based on best value to the City?”
The ballot question is vague and confusing, and fails to inform voters that the City of Philadelphia now awards contracts on the basis of “lowest responsible bid,” a method that many believe already results in “best value” contracting for the City.
Nonetheless, the nonpartisan Committee of Seventy recently announced its support for the ballot question. The Committee of Seventy is not typically thought of as proficient on matters of public procurement, so it formed a task force comprised of Board members “with contracting experience in the public- and private-sector” to study the issue. Read more
Is “best value” the next, best thing in City of Philadelphia procurement? We will all know soon enough. The best value initiative is on the official election ballot for the upcoming Philadelphia primary election.
On May 16, 2017, voters in Philadelphia will be asked to answer “yes” or “no” to the following question: “Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the award of certain contracts based on best value to the City?”
If passed by the voters, best value will certainly prove to be a momentous change for Philadelphia procurement, though it remains to be seen just how momentous. Only time will tell.
My original post and thinking on the best value initiative can be found here.
Is “best value” contracting the next, new thing for the City of Philadelphia?
The Philadelphia City Council recently passed a resolution proposing an amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter that would give the Procurement Department the option to award contracts, which are normally awarded to the lowest, responsible bidder, to “the responsible bidder whose proposal provides the City with the best value.” This amendment would radically alter a provision in Article VIII, Chapter 2, of the Charter that has been in place since the Charter was first enacted in 1952. Read more