City Of Allentown Permitted To Use RFP Process For Waste Services Contract

In a decision issued on July 20, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the City of Allentown's use of the Request for Proposals (RFP) process in a contract award. In 2015, Allentown issued an RFP for the award of a Read more

Are RFQs Immune From Protest Under The Procurement Code?

If you respond to a Request for Quotes (RFQ) issued by a Commonwealth department or agency, can you protest if the resulting purchase order is awarded to another bidder? According to the Commonwealth's Office of Administration, the answer is no. Read more

Pennsylvania Initiates Disparity Study For Small Diverse Business Program

In June 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania initiated a disparity study that will provide information to help the Department of General Services (DGS) implement the Pennsylvania's Small Diverse Business Program. The expected completion date for the disparity study is Read more

Commonwealth Court: Laches Requires Reversal Of Injunction Issued For Violation Of Separations Act

A recent decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania illustrates the extreme perils of waiting too long to challenge a violation of the public bidding laws. In December 2015, the West Jefferson Hill School District solicited bids for a new Read more

Regulations Issued For City of Philadelphia Best Value Contracting

On July 27, the regulations governing the City of Philadelphia's purchase of goods and non-professional services under the "best value" standard became official. Under the regulations, the Procurement Commissioner can permit a contract to be awarded under the "best value" Read more

DGS

E-Verify, Revisited

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The Pennsylvania Public Works Employment Verification – Act 127 of 2012 but better known as E-verify – has now been the law in Pennsylvania for more than four years, since January 1, 2013.

E-verify requires that all public works contractors and subcontractors must 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.

Prime contractors are cautioned that 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.  For example, in 2016, more than 50 contractors received warning letters concerning violations of E-verify.

Prime contractors are also cautioned 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.

DGS has also posted an FAQ for E-verify. This can be found here.  My original post on E-verify can be found here.

If you need assistance on an E-verify issue, call or email me for a no-cost consultation.  I’ll be happy to assist in anyway possible.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DGS, E-Verify Leave a comment

DGS Sends Violation Notices Concerning Non-Compliance With E-Verify

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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.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in E-Verify Leave a comment

Reminder: E-Verify Now The Law For Public Works Contracts In Pennsylvania

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Effective January 1, 2013, E-Verify is now in place for employment verification for public works contracts in Pennsylvania. My earlier post on E-Verify can be found here.

The Pa. Department of General Services (DGS) has a new page on its website that details the E-Verify requirements and provides a link to a new employment verification form created by DGS for use by public works contractors and subcontractors.  The new DGS page can be found here.

The new DGS regulations (4 Pa. Code. Chapter 66) can be found here.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in E-Verify Leave a comment

E-Verify Mandated for Public Works Contracts in Pennsylvania

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After a long wait, E-Verify is coming to Pennsylvania.  On July 5, 2012, Gov. Corbett signed into law the Public Works Employment Verification Act (S.B. 637) which takes effect January 1, 2013.

The Act requires all public works contractors and subcontractors in Pennsylvania to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of new employees and applies to projects with an estimated cost in excess of $25,000 that are funded by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions, authorities, or agencies.  E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

Under the Act, a contractor must submit a verification form signed under penalty of perjury and acknowledging its compliance with the Act as a precondition of being awarded a public works contract.  Subcontractors must submit the form prior to commencing work on the public works project.  In addition, contractors must include in their subcontracts information about the requirements of the Act.  The Department of General Services (DGS) will create the verification form and is also charged with enforcement of the Act through complaint-based as well as random audits.

A contractor or subcontractor violates the Act by failing either to use E-Verify or to provide the verification form.  Sanctions for failure to use E-Verify range from a warning letter (to be posted on the DGS website) for a first violation to a one year debarment for a third and subsequent violation.  A willful violation of the Act will result in a 3-year debarment.  Civil penalties for failure to use the form or for false statements on the form range from $250 to $1,000 for each violation.

The Act provides significant protection for whistleblowers.  If an employee of a contractor or subcontractor is retaliated against for instigating or cooperating in an investigation, the employee can bring suit (which must be brought within 180 days from the date the employee knew of the retaliation) to obtain reinstatement of employment and to collect three times lost wages, along with an award of attorney’s fees and costs.

A contractor or subcontractor who relies in good faith on E-Verify has immunity from sanctions and shall have no liability to any individual who is not hired or is discharged from employment.  Good faith is shown by a federal agency’s written acknowledgment of the use of E-Verify.  Contractors are not liable for violations by subcontractors.

Information on E-Verify can be found here.  To participate in a webinar on E-Verify click here.  The full Act can be found here.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DGS, E-Verify, Procurement Code Leave a comment