New Public Bidding Thresholds One Step Closer

State law requires public employers to seek competitive pricing for many types of public contracts. As you may be aware, any contract for the purchase of goods or for construction work in an amount exceeding $10,000, can only be done after seeking sealed bids. Any such project or purchase with a value of under $10,000, but over $4,000, must be awarded after the solicitation of three telephonic quotes. Projects or purchases with a value of less than $4,000, need not be bid. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed HB 1854 (htmlpdf), which would increase those limits for Townships. In particular, the new bill would amend the Second Class Township Code to change the $10,000, threshold to $18,000. Similarly, the $4,000, threshold would be increased to $7,000. In addition, the bill proposes that the Department of Labor and Industry would be required to revise these numbers annually, based upon changes in the Consumer Price Index. Obviously, this bill could eliminate significant cost to Townships, by reducing the number of projects or purposes that would require the solicitation of competitive bids. The bill is in the Senate, where it has been referred to the Senate Local Government Committee.

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