Bill description: HB 40 would clarify language which prohibits public entities from considering the fees assessed by contractors when evaluating proposals for projects.
Public agencies in Idaho must go through a multiple-step process when soliciting bids and selecting a contractor to perform services as a professional engineer, architect, landscape architect, construction manager, or professional land surveyor. The first step of this process is for the public agency to establish objective criteria it will use to make the selection, such as proven experience in the field or capacity. These criteria must then be made available to the public.
Once private contractors have submitted bids for a project, the public agency must rank them according to the objective criteria.
Only after completing the ranking and selecting the top-ranked candidate can public agencies ask about the rates the contractor would charge. At this point, the public agency can negotiate “a contract or agreement to perform such services at a price determined by the public agency or political subdivision to be reasonable and fair to the public after considering the estimated value.”
This procurement process is backward and can lead to inefficient use of taxpayer dollars for overpriced contracts. When public officials are spending taxpayers’ money, the price of the proposed projects should be a primary factor for their consideration. Not a secondary, or even tertiary consideration.
HB 40 would clarify the language that prohibits public agencies from considering prices. This bill would not substantively change the policy in place today.
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