Pennsylvania state representative Jesse Topper has introduced a bill that would open major construction projects to competitive bidding, reports The Inquirer of Philadelphia.
The bill, which is with the State Government Committee, was precipitated by a study from research firm Ducker Worldwide that found from 2005 to 2010, schools across the state wasted more than $100 million in taxpayer money on roofing by using cooperative purchasing rather than competitive bidding.
The proposed bill would outlaw cooperative purchases for construction projects, which the bill’s backers say will save money, especially for public schools having financial troubles. One school district received a roofing bid from a cooperative for $2.4 million, whereas an open bid for the same project totaled $1.4 million.
Still, many Pennsylvania school officials say cooperative purchasing agreements have merit, offering quality assurance, consistency and reduced maintenance, reported The Inquirer. They also say that open bids, unlike cooperatives, don’t take design costs or project monitoring into account.
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