House members introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday to improve the procurement process for federally funded construction projects.
Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., introduced the “Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act” (H.R. 5644). If passed, it would ban federal agencies from using reverse auctions to award design and construction contracts. This procurement method often favors businesses offering the lowest price, rather than those that are most qualified, they said. The Senate passed its version of the bill in late December.
Reverse auctions can “compromise quality, overlook small businesses, or even require a new bidding process down the road, eliminating any initial savings,” the lawmakers said in a press release. “Reverse auctions are ultimately inappropriate platforms for design-build contracts, which require design concepts, key personnel, and technical solutions to be incorporated into any successful final decision.”
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