It is the duty of public officials to select the lowest bidder on construction projects.
However, unscrupulous contractors can underbid reputable contractors and perform a terrible job, costing taxpayers far more money than should be spent on a job.
Responsible contracting policies can stop this from happening and save taxpayers money.
They ensure only qualified contractors, with a proven track record of providing quality work are used on a project. Responsible contractor policies can also require a winning bidder to abide by fair contracting processes and pay their employees living wages and benefits.
Responsible contracting policies establish a basic set of qualifications that all firms must meet in order to bid on a construction project. These qualifications can include:
Responsible contracting policies require contractors to demonstrate that they offer high-quality employment and work. Firms that meet responsible contractor standards are able to show that they:
These policies allow public officials to select a winning bidder who meets all the terms and conditions set forth in the bid package.
In a sense, it gives them the ability to act in much the same way the private sector acts when picking a contractor. This allows them to avoid selecting a contractor who has a record of performing poor, unsafe work.
Responsible contracting policies can ensure a project is built by a contractor with a record of performing safe, high quality work because only those contractors who meet the bid standards qualify to bid on a project.
In regions where few construction workers belong to unions, responsible contracting policies can also dissuade poor performing contractors from bidding on public contracts.
Lastly, by including responsible contractor language in construction contracts, entities make sure general contractors and subcontractors do not misclassify their workers as independent contractors, which render the employees ineligible for social security, unemployment insurance, health insurance and Workers’ Compensation.