Legislators Close Loophole

Competitive Bidding

Legislators Close Loophole

A lack of competitive bidding policies pertaining to service contracts costs every taxpayer and student millions in needless waste. This is obviously unfortunate, but not a violation of law or policy. School Districts and State entities have no idea what money can potentially be saved. Legislators should require service contracts by governmental entities to meet the same standards as public improvement contracts (construction) (Iowa Code Section 26.3(1)) which requires any public improvement contract with an estimated cost of $125,000.00 or greater be advertised for sealed bids by publishing a notice to bidders. The notice to bidders shall be published at least once, not less than four (4) and not more than 45 days before the date for filing bids, in a newspaper published at least once weekly and having a general circulation in the geographic area served by the governmental entity. Governmental entities can adjust the monetary threshold lower if they wish but at a bare minimum this will help to protect taxpayers from governmental bodies who do not take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously. We are looking to stretch every dollar possible. There must be a mechanism that will force those who will not seek competition to do so. Taxpayers and our students deserve it.

In the ICCSD, Administrators and Board members are complaining that State funding is insufficient. At the same time, they have ignored competitive bidding on service contracts which number in the millions of dollars over many years. This is money they have a 100% control over. Get your own fiscal house in order first before you bellyache for more.

Phil Hemingway
Iowa City

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