Local 25 Calls for Fair Procurment in Maryland


 

Maryland agencies should bid their projects fairly
Baltimore Sun
By John Boardman
April 20, 2015

This winter, Gov. Larry Hogan made a critical move toward improving how Maryland selects its contractors. Faced with several questionable contracts up for approval by the Board of Public Works, the governor joined with Comptroller Peter Franchot to reject proposals that seemed too expensive or failed to undergo serious competition.

Good governance should not be a partisan issue; still, it is refreshing to see a Democrat and Republican working together to promote sound procurement practices. For example, it is a lot easier for Maryland residents to get a good deal when there are several bidders competing for a contract. That's why state agencies are expected to foster as much competition as possible. State procurement practices also include quality standards for contractors, including modest guarantees for decent working conditions for contract workers. When agencies follow smart procurement practices, it helps ensure that our state government actually serves its residents.

Some agencies are better at this than others. As Michael Dresser pointed out in this paper, one of the biggest offenders for sending up dubious deals has been the University System of Maryland. In 1999, state lawmakers exempted the university system from having to follow most of the state's procurement law. It may be time to question the wisdom of that decision.

Read the rest of this story on the Baltimore Sun's webpage: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-procurement-rules-20150420-story.html