SECOND REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 2218

95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY


 

 

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES DENISON, (Sponsor) SCHLOTTACH, FAITH AND KINGERY (Co-sponsors).

4972L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk


 

AN ACT

To amend chapter 67, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the political subdivision construction bidding standards act.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Chapter 67, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 67.314, to read as follows:

            67.314. 1. The provisions of this section shall apply to contracts for construction awarded by political subdivisions of the state of Missouri and shall be known as the "Political Subdivision Construction Bidding Standards Act". For purposes of this section, the term "contracts for construction" shall mean the construction, alteration, or repair of any building, structure, highway, bridge, street, viaduct, water or sewer line or system, pipeline, demolition, moving, or excavation connected therewith, and shall include the furnishing of surveying, construction engineering, planning or management services, or labor, material, or equipment, as required to perform work under the contract for construction. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the design or engineering of any project, as the term "project" is defined in section 8.287, to be awarded by competitive bidding if the contract for such services is under a separate contract from a contract for construction and is awarded under sections 8.285 to 8.291, or to construction management services governed by sections 8.675 to 8.687. Neither shall this section be construed to apply to contracts awarded for the design/build method of project delivery, if the political subdivision's procurement of design/build projects is otherwise authorized by law, local charter, ordinance, order, or resolution.

            2. If a political subdivision is not subject to a specific requirement for advertising for bids or soliciting, awarding, or rejecting bids under Missouri statutes or rules, or federal or state funding requirements, or by local charter, order, ordinance, resolution, or policy applicable to the specific political subdivision regarding contracts for construction, the political subdivision shall comply with the following provisions when soliciting bids and awarding construction contracts of ten thousand dollars or more:

            (1) Contracts for construction shall be advertised in advance of the acceptance of bids. If no provision of Missouri statutes or rules, or federal or state funding requirements, or local charter, order, ordinance, resolution, or policy requiring advertising otherwise applies, bids shall be solicited by advertisement for a minimum of five days in one newspaper of general circulation in a county where the political subdivision is located, with the first advertisement for bids appearing in the newspaper at least thirty days in advance of the date stated in the advertisement for acceptance of bids. For contracts for construction of over two hundred fifty thousand dollars, bids shall also be advertised by providing project and bid solicitation information at least thirty days in advance of bid opening to one or more commercial or not-for-profit organization, which provides construction project reporting services by subscription to construction contractors and suppliers, or that operates internet or paper plan rooms for the use of contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. Project advertisements and bid solicitations shall state the date and time of the deadline, the place for submission of bids, and the date, time, and place where bids shall be opened;

            (2) In the absence of a bid award or rejection, standard contracts for construction shall be awarded in compliance with this subdivision. If no provision of Missouri statutes or rules, or federal or state funding requirements, or local charter, order, ordinance, resolution, or policy otherwise applies, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest qualified responsible bidder that submits a bid which is responsive to the contract as advertised by the political subdivision. The political subdivision may reject the low bidder by declaring the bidder ineligible for contract award based on the bidder's failure to provide a performance or payment bond as required by section 107.170, the bidder's nonperformance on previous contracts with the political subdivision, or other reasons specified as to the bidder's inability to adequately perform the contract. The reasons for bid rejection or award of the contract to another bidder shall be stated in writing to the low bidder within five business days of the rejection of the bid.

            3. Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, state rule, or federal or state funding requirement to the contrary or any provision of a charter, ordinance, order, resolution, or policy to the contrary adopted by a political subdivision, no contract for construction shall be awarded in violation of the following requirements:

            (1) No bid shall be opened in advance of the advertised deadline for submission of bids or in a place other than that established in subdivision (4) of this subsection;

            (2) No bid shall be accepted unless it is sealed and is in writing. If the letting of the project for which bids were solicited is cancelled, bids shall be returned to the bidder unopened;

            (3) No bid shall be accepted after the advertised deadline for acceptance of bids;

            (4) All bids received shall be held secure and confidential from all persons until the bids are opened on the date and at the time and place established in this section. Bids shall be opened in a public meeting on the date and at the time and place stated in the advertisement and request for bids or in an amended request for bids communicated to all known bidders or potential bidders. If the date, time, or place of bid opening is changed from information stated in the original or amended advertisement or solicitation for bids, notice of the date, time, and place of bid opening shall be made to all known or potential bidders and the general public at least two business days in advance of the bid opening. Bids shall be opened in a public meeting. No political subdivision shall bar any person or persons from observing the bid opening.

            4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit acceptance and processing of bids through an established program of electronic bidding by computer, provided bids accepted and processed electronically shall meet standards established by the requirements of the electronic bidding program which are comparable to requirements for written bids established by this section.

            5. Any person submitting a bid, or who would have submitted a bid except for violations of subsection 3 of this section, shall have standing to seek equitable relief and monetary damages in a court of competent jurisdiction for monetary losses resulting from violations of subsection 3 of this section, including but not limited to, setting aside award of a contract, ordering a contract to be rebid, requiring award of a contract to a different bidder than originally awarded, awarding monetary damages deemed appropriate by the court, including award of reasonable attorney's fees, or awarding a combination of such forms of relief. Any action authorized by this subsection that is brought by the contractor more than ten business days after the award of a contract shall be dismissed by the court. If the court finds there has been fraud, collusion, or corruption, or if the court finds there have been violations of subsection 4 of this section in award of the contract and awards monetary damages or equitable relief to the contractor bringing the action, the court may also award attorney's fees to the contractor bringing the action. If the court finds there is no substantial cause for the action or determines that the action was brought by the contractor for purposes of harassment or disruption of the awarded contract, the court may order the contractor to pay the political subdivision's costs of attorney's fees.

            6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require acceptance of a bid which exceeds the amount estimated by the political subdivision for the contract. Neither shall anything in this section prohibit a political subdivision from awarding contracts without competitive bidding when the political subdivision deems it necessary to remove an immediate danger to the public health or safety, to prevent loss to public or private property which requires government action, or to prevent an interruption of or to restore an essential public service.

            7. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a political subdivision from adopting a local charter, ordinance, order, resolution, or policy governing contracts for construction after the effective date of this section. Neither shall this section be construed to allow a political subdivision to maintain or enact any provision governing construction contracts in conflict with subsection 3 of this section or any state statute in effect on the effective date of this section or as subsequently amended or enacted.