In response to an investigation regarding conflict of interest charges in two Scottsdale school construction projects, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed into law legislation defining new rules for public school construction projects.
The legislation, which was included in the state’s $10.4 billion fiscal 2019 budget, directs the Arizona Board of Education to impose rules mandating that all contracts for such projects must be awarded based on the lowest price for a qualified bidder.
The legislation also prohibits gifts from contractors to procurement officers and requires all school districts to keep timely records documenting the licensing of a contractor hired to do facility work.
The bill additionally mandates that all school districts in the state must be able to provide rationales in their awarding of contracts.
The legislation, effective in July 2019, has been criticized by the Arizona Builders Alliance, which has criticized school construction projects being awarded via an entirely low-bid system.
According to reports, construction industry leaders in Arizona are expected to meet with lawmakers before the Arizona State Legislature reconvenes next January in the hope of having the law modified.
By Garry Boulard
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