Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 1, 2011

Sen. Jerry Ellis
Sen. Jerry Ellis

Senate passes legislation strengthening Public Competitive Act

The State Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday amending the Public Competitive Act of 1974. Senate Bill 127, by Sen. Jerry Ellis, strengthens the Act by providing penalties for those who do not use competitive bidding on public projects.

“This Act was created to ensure that the state got the best possible price on public projects, rather than someone’s buddy getting the job. However, there’s never been an incentive under the Act to encourage people to do competitive bidding on contracts over $50,000,” said Ellis, D-Valliant. “By using competitive bidding, taxpayers could save 15 to 20 percent on public projects; and given our state’s economy, that’s savings we desperately need. It’s time that we stop wasting Oklahoma taxpayers’ money.”

SB 127 extends the time period from 10 to 15 days in which any Oklahoma taxpayer or unsuccessful bidder on a public construction contract can bring suit claiming a violation under the Public Competitive Act of 1974. The measure also creates a penalty for violations of the Act. Violators will be guilty of a felony and can face up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

The measure also extends the definition of public construction contract to include any contract that is derived from other forms of consideration such as a promise of performance, including, but not limited to, pledging a percentage of revenues or toll charges due to a public agency, and is awarded by any public agency for the purpose of making public improvements or constructing any public building, road, or bridge whereby the public agency has an agreement to authorize a private entity to make such improvements or construction and transfer the improvement, building, road, or bridge back to the public agency at a later date.

SB 127 now moves to the House for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Ellis: (405) 521-5614

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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