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RELEASE: Khanna, Meadows Introduce Bipartisan Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act

January 16, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the bipartisan Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act, a bill to promote competition and prioritize quality in federally-funded construction projects.

The bill would prohibit federal agencies from using a reverse auction, in which sellers continuously lower prices during bids for federal construction contracts. Under the current system, the construction contract is often awarded to the lowest bidder, rather than the most-qualified bidder. While this procedure generally results in a low price for the item up front, the quality of the product, delivery terms, and other important features can be subpar, and promised cost savings often do not materialize. This process can also compromise quality, overlook small businesses, or even require a new bidding process down the road, eliminating any initial savings.

Reverse auctions are ultimately inappropriate platforms for design-build contracts, which require design concepts, key personnel, and technical solutions to be incorporated into any successful final decision.

A similar prohibition on the use of reverse auctions has already been implemented for construction contracts issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers, after they found their use of reverse auctions did not reduce costs in practice and that they are ill-suited to the variability and unpredictability that comes with construction projects.

“Federal services should reflect the overwhelming technological and consumer advances of the 21st century economy. Taxpayers should see their hard-earned money going toward high-quality services around their communities. Proud to reach across the aisle and work with Rep. Meadows as we bring healthy competition to the public sector, building a better America together,” said Rep. Khanna.

“I’m proud to help introduce this bill to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of federal government construction contracts. This is a simple change, at no cost to the federal government, which will protect taxpayer dollars and put federal funds to better use – something members of both parties can support. I want to thank my friend, Congressman Ro Khanna, for his willingness to work with me on this issue in a bipartisan way,” said Rep. Meadows.

Read the Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act online here.



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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.