Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting tough on contractors who violate public procurement law

SB3087 may not make headlines, but it's an important bill that will help level the playing field for private contractors who compete for public works projects. The bill passed out of a conference committee today with amendments and is headed for a full floor vote in both bodies.

SB3087 gives the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations the authority to immediately suspend and begin debarment proceedings against contractors who purposely defraud the State on public works projects. This includes falsification of records or delaying an investigation under the wage and hour law. Violators will be suspended for a period of three years.

According to the bill, "there is currently no method to debar contractors who cheat and get caught unless they fail to pay back wages, which rarely happens." The bill supports the intent of Chapter 104, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which is a law that evens the playing field for those bidding for public works jobs, and requires a prevailing wage for workers.

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