Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Orie Wants to End "Pay-To-Play"
A local State Senator says she has introduced a bill that will end the possibility of "pay-to-play" practices in Pennsylvania. Senate Majority Whip Jane Orie of McCandless says her bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Dominic Pileggi, would improve the way professional service contracts are adopted by state agencies by requiring agencies to establish an open "most qualified bidder" process for contracts of $25,000 or more. She says “The citizens of Pennsylvania demand honest and transparent government.” Under the bill, agencies would be required to advertise the services being sought along with the specifications, procedures and requirements to be followed, and any other factors that will be used in scoring. The bill also requires that there be disclosure and posting of all political campaign contributions for the previous five years by bidders on contracts totaling $25,000 or more. The measure would force all state agencies to select a "Qualified Evaluation Committee" made up of state-agency employees to score submitted proposals. A similar bill was passed by the senate 50-0 in the last session but died in the lower chamber. Orie says this bill has even more controls. She says, “This bill will open processes which have taken place behind closed doors for far too long."