The Mandate: Pursuant to General Municipal Law § 103, local governments are required to follow complex and cumbersome procedures to purchase goods exceeding $20,000 and contract for public works exceeding $35,000. In November 2009, the monetary threshold for public works contracts was raised from $20,000 to $35,000, and in April 2010, the threshold for purchase contracts was raised from $10,000 to $20,000. While these increases are a step in the right direction, further reform is still needed. Given the rising costs of construction, essentially every project pursued by a local governmentis subject to competitive bidding, as tall but the most minor of procurements exceed the current statutory parameters.
Read more: Competitive Bidding Reform
The Mandate: The Wicks Law - was put into place to promote competition and protect workers' rights. Named for Senator Arthur Wicks who sponsored a bill to expand the law in 1946, the Wicks Law requires that, under General Municipal Law § 101, state and local government construction projects (including school district construction projects) costing more than $3 million in New York City, $1.5 million in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, and $500,000 in the rest of the state are subject to separate plumbing, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, and electrical contracts. The requirement has proven to be one of the most onerous mandates facing local governments.
Read more: The Wicks Law