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Are you Prequalified to be Awarded Small Public Projects not Subject to Formal Bidding Requirements?

As contractors know, public works projects must be awarded via a public, competitive bidding process (excepting those where expenditures will be $5,000 or less). But in 1983 California legislators passed the California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act ("Act"), allowing some smaller projects to bypass the formal bidding process and be awarded either by negotiated contract, or via an informal bidding process. The Act also allows some particularly small projects to be self-performed by public agency forces.

The size of projects subject to the Act was recently increased. Until recently, the Act provided that projects anticipated to cost $30,000 or less could be self-performed by public agency forces, and projects anticipated to cost $125,000 or less could be awarded via a negotiated contract or informal bidding process.

In April 2011, pursuant to the terms of the Act, California State Controller John Chaing directed that the negotiated contract/informal bidding threshold be raised from $125,000 to $175,000, effective July 1, 2011. Two assembly bills were forwarded to modify the Act to conform to the Controller's modification (AB 720 and 943), one of which also proposed raising the self-performed work threshold from $30,000 to $45,000. Both of the bills passed, the latter of which was approved by Governor Brown in October 2011.

Accordingly, now projects anticipated to cost $175,000 or less may be awarded by negotiated contract or informal bid.

Contractors must be prequalified to seek these contracts. Interested contractors should inquire with public agencies in their market area for opportunities. Many agencies post applications at their website.

See a more thorough article on this subject at our website, here.

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