April 29, 2019 •
Iowa Senate Bill Concerning Lobbying by Political Subdivisions Introduced
On April 24, a bill relating to lobbying activities by political subdivisions was introduced into the Iowa Senate. Senate Bill 639 would enact new statutes concerning political subdivisions contracting with or otherwise compensating a person to lobby on behalf of […]
On April 24, a bill relating to lobbying activities by political subdivisions was introduced into the Iowa Senate.
Senate Bill 639 would enact new statutes concerning political subdivisions contracting with or otherwise compensating a person to lobby on behalf of the political subdivision.
The legislation requires authorities for a political subdivision to use requests for proposals to solicit lobbying services, limits the duration for lobbying contracts to five years, and prohibits renewals of contracts without new requests for proposals.
Additionally, the bill requires public disclosure of the lobbying contract.
The proposed legislation defines “political subdivision” as a county, city, township, community college, area education agency, or school district.
The legislation also defines “lobbying” as direct action to encourage the passage, defeat, approval, veto, or modification of legislation, a rule, or an executive order being considered by the general assembly, a state agency, or a statewide elected official.
October 30, 2017 •
Court Gives City Wide Berth in Letting Non-Compliant Offerors Revise Forms
In United Healthcare Services, Inc. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, United Healthcare Services, Inc. (United) was not awarded the city of Baltimore’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for medical administration services despite being fully compliant with listed Minority Business […]
In United Healthcare Services, Inc. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, United Healthcare Services, Inc. (United) was not awarded the city of Baltimore’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for medical administration services despite being fully compliant with listed Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE) goals.
The companies awarded the contract did not comply with the requested MBE and WBE set at 11 percent and 4 percent respectively. After United complained, the city allowed the selected offerors to revise their MBE and WBE forms.
United filed suit against the city alleging violations of Baltimore’s procurement laws. The court found the city “is generally given a wide berth in making its decisions,” and United cannot point to a provision in the City Code the city clearly violated.
Additionally, the City Code only requires bidders make a “good faith effort” to be in compliance with the RFP and “the City has more expertise interpreting the City Code, and its own rules, than the Court.”
In turn, United failed to establish it would be likely to succeed on the merits.
May 17, 2012 •
N.J. Pay-to-Play Time-Period Ruling
The 18 month time-limit prohibiting political contributions under New Jersey’s pay-to-play law starts from the time when bids for a request for proposals (RFP) are submitted, a court has ruled.
The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed a decision prohibiting Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. from contracting with the New Jersey Schools Development Authority because of a political contribution given prior to Langan’s submission of its bid. Langan had submitted its bid on the due date for the RFP.
The Court examined the language in N.J.S.A. §19:44A-20.14, which describes the prohibition period as “within the 18 months immediately preceding the commencement of negotiations for the contract or agreement.”
The Court reasoned, “[W]e deem the point at which bids are submitted to be the time when ‘negotiations’ occur. Stated differently, because the submission of the bid is the triggering event culminating in the eventual award of a contract, and because the term ‘negotiations’ suggests a point in time at the beginning of the contracting process … the term ‘negotiations’ describes the point in time when bids are submitted. Consequently, we conclude that the agency’s receipt of bids constitutes the ‘commencement of negotiations’.” It rejected the appellant’s contention that a disqualification period begins on the day a political contribution is made, and continues for the next eighteen months.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.