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Pa. Senate Democrat takes aim at no-bid contracts


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Sen. Anthony Williams
Sen. Anthony Williams - (Photo / Submitted)

A proposal to level the playing field and curb “pay-to-play” practices over government contracts is circulating in the state Senate.

Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, said he plans to introduce legislation aimed at preventing no-bid contract awards to political campaign donors.

"This system of 'pay-to-play' corrupts the fair and open principles outlined by the commonwealth's procurement code while funneling millions of dollars to well-connected firms for services that could be handled by commonwealth agencies," Williams said in a memo that is circulating for co-sponsorship.

His proposal would amend the procurement code so that contributors who give more than $500 would be subject to competitive bidding processes for any contract valued at more than $10,000. This would affect contributions to campaign committees of elected officials in both the executive and legislative branches and to state, county or city political parties, Williams said.

"Subjecting all entities, businesses and nonprofits, to competitive bidding for all goods and services will ensure a process free from political gamesmanship and the appearance of corruption," Williams said.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .



formerStateRep said:
A good start would have at least one of the Philly bribe takers RESIGN from public office. .. If they respected The People's House, they would all RESIGN

April 16, 2014 10:35 am

Chris Marisic said:
While there is some merit in this (it's mostly a dog and pony show) the $10,000 requirement is ridiculous. $10,000 is totally insignificant amount of money, it will cost us tax payers more than $10,000 to pay someone to review the proposals for a $10,001 contract.

If this legislation set a minimum at $1 million or $10 million, then it becomes more reasonable.

But this isn't about actually helping PA it's just a cheap political shot for the minority party to attack the majority party. If they really wanted to do something about corruption in government how about we get people who actually take real bribes.

"caught at least four Philadelphia-area legislators taking multiple bribes ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands in cash and Tiffany jewelry. Uncovered as part of a sting operation, these bribes were given to Philadelphia Democrats in exchange for votes or contracts, including opposition to Pennsylvania’s proposed voter ID law."

THIS is corruption AND it is already illegal. Why is nothing being done? Political patronage, dirty chicago politics.

April 16, 2014 8:47 am

RCarp said:
I worked in the Procurement office of a PA county government and saw this happen first hand on more than one occasion. This legislation is greatly needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and effectively.

April 15, 2014 12:24 pm

kpknapp said:
I second the motion. In a time when transparency in gov't is so expected, it's hard to believe we live with no-bid contracting. Give all businesses a fair and open opportunity where not only price but quality counts.

April 15, 2014 12:00 pm

steventodd said:
Bravo. It. Is. About. Time someone besides me notices this.

April 15, 2014 11:53 am

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