Gavel to Gavel: Contracting with public entities By Joe Walters

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Article first published in The Journal Record - August 26, 2010.

Private persons can generally contract with each other as they please. They can pay too much for goods or services, of whatever quality they choose. However, public entities such as federal agencies, state agencies, counties and municipalities pay for goods and services with public funds. Therefore, Congress, state legislatures, city councils and boards of county commissioners have enacted statutes, ordinances and rules governing how contracts are made. The intent is protecting public funds by obtaining quality goods and services at good prices. Public entities also establish fair procedures for choosing contractors, thereby encouraging a variety of vendors to participate in the process. Sometimes, there is tension among public contracting officers, elected officials who favor their local constituents and vendors.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorey: Joe Walters.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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