Agenda Item 7E
April 14, 2015
Josh Hamlin, Legislative
Action: Bill 49-14, Contracts and Procurement - Formal Solicitation
Reciprocal Local Preference
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee recommendation (3-0): enact Bill 49
14 with amendments.
Bill 49-14, Contracts and Procurement - Formal Solicitation - Reciprocal Local Preference,
sponsored by then Council President Rice and Councilmember EIrich, was introduced on October
21,2014. A public hearing was held on December 2,2014, at which there were no speakers. A
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee worksession was held on March 19.
Bill 49-14 would establish a reciprocal preference for a County-based bidder in certain
contracts awarded by competitive sealed bidding. Specifically, the Bill would require the Director
of the Department of General Services to grant a preference to a responsible and responsive
County-based bidder if the lowest responsible and responsive bidder is from another jurisdiction
that grants a preference to its resident bidders. The reciprocal preference would
identical to the
preference granted by the other jurisdiction to its resident bidders.
In 2014, the Council enacted Bill 13-14, which defmed "County-based bidder or offeror,"
and codified a preference for a County-based bidder or offeror in the event of a tie bid or ranking
in a contract awarded by formal solicitation. This Bill addresses the situation where a County
based bidder is seeking a County contract awarded by competitive sealed bidding, and competing
against bidders from other jurisdictions that offer specific preferences
their resident bidders.
The Bill would require that a County-based bidder be given the same preference that such bidders
receive in their home jurisdiction. For example, ifthe low bidder is from a jurisdiction that grants
a 10 percent preference to its own resident bidders, the Director would give a 10 percent preference
to a County-based bidder for the purpose of evaluating the bid against the low bidder.
Reciprocal preferences are relatively common at the state level across the country (© 11
12). The State of Maryland has a reciprocal preference law for State procurement (©13-15), and
State law authorizes political subdivisions and instrumentalities of the State to provide for a
reciprocal preference (©16-17). The State enabling law provides that if another state gives
preference to firms located in that state, a local government may give an equal preference to firms