The Franklin County Board of Commissioners has approved modifications to its historic Responsible Contractor Criteria, to meet Ohio Supreme Court requirements. Attached is Resolution 75-11, along with attached criteria.
Ohio law requires award to the lowest qualified construction bidder, but often public owners are not clear on what criteria might be used to determine qualification. In 2002, the National Electrical Contractors Association assisted Franklin County in drafting the original 18 criteria, now grown to over 20. See Franklin County Construction Documents, p. 14 et seq., attached.
In State ex rel. Associated Builders & Contrs. of Cent. Ohio v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Commrs., 2010-Ohio-1199, 125 Ohio St.3d 112, 926 N.E.2d 600, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ratified Franklin County’s use of such criteria, questioning only the undefined term “violation” for Prevailing Wage review. However, the Court upheld the review of Prevailing Wage records, stating, “In fact, to the extent a public authority is required to comply with the prevailing-wage laws, it may be error for a public authority to fail to consider a bidder’s record in this regard.” See attached Decision.
Eight years after original adoption, Franklin County now has updated those provisions to eliminate the term “violation” by substituting any three “findings” in a two-year period in the last decade, consistent with Ohio statute and the Supreme Court Decision.
In addition, Franklin County created a de minimis “safe harbor” of $5,000.00, under which a Finding would not be considered. Nor will any single finding based upon a journeyman-to-apprenticeship ration be considered, unless as part of multiple, similar findings.The Board also requires annualizing of benefits, to avoid contractors which pay benefits only on Prevailing Wage projects, and supervisory personnel with 5 years’ experience in their specific construction trade. Finally, the Board requires that bidders maintain a Risk Assessment Rating of 1.5 or better with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
This Court-tested model provides Public Authorities with a prototype for consideration of low construction bidders throughout Ohio.
For further information, contact:
Luther L. Liggett, Jr.
Luper, Neidenthal & Logan
LeVeque Tower, Suite 1200
50 West Broad Street
Columbus OH 43215-3374