• State Increases Upper Limit on Informal Bidding for Agencies Subject to UPCCA Act
  • June 2, 2011
  • Law Firm: Best Best Krieger LLP - Riverside Office
  • The State Controller recently issued a letter informing public agencies that the upper limit for using informal bid procedures prescribed by the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (Act) will be increased to $175,000 effective July 1, 2011. Currently, the bid limit is $125,000. Commencing July 1, agencies that have adopted the procurement procedures required by the Act will not be required to undertake formal bidding unless the public project exceeds $175,000. Public agencies that have adopted the Act, such as cities, counties and special districts, are able to utilize the increased bid threshold in lieu of otherwise applicable statutory bid limits. An agency must affirmatively adopt the procedures of the Act in order to use the alternate procedure.

    Public agencies should note that participation in the Act is not without its drawbacks. In exchange for the higher formal bid threshold, the Act requires that agencies comply with rigorous notice, bidding and accounting procedures set forth in the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission’s (Commission) Cost Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual. Public agencies without sufficient staff resources should balance the benefit of obtaining a higher formal bid threshold against the burden of maintaining annual contractor lists, providing additional notice to contractors under the Act’s procedures, and complying with the Act’s accounting requirements for work performed with the agency’s own forces.

    The increased informal bid limit will not affect the $30,000 threshold under which agencies can perform work with their own workforce, by purchase order or by negotiated contract under the Act.

    The Act, enacted in 1983 under Public Contract Code section 22000 et seq., provides that the Commission must review the informal bid limits every five years for inflation and other factors to determine whether adjustments should be made.