Did you know that not all public construction projects in Texas are subject to competitive bidding or other procurement regulations? Establishing relationships with local governmental officials and employees can give general contractors the leg up in securing this work and allow for cities and counties to benefit from the skills and expertise of contractors.
The Texas procurement statutes contain numerous exceptions to the general rule regarding public bids for procurement. For example, a procurement needed to protect public property from unforeseen damage or harm can be exempted from the bidding process. This exemption can be invoked in a number of ways. If a construction project is abandoned or terminated and the work in place is subject to damage from exposure to the elements or other potential hazards, this exemption can be used to hire a replacement contractor to complete the job and protect the public property.
Another exemption is a procurement related to public health or safety. This exemption is very broad and can be used for contracts to protect against individual hazards, such as repairs to a damaged bridge or roadway. It has also been invoked in the award of contracts for waste collection and other sanitary services. In multiple court cases, sanitary service companies have been awarded multi-year contracts for garbage collection and removal under this exemption and those contracts have withstood challenges to their legality in court proceedings.
The list of exemptions to bidding for municipalities can be found at Local Government Code section 252.022. For counties, the similar exemption statute can be found at Local Government Code section 262.024.