Bowser wants two strikes and you're out for bad city contractors

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Local,DC,Liz Farmer

Ward 4 D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser introduced a bill Tuesday that aims to get rid of the bad apples of city contracting. Her “Bad Actor Act" would ultimately prevent the worst contractors from doing business with the District after two failures to complay with city requirements for contractors.

Under the current system, a contractor who is suspended (or debarred) for improper fair wage practices, Certified Business Enterprise violations or fraud can continue to bid and benefit from the city's $1 billion per year contracting and procurement system once the debarment expires.

“We have a perfectly functioning government that adheres to the highest standards and we choose to work with companies that haven't done much for the District of Columbia residents,” Bowser said during her introduction in council Tuesday morning.

In addition to banning "bad actors" who hold prime contracts, the bill also bans them from subcontracting on District procurements and requires the Office of Contracting and Procurement to publish a list of debarred contractors on its website.

Finally, any District employee who fails to properly follow the contracting process — including city contracting officials — will be subject to progressive discipline.

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