A key ingredient of the competitive bidding process is transparency. Everyone has access to the required scope of work and the budget available to procure that work. Once sealed bids are opened, they become public information. When a bid is accepted for contract award, grounds for selection are stated on the record.
Transparency keeps the competitive bidding process honest. It also maintains public confidence in the integrity of the system. When procurement authorities refuse to operate in the open, it should be cause for concern.
President Obama recently signed into law a bill (S. 1660) to reduce chemical emissions from certain wood products and materials that are used in commercial office buildings and other structures.
The new law amends the Toxic Substance Control Act to establish the first national emissions standard for formaldehyde in new composite wood products and is considered the most rigorous production standard worldwide. The measure requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a new federal regulation by January 2013 to implement its provisions, which will become effective in July of that year.
Viewpoint Construction Software, a Portland, Ore.-based company focused solely on developing construction-specific software, reported that during the first half of this year it experienced a 42 percent increase in new customer adoption of its V6 Software.
"In addition, overall interest in obtaining information about our products jumped 138 percent during the first half of the year as measured by inquiries and product demonstrations," according to Viewpoint. "Despite a challenging economy for many construction businesses, the amount of interest in our software and the continuing high level of new customer adoption indicates that progressive firms are looking to update their core technology to improve efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness."