Bid shopping is a questionable practice that takes place when a general contractor attempts to pad his profit margin for shopping for lower-priced subcontractors than those listed in the original bid. Conversely, bid peddling occurs when a subcontractor or vendor deliberately lowers his standard price in order to persuade the general contractor to switch the business to him.
Aside from stripping the federal bidding system of its integrity, these practices rob the American taxpayer of the value he justly expects to receive for his hard-earned money. Bid shopping and bid peddling encourage some subcontractors and vendors to cut corners in quality and safety in order to meet the lower cost demands of the general contractor.
The masonry industry believes it is time for the federal government to use its considerable power to end these deceptive practices that cheat the taxpayer and supports legislation requiring general contractors bidding on federal projects to list up front the subcontractors and their bids they plan to use on a project and then justify any subsequent changes.
Legislation is currently pending in Congress, H.R. 1348, the Construction Quality Assurance Act, which would outlaw bid shopping on federal construction projects. H.R. 1348 has yet to be acted on by the House Committee on Government Reform. The MCAA would urge members to contact their District Representative to encourage them to cosponsor and fight for passage of this vital legislation.