Pflugerville City Council members discussed adding a policy within the city’s procurement process July 25 to consider prior litigation when requesting contract bids for various design and construction projects.

The gist

As city officials plan for new capital improvement projects to occur throughout Pflugerville, especially after recently authorizing the sale of bonds from a 2020 election for road and parks projects, council members and Mayor Victor Gonzales discussed taking companies’ litigation history into consideration.

It is common practice among cities to include within their procurement policies the authority to take applicants’ general litigation history into account when awarding bids and making agreements for professional services. City Attorney Charles Zech said Pflugerville has no such policy and recommended City Council adopt one.

“In other words, what is their general litigation history with other cities? What is their litigation history with other people that they do business with? Are they litigious in nature?” Zech asked.

What else?

Council members also discussed including within the new policy that an applicant’s past legal history could disqualify them from being awarded a project bid. Zech said he hasn’t dealt with a measure to completely preclude bidders because of their legal past, but believes case law would allow it.

“There’s no absolutes in the law, but I feel comfortable in doing so for a period of about five years,” he said. “I believe that would be reasonable.”

Zech said council's discussion was enough for him to draft a policy regarding the bidding process, which he will bring back to the officials for approval.