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National Building Trades Department
Ask ACT Ohio

Important Issues

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Who is a RESPONSIBLE CONTRACTOR?

Responsible contracting is not about taking the lowest bid. It is, however, about taking the lowest “responsible bid.”

Responsible contracting usually leads to better quality services and reduces the hidden costs that result when workers don’t receive living wages and benefits. Responsible contracting policies can help ensure that contractors have a track record of providing employees with living wages and benefits.

Responsible Contracting takes into account the
following principles:

  • Prudent and fair contracting processes.
  • Responsibility standards for wages, benefits and records of complying with workplace, tax and other laws.
  • Public transparency and accountability with information related to the contracting process.

Responsible Contractor Policy

A Responsible Contractor Policy is a set of enforceable qualifications adopted by an owner or governing entity and incorporated into construction bid specifications by a project’s manager and design professionals. Once adopted and generated into the bid documents, these important qualifications let the entire community know that the owner or governing entity wants competent and qualified construction firms and personnel to build and renovate its facilities and infrastructure.

Having a Responsible Contractor Policy in place and included in the bid specifications enables the an owner or governing entity to put all bidders on notice that quality criteria – in addition to the lowest price – will be considered when bids are reviewed to ensure the selection of qualified construction professionals in the building and renovating of facilities and infrastructure.

A Responsible Contractor Policy promotes the essential qualifications contractors and their employees must have before they are awarded a contract. If they do not have the qualifications, they would not be allowed to work on any public.

Responsible Contractor criteria can include:

  • Proper Experience
  • Drug- & Alcohol-Free Workplace
  • Apprenticeship Training
  • Safety Training
  • References
  • Financial Condition
  • Compliance with Regulatory Agencies
  • Proper Licensing
  • Proper Insurance
  • Accident and Illness Rates
  • Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Quality of Life Issues