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A year after voters approved it, Ann Arbor tweaks 'best value procurement' for contractors

Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU

In the fall of 2021, Ann Arbor voters amended the city charter to allow for city officials to choose contractors on more than just who had the lowest bid. At Monday’s city council meeting, some changes were made to that process.

The amendment to the city charter allows the city of Ann Arbor to take a variety of factors into consideration when choosing contractors. After being in place for the past year, city staff noticed some room for improvement with "best value procurement,” so some tweaks passed unanimously.

Fourth Ward council memberJen Eyer says one of the changes is to require bidders to disclose the number of contract workers that will work on a project.

“Contractors sometimes do that if they want to avoid paying people full-time wages and benefits. It’s an unethical way to get around doing that for their workers.”

Other changes include giving the city administrator the option to waive the “best value” standards if the city could potentially lose out on significant grant funding. Another amendment means that these policies exclude contracts that are less than $50,000. That’s up from $25,000.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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