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MADISON - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued an informal opinion today holding that a county may prohibit one company from being both the construction manager and the contractor on the same project.
The issue arose over Rock County's jail expansion project. Rock County's bid invitations stated that any company or individual selected as the construction manager would not be allowed to bid as a contractor on the project.
Attorney General Van Hollen concluded that the bidding statutes "are designed to prevent fraud, collusion, favoritism, and improvidence in the administration of public business, as well as to insure that the public receives the best work or supplies at the most reasonable price practicable."
Van Hollen held that the county had the discretion to split the two jobs, noting that the construction manager would be helping the county evaluate the bids and would monitor the contractors' performance under the contracts. Van Hollen said that the county could reasonably conclude that splitting the two jobs would better protect the county's interests.
A copy of the original request and Attorney General Van Hollen's informal opinion can be found here.