Leaders from more than a dozen advocacy groups have signed a letter urging legislators to support “open competition” in infrastructure projects.
In a May 17, letter, the groups called for Congress to allow open and competitive bids and to include requirements for open bids in all infrastructure projects. The groups are clear in their requests for legislation.
“Specifically,” said the letter, “legislation should include language that clearly requires an open, competitive bidding process for materials that will be used in infrastructure projects.”
According to the special interest groups, there is already bipartisan agreement within legislatures that the nation’s infrastructure is badly in need of replacement or repair. The group also asserts that with an open bidding process project engineers will be able to make better fiscal decisions with taxpayer money and ultimately choose materials that lower project costs.
The message to lawmakers is clear: without open and competitive bidding, taxpayers will foot a higher than necessary bill for needed infrastructure projects. Although states spend some money on infrastructure, a large part of funding for major infrastructure projects comes from the federal government.
The plea from advocacy groups also includes details about a recent study conducted by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which concluded that replacing the aging infrastructure of the nations water systems would cost $1.32 trillion dollars.
“It is projected that allowing open competition for materials in just water infrastructure projects could save over $371 billion in taxpayer funds,” said the letter, before noting "A separate study conducted by Massachusetts-based BCC Research found removing barriers to competition could save up to 39 percent per mile in pipe costs alone.”
Without mincing words, the letter says open competition should not be limited solely to energy and water infrastructure but applied to all publicly funded infrastructure projects. The current system contains “protectionist and outdated restrictions” on materials the group says. The group also attributes the current restrictions on materials in infrastructure and construction projects to what it calls “special interests.”
The plea was signed by 21 leaders from different conservative lobby groups including the Tea Party Nation, Americans for Tax Reform, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and the National Taxpayers Union.