Responsible Contractor Ordinance

Effective August, 2021, the City has a new Responsible Contractor Policy for public construction projects and maintenance contracts $50K and above. This policy is a method for awarding contracts based on the best value. 

The intent of this policy is to make information available to those responsible for purchasing decisions about the relative responsibility of those looking to do business with the City. This information is intended to ensure that all work is performed by firms who can successfully complete City projects in a safe, timely, reliable, high quality, and cost-effective manner.

As part of that policy, vendors must answer a set of criteria that the City will consider during the RFP review. Answers to these questions will not exclude any respondent from the bid process or the ultimate award. This policy is not meant to be burdensome to the process, but rather provide additional information for consideration. It is not meant to exclude smaller businesses from applying and will not alter nor replace the scoring and review process currently in place for RFPs. 


Best value: An RFP (Request for Proposal) procurement method that emphasizes both value and price. Best value is a method that is utilized in the evaluation process of the proposals received and reviewed. Best value for construction will be determined based on a one hundred (100) percent distribution looking at construction that includes but is not limited to the following: quality of workmanship, quality of materials, references, experience (including experience on past county projects), proposed schedule, safety, time, and cost. 

Bid: means any application submitted by a bidder in response to an invitation for bid, request for proposal or request for qualifications, or other procurement process. 

Bidder: means any person or entity that applies for any contract whether or not the application process is through an invitation for bid, request for proposal, request for qualifications, or other procurement process. 

Construction project: Any contract of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) awarded for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work of the City of Jackson. The labor and material necessary, for the construction, renovation, repair or improvements to real property, except repair in emergency situations, which requires solicited bids so that the work, when complete, must be ready for service for it; intended purpose and must require no other work to be a completed system or component. 

Contractor: any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association or any combination thereof, which enters into a contract with any awarding authority of the City of Jackson and includes a recipient of city financial assistance and a public lessee or licensee. 

Responsible bidder: A bidder for a construction project that has satisfied the pre-qualifying criteria; designated in the bid and as provided in these guidelines. 

Subcontractor: any person not an employee who enters into a contract with a contractor to assist the contractor in performing a contract, including a contractor or subcontractor of a public lessee or licensee or sublessee or sublicensee, to perform or assist in performing services on the leased or licensed premises. The term subcontractor does not include vendors or suppliers to city purchasing contractors. 


1)     All contractors and subcontractors of any tier that perform work on any public construction project valued at over fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) shall meet the requirements of this article. 

(2)    All firms engaged in contracts covered by this article shall be qualified, responsible contractors or subcontractors that have sufficient capabilities in all respects to successfully perform contracts on which they are engaged, including the necessary experience, equipment, technical skills and qualifications and organizational, financial and personnel resources. Firms bidding on public contracts shall also be required to have a satisfactory past performance record and a satisfactory record of law compliance, integrity and business ethics as described in this article. 

The Responsibility Criteria to be considered by the City include:

1.         General information about the bidder’s company, its principals, and its history, including all former business names, and an explanation of any business name changes.

2.         If the submitting firm has ever operated under another name or is controlled by another company or business entity or in the past five years controlled or was controlled by another company or business entity, whether as a parent company, subsidiary or in any other business relation, it must attach a separate statement to its bid packet that explains in detail the nature of any such relationship. Additional information may be required from such an entity if the relationship in question could potentially impact contract performance.

3.         Information regarding the state and local licenses and license numbers held by the bidder.

4.         A confirmation that all subcontractors, employees and other individuals working on the construction project will maintain current applicable licenses required by law for all licensed occupations and professions.

5.         Verification that the bidder is in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and visa requirements regarding the hiring of non-US citizens, and disclosure of any work visas sought or obtained by the bidder, any of the bidder’s subcontractors, or any of the bidder’s employees or independent contractors, in order to perform any portion of the project.

6.         Evidence of experience with construction techniques, trade standards, quality workmanship, project scheduling, cost control, management of projects of comparable size/complexity, and building codes by documenting the bidder’s ability and capacity to perform the project. The bidder must identify those portions of the project it reasonably believes will be subcontracted and the names of the subcontractors.

7.         Evidence of bonding capacity within the past twelve (12) months, that the applicant has financial resources to start up and follow through on the project(s) and to respond to damages in case of default as shown by written verification of bonding capacity equal to or exceeding the amount of the bidder’s scope of work on the project. The written verification must be submitted by a licensed surety company rated “B+” (or better) in the current A.M. Best Guide and qualified to do business within the State of Michigan.

8.         A list of all litigation and arbitrations currently pending and within the past five (5) years, including an explanation of each (parties, court/forum, legal claims, damages sought, and resolution).

9.         Disclosure of any violations of state, federal or local laws or regulations, including OSHA or MIOSHA violations, state or federal prevailing wage laws, wage and hour laws, worker’s compensation or unemployment compensation laws, rules or regulations, issued to or against the bidder within the past five years.

10.          Disclosure of any debarment by any federal, state or local governmental unit and/or findings of non-responsibility or non-compliance with respect to any public or private construction project performed by the bidder.

11.          Proof of insurance, including certificates of insurance, confirming existence and amount of coverage for liability, property damage, workers compensation, and any other insurances required by the proposed contract documents.

12.          A statement regarding the bidder’s staffing capabilities and labor sources including subcontractors and a verification from the bidder that construction workers will not be misclassified as independent contractors in violation of state or federal law.

13.          Verification of an existing Fitness for Duty Program (drugs and alcohol) of each employee working on the proposed jobsite.

14.          A warranty statement regarding labor, equipment and materials.

15.          A statement affirming that the firm will pay all craft employees that it employs on the project the current wage rates and fringe benefits as required under applicable federal, state, or local wage laws.

16.          A statement from the contractor or subcontractor acknowledging their obligation to comply with this Ordinance in each contract and subcontract.

17.          A statement identifying what possible change orders could be necessary and what their approximate subsequent total costs would be

18.          Qualifications of management and supervisory personnel to be assigned by the bidder.

19.          References from individuals or entities the bidder has worked for within the last five (5) years including information regarding records of performance and job site cooperation.

20.          Evidence of any quality assurance program used by the bidder and the results of any such program on the bidder’s previous projects

21.          Assurance that all construction work for this project must proceed economically, efficiently, continuously and without interruption.

22.          A list of projects completed within the past five (5) years of comparable size/complexity, including dates, clients, approximately dollar value, and size.  Documentation from these previous projects including but not limited to all extra costs relating to the bidder’s timeliness, performance, quality of work, extension requests, contractual fines and penalties imposed, liens filed, history of claims for extra work and any contract defaults with an explanation of the reason for the default and how the default was resolved.

23.          The ratio of masters or journeypersons to apprentices proposed to be used on the construction project job site, if apprentices are to be used on the project.

24.          Evidence of the bidder’s worker’s compensation Experience Modification Rating (“EMR”).  Preference will be given to contractors and subcontractors who exhibit an EMR of 1.0 or less based on a three-year average.

25.          All craft labor that will be employed by the firm for the project has completed at least the OSHA 10 hour training course of safety established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

26.          Documentation of master or journeyperson certification or status for masters and journeypersons to be used on the project, and the source of such certification or status

27.          A statement from the bidder as to what percentage of its workforce can be drawn significantly from area residents because a goal of the City is to utilize, it is construction activities, local residents as much as is economically feasible while retaining the high quality of construction required for its construction activities, consistent with applicable law.  The City will consider in evaluating which bids best serve its interests, the extent to which responsible and qualified bidders are able to achieve this goal.

28.          Evidence of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs for minorities, women, veterans, returning citizens, and small businesses.

29.           Assurance that the bidder is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity of expression, height, weight, or disability.


(a)    Contracts must provide that violation of this article must constitute a material breach thereof and entitle the city to terminate the contract and otherwise pursue legal remedies that may be available. 

(b)    Compliance with the pre-qualifying screening criteria of this article must be required in contract amendments, if the initial contract was not subject to the provisions of this article. Contract amendments must provide that violation of pre-qualifying screening criteria must constitute a material breach thereof and entitle the city to terminate the contract and otherwise pursue legal remedies that may be available. 

(c)    Information that is provided under the processes set forth in this document that is at any point deemed false or in an attempt to mislead the city entitles the city to terminate the contract and otherwise pursue legal remedies that may be available. 

(d)    Violations of this article may be reported to the purchasing department which must investigate such complaints. Whether based upon such a complaint or otherwise, if the purchasing department has determined that the contractor has violated any provision of this article, the purchasing department must issue a written notice to the contractor that the violation is to be corrected within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of notice. In the event the contractor has not corrected the violation, or taken reasonable steps to correct the violation within ten (10) calendar days, then the purchasing department may: 

(1)    Request the awarding authority to declare a material breach of the contract and exercise its contractual remedies thereunder, which are to include but not be limited to termination of the contract. 

(2)    Request the awarding authority to declare the contractor to be non-responsible in accordance with the procedures set forth in pre-qualifying section of this article. 


The city must develop a complaint form (currently being created) that will allow members of the public to report suspected violations of this article to the purchasing department. Members of the public may at any time submit a report of suspected violations of this article. The complaint form must be accessible to the public on the city's website and a physical copy of the form will be available at the city administration building. If the city receives a complaint through the public complaint form, the purchasing department must investigate the claim and respond to the plaintiff within twenty-one (21) calendar days with the department's reply to the complaint.   Currently to report a complaint, please use the City's Report a Concern system.