Mayor Annise Parker is standing behind Hire Houston First, an initiative to support employment of citizens and local companies. This initiative fulfills her 2009 campaign promise to encourage the use of local companies and the hiring of local workers on taxpayer-funded projects.
The program was approved by state lawmakers in the recently completed legislative session and will allow City Council to consider approval of vendors based on location of business in certain City contracts. On August 10, Mayor Parker will propose the initiative to the City Council.
The new initiative allows the City to award contracts, under $100,000.00, for the purchase of goods to a local firm if the price is within five percent of the lowest bid from an out-of-town company. For contracts exceeding $100,000, there can be no more than a three percent difference between the out-of-town low bid and the next highest offer from a local vendor.
“As long as their pricing is competitive, I want to ensure preference is given to local contractors,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “In these tough economic times it’s more important than ever for our tax dollars to stay in the community where they can support local businesses and the jobs they provide,” said Mayor Parker.
Mayor Parker proposes expanding the principles of the legislation to include procurements for services, including construction work, and to encompass firms based across the greater Houston metropolitan area. The City would also have the discretion to consider location when selecting contractors for architectural, engineering and land surveying services.