Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How Broad is HUD 's Discretion in Evaluating Section 8 Contract Administration Bids?

In thinking about the significant and undisclosed degree of weight given by HUD to price in the recent Section 8 contract administration bid awards it occurred to me that HUD may be relying on special contracting authority that provides it with significant administrative discretion. (See my earlier post HERE on what otherwise seems like a reasonable basis for the OHCS appeal).

I went back and looked at the final HUD invitation to bid document HERE and a reference on the first page says : "The Invitation is issued pursuant to section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act), 42 U.S.C. 1437f".

I found 42 U.S.C. 1437f HERE and it says: 
(b) Other existing housing programs (1) In general.— The Secretary is authorized to enter into annual contributions contracts with public housing agencies pursuant to which such agencies may enter into contracts to make assistance payments to owners of existing dwelling units in accordance with this section
I haven't found any specific statutory or regulatory provisions that further amplify/or restrict the very broad authority that this statutory language appears to provide. [Then again, I am not an attorney...]. 

Absent some other more restrictive statutory or regulatory authority (or more general and applicable principle of contract law) I wonder if HUD won't be referencing this broad discretionary authority in responding to the bid appeals that have been filed with it and with GAO? 

What do you think/have any insights?-Please DO add a comment below.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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