Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: (717) 645-2265
December 2, 2009
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Passes Resolution to Improve Contracting Transparency and Competition

Measure includes new process to qualify and retain professional-service providers.
HARRISBURG, PA (12/02/2009)(readMedia)-- At its regular bimonthly meeting yesterday, the five-member Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a resolution to modify the process used to hire professional-service providers such as bond and legal counsel to maximize competition among providers. Under the resolution, the Commission will solicit proposals or qualifications from firms or individuals interested in applying for inclusion in pre-established pools to provide professional services.

When he was named Turnpike Chairman in May of this year, State Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler said one of his top priorities would be to improve transparency in how toll income is used to operate and improve the Pennsylvania Turnpike system.

"Pennsylvanians today expect more openness from their government than ever, and with this resolution, we're a step closer to fulfilling that expectation," Chairman Biehler said. "This year, the Turnpike will spend nearly $400 million on roadway projects as part of a capital-improvement plan, and we owe it to toll-paying motorists to explain how we're spending that money."

The resolution applies to these and other professional services: outside legal counsel; bond counsel; tax and financial counsel; investment banking; bond underwriters; bond trustees; financial advisors and advisory services; commercial banking; investment advisory services; business development consultants; real estate appraisal services and review appraisal services; real estate title and closing services; and property management services.

In 2008, the Turnpike introduced an online Electronic Bidding System ( to bolster transparency. The Commission also publishes contracts on its internet site. Upon execution, contracts can be viewed at by clicking on "Doing Business with the PTC."

"The public deserves access to this and other information, and the Commission certainly recognizes this with the changes we have implemented," Chairman Biehler said.

Yesterday's resolution authorizes the chief executive officer, in consultation with the chief counsel and the chief financial officer, to develop and issue - with final approval of the chairman - requests for qualifications, requests for proposals, and/or invitations to qualify, to solicit proposals or qualifications from firms and/or individuals interested in applying for inclusion in an established pool or pools to provide professional and other specialized services.

"Considering the Commission's obligation to supply Pennsylvania with billions of dollars in new transportation funding under Act 44 of 2007, it's imperative that we continue to adopt policies to enhance openness," said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. "Using toll income and the sale of revenue bonds, we've provided $2 billion in supplemental funding in two years enabling PennDOT to improve 980 miles of roadway and replace 92 bridges to date."