Public Contract Law

An agreement to perform a particular task to benefit the community at large that is financed by government funds. Federal, state, and local governments enter into contracts to purchase goods and services. The construction of public buildings, highways, bridges, and other structures is governed by a well-defined contractual process of competitive bidding that seeks to protect the public against the squandering of public funds and prevent abuses such as fraud, favoritism, and extravagance. A public contract is a legally enforceable commitment of a party to undertake the work or improvement desired by a public authority. Public contracts are largely governed by the general law of contracts. Private individuals and corporations are held to stricter standards in their dealings with the government than in their private dealings. Conversely the government must deal fairly with those who contract with it. It can enter contracts within the limitations imposed by constitutional and statutory provisions. In addition, federal laws must be observed because most public projects receive financial aid from the federal government.

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