San Francisco has barred five contractors from seeking city contracts, using a new rule allowing the 5-year ban of contractors who have committed, but not been convicted, of misconduct.

All five contractors are linked to the city’s recent bribery scandal, which ensnared the city’s public works director and others.

Complete debarment from bidding requires a higher legal threshold; the city moved in late 2020 to add new rules to the books allowing a 5-year ban on bidding for misconduct.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Prior to the new legislation, contractors suspected or even charged with corruption were not officially blocked from bidding on or receiving contracts with the city until their cases were adjudicated.

“Now we have another tool to keep government clean, and we’re going to use it,” Herrera said. “Corruption will not be tolerated in our city.”

The new legislation was intended as a speedier and less burdensome precursor to debarment, in which contractors who committed willful misconduct are banned from city bidding for five years. Debarment, however, requires a high legal threshold, and a process can stretch on for years.