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Here’s The Scoop …. ROADBLOCK…..

September 30, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers… As expected the Town Administration is still playing with the RFPs… No surprise to this writer…but another unexpected surprise to the 6 out 9 companies who came to hear the bids for the Public Safety Building Renovation RFP for the BSO Police!…

The meeting was held in Jarvis Hall at 2 pm … All signed in….In attendance 6 companies/ Asst.TM  Olinzock/ Town Clerk White/ Chen & Assoc. Architect Ernie Ocampo ( who will making the big bucks this year according to the LBTS 2009-10 adopted budget )….After the Town Clerk sat down at the end of the conference table she immediately declared this was an “RFP” and she would NOT be reading the BIDS aloud…She proceeded to read the name of the company, the town and opened them…putting them in a pile…

1. Coastal Construction – Hollywood

2. Primus- Pembroke Pines

3. Acme Construction Group LLC- Palm Beach

4. New Living Construction- Hallandale Beach

5. LHP General Contractors LLC- Weston

6. MDR Construction- Ft. Lauderdale

7. West Construction Inc.- Lake Worth

8. Built Right Construction- West Palm Beach

9. Boran Craig Barber Angle- Naples

Right afterward it happened again…the attendees asked them if they were going to read the bids… June White tersely replied she said they were “RFPs” and they would not be read aloud…The companies could see them in 10 days or they would cost 15 cents a page in 10 days……Again the company reps were shocked and puzzled …rightly so!…

This time the Town brought forward a “shield” …Town contracted Architect Ernie Ocampo who said he was going to “evaluate” the “cost of change orders”…and some gibberish about deciding on “bid one, bid two or no bids”…He then said he might follow-up with calls to see if the companies “submitted the bid or there was a substitution”…The Town Architect will be ranking the bids…and then they will go to the “Town”….. with Asst. Olinzock quickly adding by “Town” they mean the commissioners…(expect another song and dance from Colon and Olinzock about their “expertise” in procurement)…

One vendor asked the Asst. Town Manger and the Town Clerk if they realized the companies were required to send the information to the bond company within 10 days?…It did not faze either one (Olinzock/White) …what an inconvenience this decision would cause!…

I shook my head and said “Oh, boy”…and walked out upon the end of the meeting with the bidders… I asked them if they have ever had this happen in any other town…”NO!” was the universal response…. I asked the Rep. who spoke of the bond company requirement when he usually sends in his information from an “RFP-BID”…he answered “The same day!”… WOW!… He said they get the tabulation…(the price bids by each company)…call the bond company and inform them where they stood among the bids submitted…He said the “evaluation” comes afterward…(Just as it did BEFORE July 29, 2009!)…

The process took minutes…and to read the bid aloud would have added at the most…5 minutes…and everyone would have walked away happy…Instead the Town Manager and her staff have added another layer to the process…by using the Architect ($$$$)…and making the companies come back in 10 days, hoping they make their bond requirement in time!…

Commissioner Dodd at the last Commission meeting asked for a change to be made in the Town Purchasing Manual on page 19 Section D. FORMAL BIDDING PROCESS 4a. in that section it says “Each RFP shall contain the following standard provisions:

a. BIDS must be received by the LBTS Purchasing Administrator no later than the time and date identified in the RFP. BIDS received after this time for any reason shall be returned  unopened to the BIDDER. All timely-received BIDS shall be  … ( NEW 5-0 inclusion) ….

“All timely received bids shall be publicly opened, read aloud to include the name of the bidder, the town, the bid number and the bid value. Contractors present at the bid opening have the right to visually inspect the lowest bid if requested. The staff will announce that the bids have not been evaluated for mathematical errors and responsiveness.” … the time and place designated in the RFP!

It does NOT distinguish between an RFP and a BID!….

The Town Manager, Asst. Town Manager, Town Clerk and now the Town Architect are just plain wrong to continue this practice.

Next March, they all need to go!…

more to come….

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