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Here’s The Scoop … Changing The RFP …. Raises Red Flags …. For Those 75 Words In The Referendums ….

November 4, 2009 by Barbara

I’M RAISING IT….

Dear Readers….at the   9/22/09 Commission meeting … Comm. Dodd -“Motion to change the purchasing manual section 4 (a) to now read – All timely received bids shall be publicly opened, read aloud to include the name of the bidder, the town, the bid number. This came after yet more discussion concerning the Town Manager’s changing the way the town opened RFPs on July 29, 2009 …(prev. post)… This go round through the Town Clerk (obviously coached by the Manager) the change was admitted …Town Clerk White said ” The RFP for the trash was the first one we got that had several amounts on it which was very complicated and it was from then on that we decided that it would not be done like that anymore because it was too complicated and too time consuming and by law we don’t need to do that. It is exempt from public record for that particular reason. (The Town did not know this until well after the garbage RFP…not until the Town Atty. sent out the memo in response to the Town stoppage of reading RFP bids  aloud when opened as they continued to say they would do in their bids and ads)….Comm. Dodd rightly added that he sat in the garbage RFP (as did this writer)…it was not complicated and it went well as previously posted …so this was again another Colon debacle in not following what most municipalities do….. The Town Manager put forth more garbage to dig her heels in…”As I informed the commission who have asked my opinion (the Gang…hook, line & sinker) and the opinion of staff we will continue to read bids out loud and give the amount as we have done in the past. If you look on the survey most cities do not read the RFPs” (the survey actually showed otherwise) ….”We want to continue to do the process that use to be done and we have been successful. We have never had any issues until recently over this issue.” (Because they were all read aloud and when the vendors who are sending their Reps. find otherwise, there”s an issue) ” The Town Clerk has been doing the job, the Finance Director, all staff members have been doing their job, but by law they don’t have to do it and we have agreed to continue to give the price for the bid but we would appreciate if we’re allowed to follow the process that’s in place that’s a process followed by many municipalities in this state and THE RECORD WILL BE AVAILABLE BY LAW I BELIEVE IN 8 to 10 DAYS” (June said 10 days…The problem with this latest  TM hogwash is again most municipalities do open RFPs and ITBs…and the opened BY LAW in 10 days was not done with the police renovation RFP approved  on Oct. 27th…the Town using Ocampo  missed the 10 day BY LAW requirement by 4 days and it was not out until almost close of business on a Friday!…This writer prev. posted of the bid bond required for the contractors within thew 10 days and the 6 of 9 companies that came to the opening saying the RFPs are opened in all the other towns they bid in!)

The ridiculous “out” then used by Comm. Clottey and the Manager…was we do not have a “procurement officer”…again…it was lame!…

Comm. Dodd’s motion was made again with the Mayor’s 2nd…it was passed 5-0

Before the change …

Page 19. 4a.-(1st paragraph last sentence) “All timely-received bids shall be publicly opened in the presence of witnesses at the place and time designated in the RFP.”

Comm. Dodd’s motion on the 9/22/09

Page 19 4 (a) to now read – “All timely received bids shall be publicly opened, read aloud to include the name of the bidder, the town, the bid number .”

What the Town Manager (with the Town Atty. ?) did …. She changed the whole paragraph…used different terminology and distinguished between ITBs and RFPs …She (and the Town Atty.?) also changed the 3rd paragraph …and in the lower corner the revised dates are altered..In the purchasing manual the revised date is 02/17/09 on the PRR page I received last week read “Revised 10/15/05 ” which was crossed out “Revised 10/12/09” … NOT revised from 02/17/09 …Extensive changes were made although she was not directed to by the Commission to do so!…

BEFORE… in purchasing manual Revised 02/17/09 (Page 19)

4. Each RFP shall contain the following standard provisions:

4a. Paragraph 1.- “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 publicly opened in the presence of witnesses at the place and time designated in the RFP.

BC-Note- Readers might recall from prev. post the TM found that the purch. manual did not specify “read aloud” as the Town bid and Town ITBs/RFPs did…thus her decision to stop doing so in “payback to Comm. Dodd’s discovery on the preceding page (18)  when he caught her with the required on-line bids source..

AFTER …The new page 19 Revised on 10/12/09

4. Each RFP shall contain the following standard provisions:

4a.-Paragraph 1.- “ITBs or RFPs shall be received by the LBTS Purchasing Administrator no later than the time and date identified in the ITB or RFP. An ITB or RFP submittal received after the specified time for any reason shall be returned unopened to the bidder. All timely-received ITB submittals shall be publicly opened in the presence of witnesses and aloud to include the name of the bidder, their city and state, the ITB number and total price. All timely- received RFP submittals shall be publicly opened in the presence of witnesses and read aloud to include the name of the bidder, their city and state and the RFP number.”

BEFORE …purchasing manual revision 02/17/09 (page 19)(the reason it was revised from 10/15/05)

4a.-Paragraph 3 “Per Florida Statutes Section 119.07 (1)(m), sealed bids/proposals are exempt from public records until the earlier of 10 days following bid/ proposal opening or Town’s notice of intended decision. Per Florida Statutes Section 286.011,BID OPENINGS AND ANY RELATED BID/RFP EVALUATION/SELECTION COMMITTEE MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND REQUIRE ADVANCED NOTICE.”

AFTER…. new page 19 revised 10/12/09

4a-paragraph 3- Per Florida Statutes Section 119.071(1), sealed bids or proposals received by an agency pursuant to invitations to bid or request for proposals are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until such time as the agency provides notice of decision or intended decision pursuant to s. 120.57(3)(a) or within 10 days after bid or proposal opening , whichever is earlier.

BC- Note- So the Town Manager (and Town Atty.?) took out…” Per Florida Statutes Section 286.011, BID OPENINGS AND ANY RELATED BID/RFP EVALUATION/SELECTION COMMITTEE MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND REQUIRE ADVANCED NOTICE.” …
I made a Public Records Req. to verify the removal and/or relocation of this clause… It’s absolutely incredible the extent this Town Manager will go to if indeed this clause  has not been relocated on another page in the RFP provisions!…
……………………………………………………

From:
“Barbara Cole”
PRR
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 9:42 PM

To:
[email protected]
Steve , I recently received the revisions for the RFPs…included on page 19 was the following change to 4a.-paragraph 3

BEFORE …purchasing manual revision 02/17/09 (page 19)

4a.-Paragraph 3 “Per Florida Statutes Section 119.07 (1)(m), sealed bids/proposals are exempt from public records until the earlier of 10 days following bid/ proposal opening or Town’s notice of intended decision. Per Florida Statutes Section 286.011,BID OPENINGS AND ANY RELATED BID/RFP EVALUATION/SELECTION COMMITTEE MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND REQUIRE ADVANCED NOTICE.”

AFTER…. new page 19 revised 10/12/09

4a-paragraph 3- Per Florida Statutes Section 119.071(1), sealed bids or proposals received by an agency pursuant to invitations to bid or request for proposals are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until such time as the agency provides notice of decision or intended decision pursuant to s. 120.57(3)(a) or within 10 days after bid or proposal opening , whichever is earlier.

I am making a public records request for the following:

I would like verification from the Town that this means RFPs/ ITBs are NO LONGER “open to public “as they were before this revision.
If they are, where is that now contained? Please provide the page with that revision.
Please acknowledge receipt of this request.
Please advise if the cost is over $20.
Thank you, Barbara Cole

………………………………………………

If it indeed turns out that not only were major changes and deletions made in the Town’s purchasing manual without the Commission’s direction or input…but that the Town Manager and the Town Atty. have gone ahead and removed the ability for the public to attend future bid meetings and openings …and removed advanced notice of the meetings and openings…thus, further taking away transparency in  LBTS Town government….

Is there really any possible chance that those 75 words on the ballot for the March 9, 2010 referendum on the heights and ethics will be on the up and up?…

Not after this!…

more to come….

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