EPISD–indicators of vendor favoritism

February 17, 2018

Read this article in the Times.

The headline is:

EPISD audit finds ‘indicators of vendor favoritism’ related to bond contract

Will anyone be held accountable?

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD–jerking the contractors around

December 28, 2017

Incredibly the EPISD board in their Tuesday, December 19, 2017 meeting took what appears to have been contradictory actions within minutes.

They had previously gone out for bids to find construction managers at risk for Burges, Coronado, and Jefferson high schools.  The board voted to reject those bids and instead issue requests for competitive sealed proposals once the architects have finalized their designs.  The problem here is that the bidders had to spend time and money to come up with their bids and then the board decided that using a different approach would be better.

The very next thing that the board did was to allow district staff to go out to bids for a construction manager at risk for Irvin high school.

Why did the board drop the construction manager at risk approach for the three schools and then go ahead and use it for a fourth?  It appears that EPISD staff might have conducted an unfair process on the first three schools .  The district has brought in yet another out of town lawyer to straighten out the district’s bid process.  Their only way out of awarding the original bid was to reject all bids.  Going to competitive sealed proposals will potentially add costs to the projects, but going out for bids a second time for construction managers at risk would expose the district to legal claims from the original winner.  The district still feels that the construction manager at risk process is more cost effective–that is why they used it for Irvin high.

This could have been avoided if the district had been fair with their evaluation of the original bids.  It looks like they  tried to pull a fast one here but  got caught.

This costs the contractors and the  community money and will result in fewer bidders in the future.

We deserve better

Brutus


Stupid bidders

July 30, 2017

Blame it on someone else!

Item 13.1 on the Tuesday, July 26, 2017 city council agenda was a request from city staff to reject all bids for fuel for city vehicles.

It appears that the contract would have been worth about five million dollars a year to the successful bidder.

Why did city staff want to reject the bids?  According to the backup material it was “due to bidders not correctly completing bid documents”.

The city received 13 bids.  Evidently not one of them was smart enough to fill out forms for this multi-million dollar contract.

Could it be that the purchasing department needs to write better specifications?

Or could it be that they don’t like the winning bidder?

We deserve better

Brutus


Pretty simple to do a good job

June 6, 2016

Evidently many of our local board members do not share our thoughts about what their  jobs are and are not,  so let’s talk about it.

The number one job of your board is to see to it that your entity provides the public with cost effective services according to your charter.

You do that through deciding policy and then managing your director/executive/administrator/manager .  Lets call this person your director.  Your director works for you.  You do not work for your director.  Your should see to it that your director executes the board’s policies morally, legally, and efficiently.

You are not there to be a rubber stamp for your director.  Not all ideas are good ideas.  You should question each and every action that comes before you as a board.  Unfortunately we see many cases in El Paso where agency staff flat out lies to their board.  Read your agendas.  Ask questions.  Reach out to people who know about the issue that are not involved with the agency.

Stop the favoritism.  If you were once a board member do not later take a job with the agency.  Do not hire your director and then let your director hire you.

Do not take money from your agency.  If they need something and you can give them an advantageous deal, give it to them for free.  If it looks bad you should avoid it.

If you must travel for your entity, pay for it yourself.  If you cannot afford it, don’t go.  Junkets look bad.

Don’t take a board position to advance your resume.  Be active, work for us!

Stay tuned in the coming days as we write about some examples of poor behavior on the part of boards and their directors/staffs.

We deserve better

Brutus


Skirting the law

April 22, 2016

The city’s prior contract to lease unmarked police vehicles was approved by city council December 22, 2015.

Even though the contract was for $250,000 it was not bid.

Why?

The police and purchasing departments used this ruse:

policepublichealth

Section 252.022 of the Texas local government code exempts purchases from bidding requirements if certain reasons.  Subsection (a)(2) reads:  “a procurement necessary to preserve or protect the public health or safety of the municipality’s residents;”.

Baloney

Where are we when even our police department games the system?

The contract awarded this week was sent out to bid yet they circumvented the process on the earlier contract.  It seems to me that if leasing unmarked vehicles was some kind of public emergency last time it would be one this time.

These people should be ashamed.

Using their logic they could probably avoid bidding most of what the city needs under the ruse that the procurement would protect public health or safety.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


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