Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "No Bid Contracts"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

In another flawed complaint, Mr. Greenwell claims the district awarded the consulting work for this proposal on no bid contracts. Incorrect. The district's consultants were selected through a competitive RFP process in 2003. And, we are engaged in a similar competitive process to select the firms that will design and build the new schools, should voters approve.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The 2003 “competitive RFP process” is a non-starter. For one, a request for proposal (RFP) requires quantities and prices, neither of which was solicited. Secondly, it is an aged 4 year old exercise, when the market has changed considerably over this time span.

In reality what was tendered, in both 2003 and the current engagement, was a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Simply put, it is merely a marketing effort to identify the qualification of the offering firm. There is virtually no attempt to compare prices in either the responses or the awarding criteria.

Finally, the concept that these firms are consultants is a real stretch – the Board affectionately refers to them as their “in-house design-construction company”. This team has been the administration’s choice in previous districts and now Bloomfield Hills. Throughout the industry, these services are competitively bid on a project-by-project basis all day, every day.