Monday, August 24, 2009

Local Contractor Opposes Certain Competitive Bidding

John Baker--President of Thompson Engineering, which recently merged with Moore Engineering --claimed at a recent City Council work session that the usual "competitive bidding" contracting process does not apply to "professional services" in Alabama. Baker: "I cringe when I hear 'to bid professional services'." Baker said the State adopted the Federal Brooks Act which provides guidelines for such bidding in 2001--but claimed that municipalities were specifically exempted from "QVS" law. "The State Licensing Board (engineers and architects) prohibits us from responding to price proposals . . . according to State Law and our ethics we shouldn't respond; we could lose our license." "If we all (entire Engineering Community) submitted proposals and you chose based just on lowest price . . . then someone's license is in jeopardy." "Most community governments I've seen 'pre-qualify' engineering firms . . . think its fair... ask for the firms' qualifications and price proposal in two separate, sealed envelopes. Then select first based on qualifications, then open the sealed pricing estimate envelope. If a price can't be agreed on, then the second firm's sealed price envelope is opened." Baker: "You wouldn't select your heart Dr. based just on price, would you? You get what you pay for." [Publisher's Note: A controversy erupted recently when the Mayor awarded Thompson Engineering a contract for sewer engineering services south of town, arguably without the necessary approval of the City Council]


Anonymous said...

huh? just what does all that legalese mean?

RollTide said...

if that's the law then the law needs changing