Saturday, November 3, 2007

10/10 - Can this deal be delayed?

Date October 10, 2007
Section(s) Letters
The Brunswick News

Could the 441 million-dollar contract recently awarded to Linger Longer be delayed in court for years? I managed a few construction projects for the federal government and provided procurement packages for potential bidders. Georgia procurement laws are the same as the federal laws. They evolved as a result of past corruption and favoritism, and are there to ensure fairness and to protect the taxpayers. If the government violates any procurement laws the competing bidders can protest the award of the contract and possibly tie it up for years.

The most popular types of procurements are Invitation for Bids (IFB) and Request for Proposals (RFP). An IFB procurement is initiated when you know exactly what you want and completely define it with drawings and specifications. An RFP procurement is initiated if you have a general idea of what you want, but want the bidders to provide proposals. Because of the desire to tap into the creativity of the bidders an RFP was initiated for the Jekyll Island Development. Both types of procurements have one thing in common: The bidders have to be responsive to all of the specifications. If any of the bidders find errors in the specifications or have suggestions that they feel are an improvement, they can contact the procurement agent and recommend changes. If the changes are implemented the bidder then has to resubmit the modified specifications to all of the bidders.

From what I have heard and read it appears that the Jekyll Island Authority specified that the area be limited to 45 acres, and be located within the boundaries defined on a drawing. If this is the case it appears that they violated state procurement laws by selecting Linger Longer. Linger Longer should have been considered non-responsive since they exceed the specified acreage. By law, if the Jekyll Island Authority was willing to accept the increase in acreage they should have revised their specifications and resubmitted them to all of the bidders. Linger Longer was given an unfair advantage.

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