We have been hammered with snow here in Pittsburgh – 40 inches in about 12 days with no thaw – which has caused all kinds of problems. Actually, I am typing this right now from my home because my roof is leaking in three different places and I am afraid to leave the house.
The problems with this snow have forced Pittsburgh City Council to declare a state of emergency. I’m not sure what all this means, but according to today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “the declaration…suspends competitive-bidding requirements. It allowed Public Works Director Robert Kaczorowski to hire Wood Waste Recycling and B & R Contractors, which together were expected to deploy around 12 additional pieces of heavy equipment. The goals of those crews and the city’s 50-plus snow-clearing trucks were to widen the drivable portions of main roads, clear snow from areas around schools, remove snow heaps from business districts, clear access to on-street parking areas and get some mounds out of residential neighborhoods.”
So, in other words, the jobs are important, but not so urgent that the supplier selection couldn’t wait a half-day. The roads are driveable and safe. There just needs to be a little cleanup for convenience sake.
OK. Now I understand that you wouldn’t want to do a 3-month sourcing process in a state of emergency. But why do competitive bidding requirements have to be completely waived? Couldn’t the city ask for a few quotes for comparison sake? If Wood Waste Recycling and B & R Contractors are aware that they are hired without having their pricing benchmarked, don’t you think that they are going to charge quite hefty fees?
I think that there can be a happy medium between government-style strict competitive bidding and selecting whatever contractor you want. There should be a quick bid process that isn’t as long or as stringent as a typical bid process, but that at least ensures that the city’s taxpayers aren’t being overly gouged.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check on those leaks…
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com