Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lowest rated vendor? Not to worry…

We’re back on the “politically connected” beat; this one qualifies as a moment of “I thought those days were over.

Martha Carr in the TP reports that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has awarded a politically active company with no experience in the criminal justice field a contract to create a home monitoring program for municipal offenders. In a lame justification, the Nagin administration says the deal could save the city hundreds of thousands in jail costs this year alone.

The mayor passed over two higher-scoring bidders to award a one-year contract with five one-year extensions to Community Based Corrections LLC, a local, minority-owned company created in October 2003 by Burnell Moliere, Jimmie Woods and Ray Valdes. All three have close political ties to District Attorney Eddie Jordan and former Mayor
Marc Morial.

A three-person selection committee gave Community Based Corrections the lowest score of the three qualifying bidders, city documents show. The company's price also was the highest, but the mayor allowed CBC to rework its proposal to bring costs more in line with the other two bids, records show.

The contract is capped at $3 million, but the value depends on how many offenders are ordered to enroll.

Neither of the two competing bidders, which included another local, minority-owned firm, was allowed to resubmit their proposals for the Municipal Court job.

The city did renegotiate, however, with minority-owned Total Sentencing Alternatives Program, which received the second highest score, to provide electronic monitoring in Criminal District Court under a separate contract. That contract has yet to be finalized.

Because the contracts are for professional services, Nagin is not required by law to select the lowest bidder.

While the mayor previously has clashed with some of the politicians that CBC's officers are close to, campaign records show that companies owned by Moliere and Woods have begun contributing to Nagin since he took charge at City Hall.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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