highlights poor choice
The recent investigative article on the city of Richmond’s construction procurement through “construction manager at risk” and not a low-bid process was yet another example of a public body’s abusive tactic in spending the people’s money. This process, while convenient to the administration and its consultants, was clearly not in the best interest of its constituents and the children they claim to put first.
The article was balanced to give both sides of the issue an opportunity to express their positions. The case was clearly made in comparing similar procurement processes in neighboring counties. You do achieve more for less when using the time-proven process of letting open competition determine the outcome, not awards based on subjective judgments made beyond the public’s eye. The administration’s response — using, in part, the excuse of time as a factor in procurement — holds no place in this insightful comparison. The facilities to be replaced were identified years earlier and plans could have and should have been in place long before the funding source was secured to proceed. Clearly it is about the public’s right to open competition for effective use of their funds entrusted to elected officials while fulfilling the need for construction.
In the days since the details were published and after the press conferences, we can hope the errors of the past will be corrected by enlightened elected officials who can learn from this costly procurement debacle.