Large public contracts are seldom awarded without some unhappy also-ran raising a question, if not a stink.
Responding to RFQs, RFPs, SFPs, RFIs and other offerings in the alphabet soup of government procurement costs time and money. So it’s understandable that losing bidders would appeal awards they believe should have gone to them.
But lately, writes Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel in her new opinion piece, it seems there have been a lot of questions and controversies surrounding the awarding of fat, government contracts.
More so than usual? It’s hard to say. But it’s worth closer scrutiny and not many people, outside of those in the engineering and consulting sectors, are paying attention.
If they were, they might know that global engineering firm AECOM recently lost its appeal of a $5 million consulting contract that state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson awarded last month to Texas-based Atlas Technical Consultants to advise on the development of a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge.
Over at the Department of Health, meanwhile, controversy has been brewing since the state’s chief procurement officer, Paula Tregre, threw out $21 billion in Medicaid managed care contracts. That’s “billion” with a B.
And these aren’t the only two examples, as there are books to be written about the controversies surrounding flood recovery contracts and the way watershed management projects are being handed out. Some consultants and engineers say it’s done this way everywhere. Others say Louisiana is worse.
Read Riegel’s full column, in which she writes in greater detail about the controversy surrounding these high-profile contract awards, and calls for greater transparency in the process.