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Thread: State contracts that are written directly for a company that hasn't won it yet????

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    Default State contracts that are written directly for a company that hasn't won it yet????

    So here's the deal. I was perusing the state gov bid site and looking at some RFPs. I found an interesting contract for 30 Laptop Charging carts (chromebook), and 10 tall charging carts. These are simply sheet metal carts with wire racks used to hold and charge laptops. So the description of the RFP states the make/model of carts as an example. When I google those make/models it brings me to a small company that manufactures these carts for the schools in my state.

    I naively contacted them in the later part of the day. I was connected to the President of the company. As I was talking to him I explained that I'm in need of some carts. He kinda chuckled and said, "This must be for the contract at XYZ". "We pretty much have that in the bag, we directly supply them". At that point I realized that the State put out a RFP and placed very specific information that targets one company. They do accept substitutions, but I realized even if I did find a cheaper cart they will likely go with this company since they have a relationship.

    Seems kind fishing right? It was roughly a $45,000 contract. I could make maybe 5K out of it if I purchased everything from him at full price.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    It's pretty normal with government contracts, especially if they have a vendor that has a proven relationship and quality of service at a reasonable price.

    I've seen some where a vendor had a patent on a product and part of a process for certain repairs. The RFPs for those jobs spelled out the unique properties of the product and process as requirements if the repair jobs were bundled together in a quantity that required competitive bidding. (If competitive bidding was not required, then it was a non-issue).

    Of course, some are done that way to scratch certain backs. But usually it's because the government entity requesting the product or service doesn't want to go with an unknown and the job doesn't meet the requirements to waive the competitive bidding process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    It's pretty normal with government contracts, especially if they have a vendor that has a proven relationship and quality of service at a reasonable price.

    I've seen some where a vendor had a patent on a product and part of a process for certain repairs. The RFPs for those jobs spelled out the unique properties of the product and process as requirements if the repair jobs were bundled together in a quantity that required competitive bidding. (If competitive bidding was not required, then it was a non-issue).

    Of course, some are done that way to scratch certain backs. But usually it's because the government entity requesting the product or service doesn't want to go with an unknown and the job doesn't meet the requirements to waive the competitive bidding process.
    But how is it fail to the public if their intention is to pick that ONE company. It would make everyone's life easy if they simply just hired that company to do it. I guess it's due to regulation.

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    They must give the illusion of being fair. Down here there was a bid put out by the Air Force for some planes between EADS and Boeing. EADS won, Boeing went nuts, called in every politician they had and had the contract rewritten so Boeing would win.

    With my business a company will open a new plant. They put out a bid for 120 of my product to about ten suppliers, most of whom are middle men. Even though I give the middle men a discount, they must add a percent or two to make profit. If I get to quote the purchase too, I'll offer the company the same discount I offer the middle men but I beat their price by that percent or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobjob View Post
    They must give the illusion of being fair. Down here there was a bid put out by the Air Force for some planes between EADS and Boeing. EADS won, Boeing went nuts, called in every politician they had and had the contract rewritten so Boeing would win.

    With my business a company will open a new plant. They put out a bid for 120 of my product to about ten suppliers, most of whom are middle men. Even though I give the middle men a discount, they must add a percent or two to make profit. If I get to quote the purchase too, I'll offer the company the same discount I offer the middle men but I beat their price by that percent or two.
    What if I simply bid on the item, provide a product and price. Then file a protest if I dont' win it. Bring these facts up during a legal case. I understand that it's a grimey way to do business, but Protesting is pretty common in contracting, it's apparently a way some make money.

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    If you can meet the specifications outlined in the RFP, then by all means submit a bid!

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    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    What if I simply bid on the item, provide a product and price. Then file a protest if I dont' win it. Bring these facts up during a legal case. I understand that it's a grimey way to do business, but Protesting is pretty common in contracting, it's apparently a way some make money.
    Yeah, but if they provide evidence that they received many bids (did their job) then i don't believe you have much to argue.

    Customs seized our freight and destroyed our boxes and dunnage (not our product). They said they saw a bug on one of our boxes. We pressed them for a report so we could make things better on our end. They told us they didn't have to provide a report, they can do whatever they want to do. We pressed further and got no where. Following year we got audited by the IRS. I do not believe it was coincidental. I shouldn't be hesitant to question Gov, but after that experience I would be very careful with my next run in with them.

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