School board looks at bidding process

Published 9:54pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

Several questions have come up at recent Selma City School Board work sessions and again at Thursday’s meeting, as to what the proper procedures regarding the bidding process are.

At Thursday’s meeting board member Dr. Kirit Chapatwala mentioned he received an email from a company expressing that they requested information about the bid but were not given that information in a timely manner, thus making them not enter the bidding process.

“There have been questions and concerns about the bidding process for the last two years, and I think it is time we get everything on the table and iron everything out,” board president Henry Hicks said.

Board member Dr. Udo Ufomodu inquired in the meeting as to why the school board only posted bid listings online through the school board website and not through the local news media, such as the Times-Journal.

To address the concern of going about the bidding process in the proper way, the board appointed an advisory committee that would look into the bid laws and the school board’s current bidding process. That committee included Dr. Kirit Chapatwala and Frank Chestnut.

“Companies have been requesting information and not getting it back from the school board in a timely manner” Hicks said after the meeting adjourned for executive session. “So what we want to do is eliminate all concerns about any wrong doings, so we can be sure — we are not saying there are any wrong doings now — we are saying we want to watch the process and look and make sure that the process is being done the right way.”

Hicks said there is much liability for the school board in the bidding process so they want to tighten all loose ends, so they do not have to, “Pay for it later.”

“We are here for policies and procedures and if we feel that a policy is flawed then it is our job to go in and correct it and strengthen it and make sure that it is in place to benefit everybody,” he said. “As long as we do [the bidding process] according to the state law then we are OK.”

The issue came up during the meeting as the board approved five separate bids for waste removal services, fuel, janitorial supplies, security and printing services.

 

  • popdukes12

    “bid blocking” is a means for someone in the admin office to insure that their friend/ business connection gets the contract. This results in higher costs for a contract, and maybe a little somein’ somein’ in the admin persons pocket. The school board is doing the right thing by investigating this. The city and county should do the same, but the city school board has the largest budget in the city, and more room for problems and shenanigans. pops

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