I know, I have that bad habit of wanting to keep facts straight so people can make informed decisions. I'm in rehab for it, that way I can pursue a political career without a conscience...
Imagine that BRIAN VICKERS for "PRESIDENT" what a great Fire service this would be!!!!!!!!!!!
Nah, the country couldn't run with the balanced budget, proper trade agreements, incentives to create products and create jobs here for export out that I'd want to put into place. Stuff like that works and helps everyone that's willing to take work hard make improvements in their life and community. Can't have that messing with people's handouts...:rolleyes:
Don't think it will not happen. A news article about Pittsburgh's purchase of a vehicle exhaust system that 2 other companies have filed complaints about not being able to compete.
FEMA to review purchase of system
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to review the city of Pittsburgh's purchase of a $977,550 firehouse ventilation system with a federal grant, in light of two vendors' complaints that they were prevented from competing for the work, FEMA officials said yesterday.
FEMA will ask the city for its procurement policies and its contract with the Toledo-area firm Clean Air Systems Inc. that is installing the system, and will compare that with the five pages of purchasing regulations in the federal law governing Assistance to Firefighters Grants. One of those grants is covering $716,760 of the cost.
FEMA will conduct "a full desk review," said Lisa Lewis, director of the agency's grants management division. "With the concerns [expressed by competing vendors] we'll take a closer look at it" than grants normally get.
City Public Safety Director Michael Huss and a firefighters union committee wanted the ventilation system made by Sweden-based Nederman Inc., to carry diesel fumes from 50-some fire truck and ambulance tailpipes through hoses and vents and out of firehouses. The regional distributor for that system is Clean Air Systems.
The city contracted with Clean Air Systems through a state program that allows municipalities to pick from a list of commodity vendors and prices, rather than going through lengthy competitive bidding processes. Federal rules encourage joint purchasing between state and local agencies, but bar numerous procedures that "unduly restrict competition," as the regulation puts it.
Executives at Hempfield-based EMS Specialty Equipment, Cincinnati-based MagneGrip Group and their distributor Aire-Deb Corp. of Buffalo have said they wanted to compete for the business, but the city did not let them submit proposals.
Such complaints are "not very common," said Brian Cowan, program director for FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grants. He noted that there was "nothing improper" about the city's grant application.
Ms. Lewis would not specify the possible outcomes of the review, other than to say they can range from no action to termination of a grant or an effort to recoup funds. The review could take 90 days and FEMA officials would not commit to making it public.
Rich Lord can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542.
First published on March 17, 2009 at 12:00 am
Problem is that state contract is just like GSA so no bidding required and is fully legal under all federal, state, and local laws. Same reason HGAC exists and is recognized since anyone can participate.
All products on the state contracts are pre-bid according to established minimum requirements, which meets AFG/federal guidelines. Plus any vendor that wants to put their products on the state contract can, so that's how they've met the open procurement requirement.
Plus it's a procedural thing. If the city didn't advertise for bids then there's no forum to submit them legally. And if there's no requirement for them to request bids thanks to the state contract, then they have no requirement to accept bids and therefore can't.
Amazing how many people suddenly have issues with procedures that they themselves have used to their own advantage when they can... :rolleyes:
Who said it had to be 50 pages? Last few sets I helped create were 1 page with the can't live without list (pump, tank size, service locations, capacities, etc, etc). Everything else like the performance specs, warranties and other information is what will be in the builder's bid package, all you need is a safety net statement in the spec list that all of that information needs to be provided with the bid package and will be reviewed/considered upon submission. No need to spec gauge brand, light brand or other stuff like that on trucks. Everyone has a standard computer model with base NFPA 1901 load on it, it's easy enough to vary on their end. Same with equipment like SCBA, all you need is cylinder capacity, pressure, service related requirements (on-site vs not, etc), NFPA compliance requirements, and done.
And if DHS sticks to their 'no vendor helping with even generic bid specs' position then I'm going to create another section to the web site and have a repository of non-brand name specific specs so people can have a reference library to download and use how they see fit. And if anyone wants to send one to add, they can do that too. Hence the advantage of being my own company, we don't sell anything, and don't get involved in the bid process, and if there's no brand name, no tie to anyone, no conflict in using what's there as a starting point to turn into your own spec. The way it should be.
Dont you work under the umbrella of and receive compensation from a certain equipment company? How are you going to get around that little niblet? Just curious.
Don't receive anything based on the results of grant awards or orders from any vendor, so no conflict. We don't write bids, take orders, or sell anything but grant services. Our vendors just supply us to get anyone help that needs it. Same as Kurt, and probably some of the others out there that do what we do, don't get any more or any less if orders come in.
Especially there's no conflict in me posting them if there are no brand names involved in the specs and they're generic enough that any vendor can meet. We're not exclusive to any vendor for anything. We're hired all the time for other projects and products. Plus per documentation laws on the books once a single word is changed it's a different document owned in it's current form by the person that changed it, so if a department downloads a sample and enters their own values for cylinder pressures, service location distances, and everything else, it's their spec. Doesn't matter where they found it.
Besides, if DHS isn't thinking enough to realize that all departments will do is go to other departments for their specs from a prior purchase then that's not really solving anything anyway. If bid law is adhered to (and it should be) then nothing that happened prior to the bid is relevant, case law already on the books proving it according to many an attorney. Already had several board lawyers from departments say that.
And DHS can't get involved unless a complaint is made as to a conflict of interest, and even then if bid law was adhered to there's no basis for any kind of conflict. The conflict has to be proven and if documented and legal bidding was done, there is none. Documentation wins in court over opinions (hearsay rule). Just like the Pittsburgh thing, state contract is a legally recognized method of purchasing so nothing going to happen there but more sour grapes. The other two weren't getting the business even if they did bid, that's why most folks get rid of the low-bid acceptance rule. Rules are in place to encourage competition and if people are forced to the cheapest crap on the market no matter what that's not 'encouragement' and 'open procurement' anymore, that's the government telling people who to buy from. Think that fits the irony definition... ;)
IF? IF? DHS.... IF??? :DQuote:
if DHS isn't thinking enough