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The Bidding Process at Work
How the bidding process is supposed to work to avoid conflicts of interest; an example
In prior posts (including Monday), I have harped on the fact that District 65 largely claims exemption from following state law regarding the bidding process for contracts that are greater than $25,000. The Law (105 ILCS 5/10-20.21) says the following;
Sec. 10-20.21. Contracts.
(a) To award all contracts for purchase of supplies and materials or work involving an expenditure in excess of $25,000 or a lower amount as required by board policy to the lowest responsible bidder, considering conformity with specifications, terms of delivery, quality and serviceability, after due advertisement, except the following:
(i) contracts for the services of individuals
possessing a high degree of professional skill where the ability or fitness of the individual plays an important part;
The District (in cases where I have inquired) has cited an exemption that the contractor they are hiring possesses a high degree of skill, and thus is exempt from the standard bidding rules. They are supposed to go through a process documented below in the statute.
All competitive bids for contracts involving an expenditure in excess of $25,000 or a lower amount as required by board policy must be sealed by the bidder and must be opened by a member or employee of the school board at a public bid opening at which the contents of the bids must be announced.
The Good News
I am pleased to report that in the January 30, 2023 finance committee, the District went through the process to evaluate security vendors for holiday/vacation hours at school buildings. This was published in the committee meeting agenda and is available to the public. You can read the January 30, 2023 Meeting Agenda at this URL.
The District noted in their recommendation;
As required, a legal notice was published and invitations to bid were sent to 9 vendors (Attachment A). Two bids were received (Attachment B) for the October 31st, 2022, opening.
Below is the list - only two vendors submitted bids, but as long as invitations were sent and notifications published, I believe this should be acceptable due diligence. I hope we continue to see more of this with the other >$25,000 contracts.
The documentation does not seem particularly burdensome and at the bare minimum, ensures that all conflicts of interest on the table, there is transparency, and the price is reasonable and customary.