Opinion

Editorial: RDCK doesn't value local bids

Ten points — that appears to be the basis for spending $20,000 extra and awarding a Vancouver Island-based company the contract to supply office furniture to the soon to be renovated Regional District of Central Kootenay, rather than going with a cheaper, local supplier.

Cowan Office Supply of Nelson submitted a bid $20,000 cheaper than the eventual winner, Graphic Office Interiors Ltd. But the RDCK decided to go with the more expensive bid, which scored 10 points higher on an evaluation scale out of a total 1,250 total.

A three-member staff team used a scoring system of up to 500 points for price, 450 for specifications and technical requirements, 250 for contractor performance and services, and 50 for value added for a total 1,250.

We find it disturbing that there are no points awarded for local bids? We would have thought that would be important to local government.

The difference in scoring between the winning bid and two lower bids was less than one per cent (0.8 to be precise). For that, the RDCK said no to a local company and yes to spending an extra $20,000? Is a 0.8 per cent improvement in quality and service really worth an extra $20,000 considering the original projected cost of the renovations was between $400,000 to $600,000 and the bill has already grown to $662,000 before taxes? (That new price includes some extras not originally planned, but is still within the amount sitting in a building reserve.)

We certainly don’t think so.

It is wrong not to award this to the local company, but more importantly in today’s economy it seems ludicrous that our regional district thinks its appropriate to spend almost $700,000 on office furniture.

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