Tuesday, December 31, 2013



When the city released the bid for uniforms, it split the bid into many different categories: Shirts, Pants, etc.  Within each category, there were several line items.  At the bottom of each category, there was a space for a subtotal (sum of all the line item prices); below that, a "PERCENTAGE OFF" space (to be applied to the previous prices); and finally, a "GRAND TOTAL" space to put the final sum of the prices the City would be charged on an invoice.  Below is a scan of the actual bid form.

This bid was "interesting" for a couple of reasons.  First of all, not every potential bidder would have access to some of the key garments (I am sure that is something many of you in NOPD have figured out over the last several months).  Also, it is atypical for unifomr bid to have a "PERCENTAGE OFF" space. Most uniform bids have each item discounted already.  That way, the purchasing agency does not have to figure out what each line item will cost.

That is where this bid gets interesting.

When the eventual contract "winner" submitted its bid, the subtotal, percentage off, and grand totals for many of the categories did not compute.  For instance, if the subtotal is $1000 and the stated percent off is 30%, most people- including many who are not rocket scientists- would calculate the Grand Total  as $700, correctly.  On the contract winner's bid, the Grand Totals were often higher or lower than what they should have been- if calculated correctly.   It is normal practice (even in New Orleans) for bids that contain mathematical errors to be considered flawed and thrown out, and we fully expected that to happen here.

There are more- and more important- facets to the price issues with this bid and eventual contract.  A.P.E. will update tomorrow with more.

Be careful out there...

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