WHY IS A.P.E. SUING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS OVER THE UNIFORM CONTRACT? The Prices (Part 2)
So last time we discussed the errors in the price calculation. This time we will lay out something a little more relevant to you, the NOPD officer.
The bid asked for "Percentage Off" in each category. This is a fairly straightforward calculation, but the contract "winner" chose to create a calculation called an "average percent off". This is not what was asked for on the face of the bid. More importantly, this "average percent off" nonsense meant that the prices the bidder was going to charge were obscured. If 30% off of a category doesn't mean 30% off of all of the items in the catgory and the bid does not allow a place to put the price actually being charged "within the four corners of the bid" as the city attorney said in court, how does the city know what is being charged? It didn't, and instead of disqualifying the bid because it didn't have prices on it, the city chose to ask what prices it was going to be charged.
For example, here is the "Trousers" section of the contract holder's bid:
55% off of that total is $506.40, anyway you calculate it. In court, it was argued that the discrepancy was due to rounding error; it's not. Even if it was, those things matter and even a few cents error is a significant error. Why? $.05 too high on one item on the bid seems a small matter, but multiply that times 1000, 2000, etc., pants or shirts and you end up with large errors. Should have led to a disqualification of the bid, but for some reason the city chose to accept it.
We know NOPD officers do not care if the city is losing money on this deal, especially after it decided to take the $500 uniform bonus away from you and issue it as a voucher instead, so here are some things you should care about and may help you while you are stuck with this uniform contract.
Since the city chose to accept the silly premise of an "average percent off", Signal 26 (the "winner"/contract holder) got to submit its prices weeks after the bid. Here is what it said it would charge the city for pants:
Notice that right-hand column? All those prices in the teens are for Leventhal brand pants. Each pair of pants costs $20+ wholesale. Why did Signal 26 bid them at such impossibly low prices? Because it has no intention of selling them. But you, NOPD officer, could demand them because these prices are part of an official document attached to the award of the contract (even though the city attorney swore in court that this document was irrelevant). So why waste your voucher on a $40 pair of inferior quality pants from one manufacturer when you can get 2 pairs for that price from your uniform contract holder.
Tell them you want the Leventhal pants. Also, tell them you want the following:
The Taylor Full length Leather Commander's Overcoat, model #4497Z. It is on the price list for $43.32. It is Signal 26's Item #9001.There is no way APE can compete with prices below the manufacturer's cost. And you should take advantage of this opportunity. Get a pair of pants for every shift! Get a raincoat for every day! If you are going to spend your voucher money, spend it wisely!
- The Gerber Rain Jacket and Gerber Rain Coat, Model #s 70J3 and 70C3, respectively. Signal 26's official contract document says it will charge less than half for the Gerber brand of jacket than it does for the similar Blauer items.
More to come on this topic soon.
Be careful out there!