Foundation Supports Procurement Reform Education

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May 3, 2017

The RCI Foundation has approved a grant of $5,000 to support the Coalition for Procurement Reform (CPR). The grant supports CPR’s efforts to educate the general public and legislative bodies on the benefits of healthy competition and increased system transparency in publically funded construction and renovation projects that will ultimately save money. CPR hopes to educate and disseminate information to facility managers and taxpayers in a series of statewide mainstream educational communications.

Cooperative procurement is a method whereby a single agency has gone through the procurement (bid) process to establish a contract for an item or group of products, and then issued an award or awards to vendors that can be acquired by members of the cooperative for a fixed period of time. Theoretically, this system should allow members to obtain goods and/or services at the best possible price by achieving economies of scale from selected suppliers. But this is not always the case.

There is no secret that public school systems struggle to approve and meet budgets while simultaneously experiencing higher expectations of extra-curricular programs for children. State and local municipalities also struggle to fund and meet the needs of their citizens in their jurisdictions. Because of the need for fiscal management and accountability, education of facility managers responsible for roofing and construction is needed. Taxpayers are footing the costs and should have some say and influence about how their money is spent.

In the past decade, there has been a massive misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money across the nation. School districts across the country are, in some cases, paying twice as much as they should for construction projects. CPR hopes to inform the public about this widespread misuse of funds and enact legislation that restores open, competitive bidding on all projects. In virtually every state in which investigations into public school roofing projects have been conducted, anti-competitive, wasteful practices have been uncovered.

Cooperative purchasing of roofing services circumvents accountability for quality workmanship and ignores best practices. In many states, the process also violates the requirement of having third-party design professionals review projects.

CPR is collecting case study examples of excessive taxpayers dollars spent on public construction contracted via cooperative procurement, as compared with comparable public construction contracted through open-bid competitive procurement. The project will also confirm best practices in procurement for public construction contracting.

CPR will use various media to disseminate information, including: website documents, educational articles in publications of various nonprofit organizations (public education and taxpayer groups, civic action groups), in-person interviews and presentations, and how-to or take-action guides for individuals who want to participate.

CPR’s mission is to level the playing field when it comes to the procurement bidding process. For more information, check out their website at: http://procurement-reform.org/.