Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Office of Elections waives cost analysis for stalled RFP for voting equipment
by Larry Geller
The Hawaii Office of Elections has posted on its website a Waiver of Cost or Price Analysis related to its August 26, 2009, RFP for voting equipment. The document is dated August 10, 2009 and addressed only to “Contract File” with no other distribution indicated.
If I understand it correctly, the Chief Elections Officer asserts that he can waive the COPA because there is adequate competition and because the RFP requires pricing data, among other reasons.
The prior RFPs, still in litigation, were advanced with a COPA performed by the Chief Elections Officer (see hearings officer decision dated August 7, 2008).
Reading this document, the COPA, and its alleged irregularities, were central to the dispute around last year’s contract award. For example, the use of purchase prices rather than lease prices was flagged.
It is not clear to me that a COPA can be simply waived, but that will be for others, perhaps for attorneys, to determine. The COPA is intended to be fact-based, rather than judgmental, and waiving the COPA would seem to avoid analyzing the facts as the procurement rules require (IMHO).
(Note: this and other documents on the Elections website are scanned images, not accessible to the blind, and so are in violation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, despite the administration’s assertion of ADA compliance. The Procurement Policy Board also has a Section 508 problem—the document linked from their website is also not accessible.)
Update: I was reminded by a phone caller (thank you, phone caller!) that this is the document that I filed a UIPA request (request for public document) for with the Office of Elections after Kevin Cronin, Chief Elections Officer, was asked for it by Sen. Donna Kim during the September 15, 2009 Ways and Means hearing. The document had been placed by the CEO into the contract file, which is confidential. I felt that simply placing a document that should be public into a confidential file is not enough to make it confidential!
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