Sunday, October 14, 2012
A Tender Issue
Last week you and I and the Town of Clarenville bought a new pickup truck. It’s a pretty regular occurrence for the Town to purchase a piece of equipment to allow it to do the things that we, as citizens, expect to be done.
In order to help ensure that our elected officials get the best value for our tax dollars, things of any significant value (>$500) need to be purchased through a tendering process. This means that we get at least three quotes on a significant item before we buy and then we, through our elected council, select the best of the bids.
Multiple quotes ensure that our best interests are served. Last week this did not happen and I’m not at all sure why. According to the transcript of the meeting (reported on the PACKET website Oct 6 meeting @ 33 minute mark), only a single quote was received for a ¾ ton pickup to the value of $39,947 +HST. This single quote was accepted without question by the Council.
There are many companies that sell this type of equipment and surely there could have been many more bidders – why weren't there more bids? and why weren't more bids sought before a $45,000 decision was made?
By accepting the single quote, this effectively has rendered the purpose of the tendering process useless and certainly does not protect our best interests. Even more disconcerting is that it sets a dangerous precedent for future purchases.
We elect Council’s to protect our interests and serve us – this is yet another example where I see our council not doing that. Let's not let the decision makers count on citizen indifference as a way of allowing for poor decision making in Clarenville.