City Councilman Daniel Davis’ proposal that would give “local” companies preference when bidding on City projects has been put on hold for the time being. The legislation, which has been widely criticized as protectionist and something that could be more expensive for the City, will be placed on hold while more research is conducted. According to the Daily Record:
The committee requested that the Procurement Division research who had received contracts in the past and how other cities were setting policy in trying to encourage local businesses to compete for contracts.
“We just can’t compare ourselves to ourselves,” said Stephen Joost, City Council member and committee member. “I’d like to see a comparison to similar cities. We are not alone in this, other cities are having problems like this.”
The proposed ordinance seeks to amend the Professional Services Evaluation Committee (PESC) procedure of the Procurement Code. The PESC reviews the qualifications of the companies that submit bids for City contracts. One of the criteria is “proximity to the project involved.”
As has been previously discussed, some of the more controversial recent contracts, including the no-bid IT contract involving former Peyton Chief of Staff Scott Teagle and the Auchter contract for the construction of the Duval County Courthouse, were with local companies.