Livingston Procurement Law
Case Studies
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Livingston Procurement Law and the case of the biased emails
 
The State of Maryland wanted paratransit services for physically challenged transit riders. But during procurement, the chair of the evaluation committee violated procurement regulations. Among 87 alleged violations were emails to vendors and disclosure of information about other proposals. The incumbent vendor protested because it was not selected among the multiple awardees. No wonder:
They received the lowest score on financial stability though they had been in business 92 years, and the preferred vendor had emerged from bankruptcy just six months earlier.
They ranked lowest on understanding the program, although their VP was the former administrator who started it.

When the agency denied the bid protest, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals conducted a 21-day hearing. It focused mostly on illegal email communications:
One disclosed the agency's unannounced decision about selection.
Another said, "Please make this note disappear."
Another recommended that the preferred vendor hire a lobbyist friend of the governor.

The Board found bias in favor of the preferred vendor - the only decision in which they have found actual bias on the part of a Maryland procurement official.

 
Yellow transportation, Spring 2005
 
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