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Countywide : Communications Firm Alleges Bid-Rigging

November 04, 1994|MATT LAIT

A Florida-based communications firm that lost a bid to supply the county with an $80-million law enforcement communication system has accused county officials of tampering with the bidding process and conspiring to award the project to a competitor.

In a claim filed against the county this week, Harris Corp. alleges that the county was unfairly biased against the company in favor of Motorola Communications and Electronics Inc.

Harris was the low bidder on the communications project by $6 million. But county officials awarded the contract to Motorola because they determined that the Harris proposal was inadequate in several technological areas.

County Administrative Officer Ernie Schneider said Thursday that the county acted properly during the bidding process.

In the claim, Harris officials allege that a San Francisco-based consulting hired by the county to review the Motorola and Harris proposals helped rig the bidding process against Harris.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday November 11, 1994 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Column 6 Orange County Focus Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Contract dispute--Ericsson GE has filed a claim with the county protesting the bidding process for a countywide communication system. Stories Nov. 3 and 4 incorrectly said the claim was filed by a firm that was Ericsson's partner in the bidding.

Claims against the county are routinely dismissed and usually are precursors to lawsuits.

The proposed communications system is touted as the most sophisticated of its kind in the nation and will join all law enforcement, fire and public-works authorities in the county and 31 area cities on the same radio systems. Cities are expected to pay for 70% of the system and the county 30%.

County officials said they hope to have the terms of the agreement with Motorola completed by December.

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