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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | COUNTYWIDE

Supervisors to Review Contract Bid System

January 27, 1998|SHELBY GRAD

After nearly two years of study and delays, the Board of Supervisors today is scheduled to consider changes in the way the county selects contractors for government projects.

The contract selection system has come under criticism over the last decade from the Orange County Grand Jury and several professional organizations that say the process is outdated and politicized.

The system allows the Board of Supervisors to select contractors based on unranked bids collected by county staff.

In other counties, the staff ranks the contractors in order of preference or sends only the top-ranked firm to the board for approval or rejection.

Critics say the current system requires contractors to hire lobbyists to present their bids to the supervisors.

But others say the lobbyists provide needed information to the supervisors and serve as a check to the data provided by county staffers.

The board today will consider several options, including having staffers rank bids.

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