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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

The Rest of the Story on Contract Bidding

June 01, 2003

Re "Bureaucracy's Worst Side," editorial, May 21:

This editorial presented a one-sided view of county government and failed to include several important facts. The Social Services Agency issues requests for proposals to allow community providers to competitively bid on our service contracts. To achieve this goal, we must comply with the county's Purchasing Department policies prescribed by the state.

While I sympathize with a local service organization being unable to meet our closing date because of a staff person's illness, the county cannot amend the law to accommodate one party. To maintain a fair and impartial process, we are required to have firm closing dates and times for our bidding process.

I would like to add that because of state budget cutbacks, we are able to fund nine of the 19 family resource centers, as in the past. Even if the bidder had filed a timely response, there was no assurance that the applicant would have been granted an award. The assumption that a community provider that filed in a timely manner and received funding for one year would automatically receive future funding is erroneous.

While I regret that the county cannot fund all viable community providers, I hope that Times readers will understand that we are still required by law to ensure a fair and equitable process for all.

Angelo Doti

Director, Orange County Social Services

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