BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING

MAY 8, 2002 - 1:30

Commissioners Conference Room

APPROVED 1/21/03

 

Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present.Anna Morrison was excused.County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

16.COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a.DISCUSSION/Considering a Protest by Relief Nursery, Inc. of an Award to Looking Glass Youth and Family Services, Inc. for Support for Children Witnessing Domestic Violence in the Amount of $45,000.

 

Dwyer explained that the Board accepted the original award.

 

Van Vactor noted that Relief Nursery was appealing a contract award to Looking Glass.He said it was under $50,000 and they went through the appeal process.

 

Trina Laidlaw, Assistant County Counsel, stated the protest of award rule provides the complete copy of the written record.She said the Board is to conduct a review of the County Administratorís decision on the basis of the record before the Board.She added there was no provision for a public hearing or other public testimony.

 

Van Vactor explained that on page 222 of Walt Letkiewiczí appeal, Letkiewicz said it wasnít clear how items of the criteria for evaluation of proposal program qualification section corresponds to items listed in the program qualification description section or how they corresponded to the scoring sheets.He said the point Letkiewicz was making was that it was difficult to follow.Van Vactor said the RFP was difficult.He said in his review he reached the conclusion that it could have been written more clearly and he recommended at the end of his letter that they have training for their staff.He didnít think it rose to the point of meeting the appeal criteria.He added as the RFP was processed, it spelled out that if people who were interested in proposing were unclear about the language in the RFP, there was an opportunity to seek clarification and that due date was January 7.He added that the Relief Nursery did not send in anything to clarify those points.He stated had they submitted them, that it would have been clarified.He said when he compared the facts against the appeal criteria, he didnít think it met the burden.

 

Van Vactor noted that on page 222, Letkiewicz discussed the focus of the grant as specified in the original grant and the RFP is for support of the children witnessing domestic violence. Van Vactorís review of that concern was that it didnít address either criteria for purposes of the appeal.He added it might have been a best practice, but it wasnít spelled out in the RFP and is not basis on technical grounds for the appeal.

 

Van Vactor commented that Letkiewicz again stated there was confusion in the numbering of number 2 on page 14, Deposition Qualifications Descriptions, and number 2 on page 17 under Evaluation Qualifications.He said it related to the earlier point that those things did not flow as cleanly as possible and it didnít reach the standard of appeal.

 

Van Vactor noted that Letkiewicz also identified as an issue the confusion of scoring in support of adult victims in training.He pointed out that staff training was appointed 25 points but those points were separate and distinct from the 30 points possible from the RFP.Van Vactor said when he read through it, he did not find the confusion.He added that Letkiewicz makes the point in the appeal letter that the proposal that was selected did not identify enough work activities related to very young pre-school children.Van Vactor reiterated he was arguing on the strength of Relief Nurseryís response as opposed to an appeal of criteria and arguing that when the RFP was drafted, more weight should had been given to that category, but it wasnít.He said they have to rate the responses as to what was in the RFP and what the response was, not from what a best practice or good policy it could or should have been.

 

Van Vactor stated that Letkiewicz then didnít understand that by given the criteria, the reviewers could have found a significant distinction between similar budgets in the proposals.He noted the issue was different with regard to the travel expenses.He stated the RFP explicitly asked the proposer to identify how many miles used to calculate travel expenses.He stated that Looking Glass did not propose a model that was traveled and the Relief Nursery did.He added the Relief Nursery put in $6,000 as a lump sum.Van Vactor thought they gave less points to the Relief Nursery because they came forward with a model that involved traveling and didnít identify the detail and that was a basis for the reviewers to provide less points.He didnít think it met any of the burdens under the appeal criteria.He didnít think they met their standard with their budget issue.He concluded in the letter that he was denying the appeal but that he appreciated the comments.He stated subsequent to that, the Relief Nursery protested the award.

 

Laidlaw explained the Board needed to look at the protest of award rule.She said there is an OAR that is adopted.She said the protester (Looking Glass) has to show that they are ineligible because their proposal was non-responsive or that the department committed a substantial violation of an RFP provision of a statute or of a rule.She didnít think that the Relief Nursery had specifically argued any of those specific criteria for protesting awards.She said their letter of protest is on page 284.She said Looking Glass wasnít as responsive based on criteria that were outside the RFP.She said that might be something the Board wants to consider.She stated the Relief Nurseryís protest letter talks about things outside the RFP and what they thought they were funding services for.She thought it was questionable whether Looking Glassí proposal was non-responsive.

 

Laidlaw stated that the protester had requested some time to prepare an oral argument.She said they were offered an opportunity to come today to give public comment.She advised the Board that they were supposed to determine this matter on the written record.

 

Van Vactor had no objections if the Board wanted to hear from the parties.

 

Jim Forbes, Executive Director, Looking Glass, thought they fulfilled their obligation as a bidder to read the RFP and understand it.He said they looked carefully at the questions and they chose not to question any of the criteria selected.He added they attended the bidders conference to find out what was happening. He stated the County asked for service providers to provide an overview of a concept of a program and they did that.He said they are the largest provider of services for children between ages 2 and 15.He said they responded with their design and he understood with this independent duly-appointed scoring panel that they scored 3 out of 3, highest in the program and 3 out of 3, highest in the budget.He said they shared their view and experience and they were scored the highest.He believed there was a fair process and an opportunity for people to comment and learn more about it.He said they were awarded the contract and had already implemented the program.He said they have staff and curriculum developed.He hoped the Board would review this properly.

 

Jean Phelps, 1720 W. 25th, explained this was not in dealing with Looking Glassí response to the project and they were not protesting that.She said they were concerned with the process.She said they wrote the grant and collaborated with Lane County.She noted the grant-contained criteria.She assumed that page 8 and 9 of the original grant (copy in file) said what services were to be offered that are funded by Byrne.She said they made the assumption that the reviewers of the grant would see listed: parent education, home business, and therapeutic early childhood.She was told when they went through the appeal that they would not list the services given to the people who reviewed the grant because it would bias the reviewers.She assumed the list of services that Byrne funded would have been given to the criteria.She said if they had gone through the review process, they wouldnít have protested it because the list of services wouldnít have been given to the people reviewing the grant.She said in looking at a budget, they would be more concerned with someone who didnít say they were doing home visits and didnít put in the budget than with someone who did.She noted home visits were listed as part of the services that were funded by Byrne.She added a bigger concern is when they go into collaboration with anyone that there is an honest process of collaboration that is to be honored and valued and that all of the work that is done is not completely stripped out.She stated the grant was given and signed on February 16 and the appeal is still ongoing.She added the services were still ongoing because Lane County chose to give out a contract before the appeal was heard or finalized.She thought the problem was with Lane Countyís process.

 

Dwyer had empathy for the appeal and the record and what had happened.He thought Lane County could do better next time.

 

MOTION:to move to sustain the administratorís decision.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Morrison stated her frustration was that the contract had been awarded and they had already started the program.She thought it should go out for another RFP process.She added it was a constant thing that had happened with other grants and the confusion around what the criteria is and the scoring, and the people who are doing the scoring.

 

Sorenson commented he didnít think the Board had the power to change anything and that public contracting law dictated the answer.

 

Green stated while the Reliefís Nurseryís argument is helpful to make the process better, he said they didnít meet the criteria.

 

Weeldreyer said this was a complex process.She said it was regrettable that this had to come to the Board.She thought there was room for improvement. She didnít want to change things at this course in time with reasons that had already been articulated by others.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

 

Dwyer said the Board had to protect the people who were being treated in the program.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary