HOBOKEN -- In a letter published on the State of New Jersey website dated Feb. 1, the New Jersey State Comptroller's Office told Business Administrator Arch Liston that the state office is "unable to confirm whether the City's procurement of its professional service vendors was actually conducted through a 'fair and open' process." Mayor Dawn Zimmer also was a recipient of the letter, which was signed by Dorothy Donnelly, the Director of the Procurement Division.
In the letter, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) questioned the city's awarding of contracts for professionals in 2008 and 2009 for Labor Counsel, Auditor, Risk Manager, and Planner.
"The city did not use a formal evaluation process in determining which vendor would be awarded the aforementioned contracts," the letter stated. "For example: (a) the city did not convene an evaluation committee to score the competing proposals; (b) although the city's RFQ stated selection criteria, the city did not document and resultant evaluations; (c) the city did not use any scoring sheets to document the scoring of the proposals; (d) the city officials involved in the award process were not provided with any instructions, guidelines or procedures to guide their award decisions; and (e) no written recommendations concerning which vendors should received the contracts were issued by City officials involved in the evaluation process."
The letter also states "the process used by the city lacked accountability and transparency."
The city is now required to: "(1) prepare a detailed Action Plan that addresses the steps that the City intends to address the issues identified in this letter and provide the Action Plan to OSC no later than March 1, 2011; (2) provide notice to OSC at least 30 days prior to the advertisement of any of the city's professional service contracts."
The full letter is available HERE.
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