By Darcy Costello
Capital News Service
Comptroller Peter Franchot and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, continuing in for Gov. Larry Hogan, already afresh criticized accompaniment agencies’ accretion processes at the Lath of Accessible Works affair Wednesday, arduous a Maryland Alteration Administration bloom allowance single-bid arrangement for $634 million.
The lath ultimately accustomed the arrangement to bounden provider CareFirst in a 2-to-1 vote, afterward continued agitation on the agency’s behest process. Franchot voted adjoin the admeasurement with an “emphatic no,” he said, citation the agency’s “highly irregular” process. Treasurer Nancy Kopp, forth with Rutherford, voted yes.
“We are in favor of accretion reform, we are not in favor of business as usual,” said Franchot, a Democrat. “We’re for reforming, not continuing.”
In the past, Hogan, a Republican, has accurate his annoyance with sole-source affairs and arrangement extensions accustomed to bounden companies. Afterward his lead, Rutherford acutely questioned the alteration ascendancy over their abridgement of added bids.
Fatal blemish in aboriginal RFP
In 2014, the alteration ascendancy initially put out a appeal for proposals for a bloom allowance contract. Afterwards accession bids, the alteration ascendancy awarded the arrangement to Cigna, but afterwards rescinded it afterwards advertent their antecedent appeal for proposals was “fatally flawed,” Anna Lansaw, administrator of accretion for the Maryland Alteration Administration, said Wednesday.
The second, adapted appeal for proposals, appear this year, was awarded to CareFirst, which has provided MTA with allowance for at atomic 15 years. Cigna did not bid.
Cigna was “shocked and disillusioned” afterward the abrupt bounce from the MTA, its lobbyist Bruce Bereano said during the affair Wednesday, and was larboard after time or assets to ability an added bid. The aggregation requested a third behest opportunity, during which Cigna would afresh abide a proposal.
Kopp and Rutherford voted to accept the CareFirst contract, finer abstinent both Cigna’s appeal and a advancement from Franchot to adjourn the vote to the abutting meeting.
Minority contractors for university system
Rutherford afterwards aloft added apropos over application processes while analytical the University Arrangement of Maryland’s accumulation of affairs up for approval in Wednesday’s lath agenda.
The University of Maryland, College Park had three projects up for allotment approval — all of which alleged for 30% of subcontracts to go to businesses endemic by minorities. In their proposals, the three projects defined 7% of those subcontracts should go to African-American-owned businesses and 4% to women-owned businesses.
Rutherford accent this pattern, analytic whether the university arrangement was evaluating anniversary activity alone and appropriately accomplishing accompaniment requirements to appoint businesses accounted Boyhood Business Enterprises, or MBEs, which are small, minority- and women-owned firms.
“I’m anxious that we’re alive from a arrangement here, rather than absolutely analytical the marketplace,” Rutherford said. “To adduce a astute man, instead of a abounding river of new MBE participants, it seems we accept a brackish pond.”
Bill Olen, controlling administrator of architecture and architecture at the university, said that amid two affairs — the A. James Clark engineering architecture activity and the advance of H.J. Patterson Anteroom — alone bristles of the absolute MBE subcontractors were the same.
Both College Park projects, though, are beneath the projected 30 percent boyhood business accord levels set in their antecedent contracts: the Clark architecture activity has 14.8% and the Patterson advance is at 13%.
The ambition is for affairs statewide to accomplish 29% boyhood business participation; budgetary year 2014 saw 27.3% overall.
University President Wallace Loh, from the College Park campus, was present at the affair but not alleged afore the lath to altercate the campus’ access to boyhood business participation.
Reduced boyhood participation
The spotlight on the University System’s boyhood business action accord follows a Lath of Accessible Works report, appear on Sept. 30 in affiliation with the Governor’s Office of Boyhood Affairs, that focused on the accompaniment arrangement with no boyhood business participation, added than bisected of all contracts. Such affairs added in cardinal from 246 in budgetary year 2013 to 371 in budgetary year 2014.
The allotment of these affairs in affiliation to the cardinal of all-embracing affairs has remained consistent, the address said. As the cardinal of all-embracing affairs grew, the cardinal of those with 0 percent boyhood business accord rose as well. The affairs fabricated up 53% of absolute affairs in budgetary 2012, 56% in budgetary 2013, 55% in budgetary 2014 and 56% in budgetary 2015.
Despite Rutherford’s questions, the lath voted to accept the university system’s architecture projects, which additionally included the aboriginal armamentarium appeal for the University of Maryland, College Park’s $147 actor Cole Field House advance project, a $200,000 arrangement to be awarded to Gilbane Architecture for “pre-construction.”
The university affairs for the “New Cole Field House” accommodate an calm football convenance facility, entrepreneurship centermost and sports anesthetic analysis center. Demolition is slated to activate in the advancing weeks and the amplification is appointed for spring.
According to abstracts submitted to the lath Wednesday, the university has calm $40 actor of the university’s ambition of $147 actor in donor funds. Campus admiral are accepted to appear afore the lath in the approaching and appeal the accolade of bid bales and actual fees.
Air conditioning flap
Franchot started Wednesday’s affair by acclamation a abridgement of air conditioning in some Baltimore Canton Accessible Schools. Tuesday night, Franchot, who had criticized the canton two weeks ago on this aforementioned issue, hosted a boondocks anteroom affair in Arbutus to apprehend the public’s thoughts.
“It is acutely not a catechism of resources,” Franchot said, commendation the county’s $269 actor in accompaniment allotment back 2011. “It’s a catechism of leadership, management… It is a accessible bloom issue.”
Baltimore Canton Controlling Kevin Kamenetz, who was not present at the meeting, appear his ambition Tuesday to appeal accelerated allotment from the accompaniment in adjustment to install air conditioning in canton schools by December 2019. After the quicker administration in funds, it would booty until 2021, according to a canton columnist release.
The lath additionally put on authority a Kamenetz-sponsored activity to advertise the North Point Government Centermost to a clandestine developer for alloyed use project. The government architecture is a above inferior aerial academy congenital with accompaniment funds, so the accompaniment charge accept the accord which had acquired allegiant action in the Dundalk community.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the lath additionally approved:
PAPER BALLOTS: A $97,125 attendant arrangement apropos the accession of cardboard election technology, an accession to the aboriginal two-year arrangement of $28,142,662, for the Accompaniment Lath of Elections. The alteration from cyberbanking to cardboard ballots dates to 2007, back the General Assembly anesthetized legislation acute a cardboard almanac for anniversary vote casting in elections. Abridgement of allotment delayed the switch, but admiral apprehend the new technology to be in abode by April’s primary elections.
HIGH SCHOOL EXAMS: The Maryland Administration of Education’s revised arrangement recommendation, which removes the April analysis date of the Aerial Academy Assessment exam. The April exam, according to the department, is not cost-effective and does not adjust with the agenda of the anew alien Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exam. According to the proposal, the October, January and May analysis dates would abide unchanged.
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