ViewPoint: Bidding on government projects

June 14, 2007

When public agencies need work done, they are required by law to put jobs out for bid. It's to prevent fraud and abuse of public money.

Often, the job will be given to the low bidder. It saves taxpayers' money.  But under the law, they are not required to award the job to the low bidder, and sometimes, it's a savings in the long run to let someone other than the low bidder do the work.

Case in point...the contract for renovations at Albany's Civil Rights Museum. By now, you've probably  heard the complaints from State Representative Winfred Dukes.  Dukes' company was, in fact, the low bidder for that job, but he didn't get it.

Dukes says the process was flawed.  But the argument made by Albany Tomorrow and supported by the Albany City Manager is valid.

They wanted the highest quality work for the job. Their view is that cutting corners now could eventually lead to more expense down the road if the work isn't up to par.

For Representative Dukes to create such a commotion is puzzling. It would appear he somehow thinks he's entitled to the job. That just isn't the case.

He, as an elected official, should certainly realize that when considering bids for public jobs, more than just the bottom line price has to be taken into consideration.

That's what ATI did and we commend them for doing what they believe is best for the taxpayers.