County supervisors reject construction bid challenge

2013-10-02T00:00:00Z 2013-10-07T10:23:06Z County supervisors reject construction bid challengeBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Pima County Board of Supervisors rejected a formal appeal made by a local construction company over a $10 million road construction contract.

Borderland Construction Co. lodged an appeal two weeks ago with county officials, alleging Select Development and Construction failed to comply with the county’s bid-procurement process.

The appeal follows a decision by the county procurement staff to give the contract to Select Development.

Steve Shepherd, executive vice president of Borderland, suggested the other construction company was out of compliance when it stated it would use a total of only three subcontractors in the $10 million project for Magee Road improvements between La Cañada Drive and Oracle Road.

A county policy requires main contractors to list their subcontractors in an attempt to guard against the practice of bid shopping.

The core concept of the procurement policy is that by disclosing the names of the subcontractors, the bidders cannot pit them against each other in an attempt to lower prices that could lead to cutting corners or using inferior products.

By comparison, Borderland listed a total of 18 subcontractors it would use if it had been selected for the project.

A representative of Select Development told the supervisors that the company followed county procurement guidelines correctly and that the complaint from its competitor amounted to sour grapes.

The Board of Supervisors eventually rejected the complaint by Borderlands, voting unanimously Tuesday (with Sharon Bronson absent) to move forward and approve a contract with Select.

The decision was fueled in part by statements made by the director of Pima County’s Department of Transportation, Priscilla Cornelio.

Cornelio told the supervisors that it is common for contractors to add or change their subcontractors after the bid has been awarded.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson

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