Macomb Township departs from purchasing policy to settle ambulance tendering process – Macomb Daily

A medical emergency prompted the Macomb Township Board of Directors to depart from its purchasing policy and relaunch its tendering process for ambulance services.

The motion, presented by Treasurer Leon Drolet and seconded by Administrator Nancy Nevers at the regular board meeting on December 21, was adopted by 4-3, with Trustees Frank Cusumano and Peter J. Lucido III voting no as well as the clerk. Kristi Pozzi.

The discussion of the deviation from purchasing policy stems from an unusual circumstance. Macomb Township purchasing specialist Janet Solomon said the current agreement for township ambulance services with Medstar expired in July 2021. She said the company continued to provide ambulance services. in the township on a monthly basis.

“On November 23 of this year, a call for tenders was launched with the aim of concluding a five-year agreement with an ambulance service provider,” Solomon said. “The deadline for receipt of tenders at the Registrar’s office was December 15, 2021. An offer from Universal-Macomb Ambulance Service Inc. was received at the Registrar’s office by the due date and time. An opening of the envelopes took place in town hall immediately after the due date of the envelopes. Approximately 15 minutes before the bids opened, Medstar contacted the Registrar’s Office to communicate that the person delivering the response to Medstar’s offer was facing a roadside medical emergency and awaiting ambulance transport to the hospital.

Medstar’s offer was delivered to the clerk’s office at 12:51 p.m. on Dec. 15, according to Solomon.

“Based on the situation, the supervisor’s office requested a waiver of the purchasing policy to allow the municipality to run the bidding process with bidders or multiple bidders,” Solomon said. “Keeping the intent of the purchasing policy intact, the clerk’s office requests a discussion and a vote of the board of directors to consider a deviation due to the unusual circumstances.”

Solomon said that to his knowledge no one in the township had reviewed the content of any of the offers. However, she recommended that the township follow the purchasing policy as written and reject the late offer, only going ahead with the offer received on time. Salomon described the risk as a misperception of bidders. Solomon also said that if his recommendation was adopted by the board, the process would be performed the same regardless of the number of offers received, including the use of a selection committee.

“It’s a risk, not to comply with the policy and are there any ulterior motives. It’s always a risk. But beyond that, you know, it’s not a risk. , this is not a service that we are typically billed or billed for. It is generally, at least our current arrangement, that debt service is provided to the township for zero dollars for the township, for township costs , and all revenue generated is generated by billing insurance companies, ”Solomon said.

Tim Tomlinson, the township lawyer, was also asked to comment on any potential risk to the township.

“Ms. Solomon has always been very successful in her bidding documents and specifications. She clearly reserves the right for this organization to reject any bids, or waive any formality or anything of that nature. nature, “said Tomlinson.” And I think that’s what this council does. And you’re allowed to do that if you see it as a council, it’s in the best interest of the township. And we have heard some of you talking about this fact, that you think it can open the door to more than one offer. It gives you a greater opportunity to provide the best services to the community. So we have in our specification d ‘offers language that allows us to take action like this, where even though the offer was opened and it was somehow determined that it was simply out of By the way, you will still have to wait to reject it and go to tender.

Tomlinson said that did not happen and the process was stopped immediately when the concerns were known. He also said he believed the township had taken all possible corrective measures to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Drolet said there are two responsible and reasonable ways to approach the current situation with the application process.

“One is to agree with the purchasing manager, which in my opinion is a reasonable position, that the other bidder did not comply with the requirements of the tendering process by submitting deliver it on time, regardless of his personal medical situation, ”Drolet said. . “And I think that’s a reasonable approach. However, I think another reasonable approach is that our goal is to have as many offers as possible for the services provided by the township. So we can hopefully the, select the offer that most benefits residents. I hope that if we restart the tendering process, given that we only received one offer under this existing offer, we will attract d ‘other bidders.

Drolet also said the township was not harmed by the restart of the tendering process. Solomon said she doesn’t think the township is likely to get more than two bids if the process is restarted. Supervisor Frank Viviano said he understands and appreciates Solomon’s position because his job is to protect the integrity of the process.

“But the purchasing policy also allows us as a board of directors to make decisions that are in the best interest of the township, and I think in this unique circumstance, that the integrity of the appeal process Closed bids has been preserved, that we can restart the bidding process, “Viviano said.” And I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll have at least, you know, two competitive bids to look at, and then we will be better able to choose what will best serve our township in terms of ambulance services, so my opinion is to restart the tendering process.

He also said his personal opinion was that accepting a late offer would be more damaging than restarting the process.

“I think starting from scratch actually preserves not only the integrity and the process, but in the spirit of the purchasing policy, ensuring that we get competitive offers,” said Viviano.

Viviano said the offers received in the initial process would be discarded because they had not been read and the process would start over. Administrator Nancy Nevers said that since none of the offers were opened, she was inclined to vote to restart the process due to the medical emergency. Solomon said the offers must be put on hold for a minimum of 14 days and the offer could be released as early as December 22, with an appropriate expiration date determined based on this. Viviano said he explained the situation to Universal and they did not object to the process. Pozzi said that in the future, if a situation arose that was not due to an emergency, offers would be rejected and policy followed. Her no, she said, was due to her position as clerk and the need to make sure the offers remained intact.

“The clerk’s office is, it is our responsibility to maintain the integrity of the process,” said Pozzi. “And I’m just worried that if we allow a late bid, whatever the situation, it could possibly set a precedent.” I will therefore vote no on the deviation. With all due respect to the person who had the medical emergency, I am sympathetic to this, and I hope they are doing well. But to keep the integrity of the process, I will not be in favor of it. “

Lucido asked if the township could compare Universal’s offering with current services.

“Personally, I don’t like to set a precedent by making special considerations. I am sensitive to a personal emergency. If there is another way to reopen it without special consideration or to look at both offers without special consideration, that’s just my opinion on that, ”Lucido said.

Solomon said that without a Medstar offer, the township could not know for certain prices that would be charged, and could only deviate from current fees and a recent fee schedule. Cusumano said he believes Universal acted in good faith during the application process.

“They made their offer, they followed the rules, and what is the outcome of the proposal to reopen the tendering process? Are there any ramifications for not following the rules of the purchasing policy and the specifications of the offer that have been stated? And therefore, I will vote against the motion, ”Cusumano said.

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