You are no doubt aware of this article by the P-G’s Rich Lord about hanky–panky in the Department of Public Works. We do not care to discuss it today because:
The politicization of public works is likely to emerge as a top issue in coming months, as Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s administration attempts to computerize city management, Councilman William Peduto pushes for reform legislation, and new council members take office.
The Pittsburgh Housing Authority’s process in awarding a $20 million-plus contract to improve energy efficiency is coming under fire from two firms that say it gives another company the inside track on the potentially lucrative work.
The ironic thing is, one of the losing bidders, Carnegie-based CLT, just weeks ago took heat for having been given a sweetheart deal for a streetlights contract.
What is the plot here? Is it that CLT is a bunch of whiners who think they deserve every city contract by manifest destiny?
Or is it that the City of Pittsburgh does not have strong enough processes for soliciting and evaluating bids? That they enter into the process with a clear idea to whom to award the contracts? And that this leaves them open to criticism, then to over-compensation, and then to still more criticism — to say nothing of cost inefficiencies?
Though the Siemens study is a thick binder of analysis of the authority’s many properties, firms interested in the job were provided with just a 33-page section describing the wiring, insulation, heating and other features in the buildings. Mr. Morgan said he complained to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the authority, saying that since Siemens has access to its entire study, all potential bidders should get a copy. He said he was told there’s nothing HUD can do.
Or is it that all of these contractors play dirty pool? That would be a newsflash. But what to do about it?