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Old 07-15-2019, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,750 posts, read 3,857,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
LGA AirTrain has nothing to do with the MTA. It's a Port Authority project. And yes, your opinion of its value is shared by many.
Yes of course. It was bad wording/all in one paragraph on my part.
Quote:
I am not sure whether or not the MTA gets away with tailoring RFPs to limit competition, but in my opinion as a person who prepared RFPs in the past and who works for a firm who responds to them in the present, they have the very worst and most incomprehensible standard RFPs out there of any of the public agencies. They need someone to come in and take their templates and standard language and give them a major overhaul. Does make me wonder if there's a reason they DON'T.
It is done deliberately to discourage any new entrants/bidders. It is also done in competitive sealed bids contracts where they can 'legally' reject bids because of random compliance mistakes/clerical errors. If the preferred vendor came in 2nd or 3rd, they will just find a way to reject the first two bids.
The only contracts that are distributed somewhat fairly are the small purchases. If the project is big enough to involve people in elected positions and/or people who aspire to run for office in the future, fugetaboutit.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,144 posts, read 54,630,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
Yes of course. It was bad wording/all in one paragraph on my part.

It is done deliberately to discourage any new entrants/bidders. It is also done in competitive sealed bids contracts where they can 'legally' reject bids because of random compliance mistakes/clerical errors. If the preferred vendor came in 2nd or 3rd, they will just find a way to reject the first two bids.
The only contracts that are distributed somewhat fairly are the small purchases. If the project is big enough to involve people in elected positions and/or people who aspire to run for office in the future, fugetaboutit.
Do you know those things to be a fact? Serious question. I have worked in public procurement, though not for the MTA, and there were tight restrictions specifically to prevent that type of thing from occurring. The rules and process exists, of course, because of the long history of corruption in public procurement.

Does the MTA open their construction bids publicly? I looked for it on the website once, but I couldn't find it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,750 posts, read 3,857,018 times
Reputation: 3565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Do you know those things to be a fact? Serious question. I have worked in public procurement, though not for the MTA, and there were tight restrictions specifically to prevent that type of thing from occurring. The rules and process exists, of course, because of the long history of corruption in public procurement.

Does the MTA open their construction bids publicly? I looked for it on the website once, but I couldn't find it.
If you worked in public procurement you may be familiar with a section called "responsibility determination". Your bid can be found non-responsive due to all kinds of compliance issues. The "tight restrictions" you are talking about consist of the agency notifying the vendor that they were deemed non-responsive and giving them time to contest, etc. Meanwhile, if the big wigs with the right levels of approval are involved, the contract can be expedited under the guise of "emergency".

For example, here is one public story involving a city agency:
https://ny.curbed.com/2019/4/8/18300...rdable-housing
^Just FYI, according to the rules, the Comptroller's office approved this contract in the first place. So Scott Stringer is trying to subpoena documents he *theoretically* had full access to in the first place when he was approving the contract. Technically, de Blasio cannot enter into contracts without Comptroller's approval. Yet here we are. Apartments were *magically* bought after the vendor donated to DeBlasio PAC. That's a $173 million acquisition too, a doozy to push through. (By the way, nothing is going to come out of this, everyone got paid already).

Its Woke Tammany Hall. My rule of thumb is, the more you see a government official going out publicly supporting this social cause or that the more corrupt they are. The most amount of corruption are in big ticket programs that have almost no transparency or oversight, usually social programs (high $ spend, unclear goals, unclear metrics, no documentation) and capital construction (high $ spend, no oversight, everyone knows each other/closed shop/no outsiders). The official green light was given once AG Letitia James was appointed and she signaled she will be going after Trump instead of doing her job. Worst case scenario she will Smolett the whole thing if something does leak. The wolves are in the henhouse and the guards are distracted by the orange man.

Last edited by Gantz; Yesterday at 09:09 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,144 posts, read 54,630,432 times
Reputation: 66544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
If you worked in public procurement you may be familiar with a section called "responsibility determination". Your bid can be found non-responsive due to all kinds of compliance issues. The "tight restrictions" you are talking about consist of the agency notifying the vendor that they were deemed non-responsive and giving them time to contest, etc. Meanwhile, if the big wigs with the right levels of approval are involved, the contract can be expedited under the guise of "emergency".

For example, here is one public story involving a city agency:
https://ny.curbed.com/2019/4/8/18300...rdable-housing
^Just FYI, according to the rules, the Comptroller's office approved this contract in the first place. So Scott Stringer is trying to subpoena documents he *theoretically* had full access to in the first place when he was approving the contract. Technically, de Blasio cannot enter into contracts without Comptroller's approval. Yet here we are. Apartments were *magically* bought after the vendor donated to DeBlasio PAC. That's a $173 million acquisition too, a doozy to push through. (By the way, nothing is going to come out of this, everyone got paid already).

Its Woke Tammany Hall. My rule of thumb is, the more you see a government official going out publicly supporting this social cause or that the more corrupt they are. The most amount of corruption are in big ticket programs that have almost no transparency or oversight, usually social programs (high $ spend, unclear goals, unclear metrics, no documentation) and capital construction (high $ spend, no oversight, everyone knows each other/closed shop/no outsiders). The official green light was given once AG Letitia James was appointed and she signaled she will be going after Trump instead of doing her job. Worst case scenario she will Smolett the whole thing if something does leak. The wolves are in the henhouse and the guards are distracted by the orange man.
Yes, this is a totally different scenario than what I was talking about. That's a mess.

No, "tight restrictions" that I referred to have nothing to do with what you said. I can't really say much more, but the point is that there are public agencies who do adhere to best practices for fair and competitive solicitation processes and those who don't. The day any of us with whom I worked were told to declare a bid non-responsive or to manipulate evaluation team documents to select a particular proposer would have been the day we walked out of the office. True procurement professionals are geeks that way.
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Old Yesterday, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,750 posts, read 3,857,018 times
Reputation: 3565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Yes, this is a totally different scenario than what I was talking about. That's a mess.

No, "tight restrictions" that I referred to have nothing to do with what you said. I can't really say much more, but the point is that there are public agencies who do adhere to best practices for fair and competitive solicitation processes and those who don't. The day any of us with whom I worked were told to declare a bid non-responsive or to manipulate evaluation team documents to select a particular proposer would have been the day we walked out of the office. True procurement professionals are geeks that way.
Nobody is going to tell you to blatantly declare a bid non-responsive for no reason. For example, you may be told to declare it non-responsive due to the references provided being 'insufficient', which is technically a valid justification. However, most of the time it happens way before it even gets to this point. The most fiddling is going at the bid book stage when the program fiddles with the specs to tailor it to a specific vendor, so by the time the contract officer bids it out, only a certain number of vendors can even bid on it, with their preferred vendor (usually an incumbent that they are already working with) being the lowest one. Most vendors just receive the request, open the pdf and go "wow half of this I can't bid on, this is not relevant to my business" and just simply send a no bid and move on. And now with MWBE requirements, a certain portion of the contract (usually around 15%) has to be subcontracted to an MWBE vendor. Guess what - those subcontractors are not selected through any kind of procurement process, they are simply assigned. Sometimes the mayor's office directly 'suggests' the prime vendor who they should be working with. This is completely legitimate and follows all current guidelines.

Here is another example, back in 2017 they caught MTA chief procurement officer trying to elicit bribes guaranteeing vendors getting the contract awards:
https://nypost.com/2017/03/20/mta-fi...ounting-giant/
^ I guarantee the low level analysts actually doing the bids didn't even know their RFBs were already rigged. In my opinion he was probably working with someone in a managerial title role with the ability to influence the specs or rejection process, either a director or manager. That person is probably still working for MTA, either in their audits department or in their contracting office.

City Human Rights Commissioner awarding a consulting contract to her boyfriend:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.3146202


^This is all just the very tip of the iceberg that gets in the news. MTA, NYC Mayor's office, NYCHA, DHS, DEP, Department of Ed. never got properly forensically audited in decades. Literally nobody knows where and how exactly these agencies are spending tens of billions of dollars a year. Heck, ThriveNYC has a $250 million per year budget, and they don't even have any idea how many people are on their payroll!! What do you think their contracting rules and guidelines look like if they don't even know how many people the program employs? It is so blatant that the highest paid city government employee is literally De Blasio's friend who he appointed as the head of NYCHA. A head of an agency is 'officially on the books' making double the salary of New York State governor, and his salary was unilaterally increased by the mayor. Let me guess if this gentleman donates to De Blasio PAC or Chirlane's non-profit?

Last edited by Gantz; Yesterday at 12:15 PM..
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Old Today, 05:11 AM
 
24,241 posts, read 17,624,924 times
Reputation: 9157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
RFPs on these kinds of major projects always have some kind of influence. Remember, MTA writes the RFPs, so they can influence the cost or the type of vendor they want by simply adding new requirements or establishing new/different goals. This is done all the time. This is why the new LGA AirTrain is projected to be one of the most expensive cost per mile trains in the world, and its not even a full subway and its not even a tunnel underground, oh and did I mention it is going the wrong way and doesn't cut travel time to LGA? Most of this is done under cost+ or prevailing wages with no oversight (MTA inspectors are not even showing up to sites to check if contractors are working, they are just signing off on whatever timesheets they get submitted), etc.
Neighborhood opposition blocked an extension of the N to LaGuardia and the same opposition blocked the Airtrain from going to the N train. The Airtrain going to City Field was the path of least resistance.

It will connect to both the 7 train and the LIRR.
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