State issues revised procurement document for $300M flood recovery contract

The state’s Office of Community Development has issued a revised procurement document seeking a program manager to oversee the state’s $1.6 billion flood recovery program.

Proposals for the multiyear contract, which could be worth anywhere from $250 million to $350 million, are due April 7. The award is scheduled to be announced April 13.

The issuance late Wednesday of the revised procurement document, which is technically known as a solicitation for offers, is the latest development in an escalating flap over the lucrative contract.

Earlier this month, the state awarded the contract to a team of companies headed by North Carolina-based IEM, which bested four competing teams in a request for proposals scoring process largely on the basis of price. Its $250 million proposal was significantly less than the other proposals.

But the second-place finisher in the process, a team called PDRM and led by local firm CSRS, filed a complaint with the State Licensing Board for Contractors on the grounds that IEM did not possess a commercial contractor’s license at the time it submitted its proposal.

Last week, the licensing board ruled that a residential contractor’s license was required to submit a bid. The decision potentially rendered both IEM and PDRM ineligible, as neither had residential licenses at the time they submitted proposals. Both teams have since obtained all licenses.

In any case, the state was troubled enough by the controversy to scrap the whole process and start over, which prompted IEM earlier this week to file a lawsuit in 19th Judicial District Court against the licensing board.

The board’s attorney, Larry Bankston, says the board is reviewing the lawsuit and will respond accordingly. But he adds, “We believe because the RFP was canceled this issue is now moot.”

The state, which is not named in the lawsuit, has declined to comment on the litigation. But Jacques Berry, a spokesman for the Division of Administration, says the suit does not seek to block the new procurement process and should not delay the process of getting a program management team in place to administer the flood recovery program.

Berry also notes that the state has yet to receive any flood recovery dollars from the federal government and that by the time the money is available, which is expected to be in mid-April, the program management team should be in place.
—Stephanie Riegel

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