Supporters of Good Government:
Does it upset you that our councilmen are permitted to select the winners of service contracts for which the winning contractors have donated significantly to their campaigns? Or that our councilmen are free to ignore the rankings of evaluation committees and make their own selections in awarding service contracts, such as the case of the Jefferson Performing Arts Center? Or that price does not have to be considered in awarding service contracts? These are among the many reforms addressed by the recently-released Bureau of Governmental Research report, “Reforming Jefferson Parish’s Unusual Approach to Service Contracting.”
Among BGR’s recommendations is that firms be selected for service contracts because they rank the highest in an evaluation committee’s scoring of relevant, weighted criteria. And the BGR report suggests that the role of our councilmen should not be to select contract winners, but should be limited to approving or rejecting the evaluation committee’s recommended contractor or terminating the procurement. And BGR recommends considering price in the evaluation of service contracts when permitted by law.
Does it upset you that the significant effort of the Bureau of Governmental Research, in responding to the request of our government to write a report on contracting in Jefferson Parish, is being ignored by Jefferson Parish’s Council. So far, the council has refused to invite BGR to present their thoroughly researched and well-documented report on service contracting at a council meeting or to give any consideration to BGR’s recommendations. The only public comments by a councilman about the BGR report which we are aware of were made by Council Chairman Lagasse and reported in the Times-Picayune as follows:
“Council Chairman Elton Lagasse dismissed BGR’s conclusion, saying he wouldn’t cede the council’s authority to select contractors. ‘I’m not going to abdicate all of my authority to the administration,’ he said. ‘This is a councilmanic form of government.’” Continue reading “CFGG urgently needs your help”