Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spears Gets 6-month Delay On Contract Reform Ordinance

At the insistence of JP District 3 Councilman Mark Spears, the Jefferson Parish Council again delayed a contract reform ordinance, this time for 6-months.

In typical JP Council fashion, the vote was 7-0 with no discussion.
Spears earlier had sought a delay while he met with the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber had opposed the contract reform ordinance which would have allowed council members to choose from the Top 3 or Top 5 highest-ranking bids. The Chamber feels the ordinance would be unfair to less established minority companies.

Despite the fact that Spears and the Chamber have already met, Spears pushed for another delay.
 Citizens For Good Government (CFGG) has been actively lobbying the Jefferson Parish Council for reforms to the contract process. The group was "extremely disappointed" by the deferal.

“Citizens for Good Government is extremely upset that the proposed ordinance to reform the Request for Proposal (RFP) contracting process in Jefferson Parish has again been deferred, this time until September,” CFGG Vice-Chairman Margie Seemann said. “Although we were not entirely satisfied with the proposed reforms, and we have numerous recommendations for amending the proposed ordinance, we believe that this ordinance is a step in the right direction.”
“We were extremely happy that an RFP reform ordinance was finally placed on the February 27th council agenda. Of course, we found that this ordinance does not go nearly far enough in its proposed reforms, but it at least does propose some worthwhile reforms,” Seemann continued.

“We were disappointed when a vote on the RFP reform ordinance was again deferred at the March 27th council meeting until September. No explanation was given for the deferral for this extended length of time. CFGG believes the prolonged deferral is inexcusable and unacceptable. We need contracting reform and we need it now, even if the reform provided by the proposed RFP reform ordinance is only a step in the right direction.”