Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This is Important - Campaign Contributors and No-Bid Contracts

Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana, posted some really important information the other day.  I feel it is so important that I should post an echo of it here.

In "Rebuild Indy 2 Should Easily Cover the Cost of Mayor's Re-election Campaign", Welsh reports that a reader provided him with an analysis of Mayor Ballard's campaign finance reports and construction companies who received any of the Rebuild Indy money.

All construction company contributions, including the personal contributions of company principles, between 2010 and 2013 were tabulated.  The list was cross referenced to a list of all contracts awarded for Rebuild Indy. The top ten campaign-contributing companies just happened to get no-bid contracts for Rebuild Indy work during that same time period.

Let me say that again - the top ten construction company contributors to Mayor Ballard's campaign, all just happened to get no-bid contracts for Rebuild Indy work.

A no-bid contract is awarded without any competition to ascertain the lowest and most responsive bid for a particular project.  It is just awarded to the chosen company straight out.

Welsh reports this table of the top ten contributors, the value of their no-bid Rebuild Indy contracts awarded between 2010 and 2013 in parentheses, and the amount they contributed during the same period:

1.   American Structurepoint, Inc. ($37,203,475)--$129,700
2.   RW Armstrong & Associates ($13,554,892)--$90,000
3.   United Consulting Engineering, Inc. ($9,066,041)--$101,250
4.   Bernardin Lochmueller and Associates, Inc. ($7,406,845)--$83,500
5.   Butler, Fairman and Seufert, Inc. ($3,847,164)--$63,550
6.   V.S. Engineering, Inc. ($1,957,866)--$41,000
7.   M.D. Wessler and Associates, Inc. ($1,835,236)--$30,250
8.   First Group Engineering, Inc. ($1,282,052)--$36,250
9.   Janssen & Spaans Engineering, Inc. ($1,384,600)--$42,500
10. DLZ Indiana, LLC ($736,250)--$88,905

If you are counting, the top ten contributors got $78,274,421 in no-bid Rebuild Indy contracts and fattened the Gregory Ballard for Mayor Committee coffers by $706,905.

For more analysis, I refer you to Welsh's excellent piece.


Anonymous said...

Probably missed it in Gary's article, but how does the City define which contracts are eligible for "no-bid"?

Had Enough Indy? said...

That I do not know. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Wink 'n nod is the answer.

Had Enough Indy? said...

the actual method may deviate from the written policy, yes.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Consulting/engineering work is considered a professional services contract, which has historically not been subject to the state's public bidding requirements.