Editorial: Sole decision

City of Powell River recently approved a sole-sourced contract for construction oversight services for the new wastewater treatment plan [“City of Powell River awards wastewater contract,” July 31].

If the city wanted to directly award the construction management portion of the work to the engineer that designed the plant, that portion should have been included in the scope of work from the beginning. This would have ensured all companies originally bidding had the opportunity to bid for both design and construction management, and the Associated Engineering (AE) price for both would have had to be competitive.

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The city now has an existing relationship with AE, which it may see as a positive, but is it?

How does the city know the price AE is charging for construction management is competitive if it has no way of comparing? For a $4 million-plus contract, wouldn’t it be worth finding out?

Another construction management company working with AE’s design would have offered another check to ensure its design and planned execution of the work is offering the best result, at the best price, for the city.

At a special council meeting on July 30, city manager of engineering services Nagi Rizk said it costs a lot of money to put the contract out for tender.

It would affect the schedule but how does it cost money? For what? Putting a tender package together (with the scope of work, drawings and specs already provided by AE in the design phase) and then reviewing submitted bids? How much could that possibly cost?

AE’s price may have been lower if they knew it was a competitive tender process, and they would have had the upper hand in bidding anyway, since they did the design.

Who doesn’t get a second quote for a project?

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