OK, it wasn’t the only item in Gov. Bev Perdue’s release citing the wonders of her North Carolina Business Preference Program. Only the most ridiculous one.
Here’s the deal. Perdue signed an executive order instructing state officials to find some way to give in-state companies a leg up over out-of-state rivals for government contracts. Under some circumstances, N.C.-based companies that don’t offer the low bid to do a job can submit a second bid and win the contract.
To date, the adminstration claims more than $3.6 million in business has stayed at home since January 1.
There are tons of problems with this approach, not the least of which is — if in-state firms could re-bid, why weren’t’ out-of-state ones allowed to do so as well? How many tax dollars were left on the table by not allowing a full round of new bids?
And of course, there are the piddly jobs that almost certainly squandered hours of staff time by procurement agents and press people — and would have killed hundreds of trees on a press release in the pre-electronic age.
Including my favorite:
Southeastern Emergency Equipment of Wake Forest price-matched a bid worth $141.30 for medical supplies for Guilford Technical Community College. The company’s original bid was a mere $4.76 more than a company from Missouri.
Wow. All for a $141 contract. At a time Perdue is bragging about the jar of red ink she’s going to use to veto bills that could save the State Health Plan from bankruptcy (without raising taxes), it’s good to see the governor committing valuable state employee time to seek out and shout about $4.76 in savings. The entire release follows.