Thursday, January 18, 2018

Purchasing Cooperative: How to avoid competition.for public funds.

Friends:

Purchasing Cooperatives TEACH you how to avoid competition.  Teaching people how to cheat the government, and taxpayers is wrong on so many levels.  No problem, we'll teach you how to "get over", although ALL publicly funded projects are subject to oversight.  NO COMPETITION  ever occurred.   I dare them to show it to you, because it does not exist.

TCPN, the biggest ripoff in all of Texas.

Here's a seminar advertised by TCPN, and without shame.





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Your Presenter and Response Team


Presenter: Tom VanHootegem
Response Team:
Pam Gonzalez, our TCPN Contract Holder
Scott Wynne, TCPN Program Manager



The TCPN Difference:


Single lead government agency for all TCPN contracts
Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX

Highest level of consistency & compliance
ISO 9001 Certified solicitation process
Supports education nationwide
Curriculum development
Teacher certification
Braille production center
3rd party audits of vendor contracts


Benefits
TCPN Member Benefits
Legal contract vehicle (competitive solicitation)
One contract for multiple commodities
Avoid bid process
Highest level of contract compliance
Meet buy local commitment
Save TIME & MONEY
TriMega Dealer Benefits
One contract for all public sector accounts
Competitive advantage vs. competition
Avoid bid process
Competitive national pricing at local level

TCPN program manager support




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I don't make this stuff up folks, and all I can say is NEVER BUY A ROOF FROM A PURCHASING COOPERATIVE, unless you want to spend 50% more money, for an average roof at best.  IT IS A SCAM, and you're paying for it.

A few good choices for school roofs are:  GAF, Firestone, Carlisle, Barrett, Sika Sarnafil, and Johns Manville.  They do not play the Purchasing Cooperative game, and instead, compete for your business.  Write P.O.'s to honorable companies, and not the offering of Purchasing Cooperatives.  Roofing does not fall under their purview, and it's impossible to argue that it does.

Every aspect of their scam can be broken down in seconds, and you don't have to be very smart to do it either. 




Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Florida Certification
CCC1325620


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Appreciation of readers, both domestic and abroad.

Friends:

I want to thank viewers of this site from around the world.


It is very encouraging to know you are spending time with me here, and am very grateful.



United States

Ukraine

Canada

Russia

Germany

France

Ireland

Brazil

United Kingdom

South Korea

A special note of thanks to my friends in Ukraine, and all countries listed.  It's humbling to think people on the other side of this earth care one bit about what I have to say.  

This site has approximately 130,000 views, and would love to think someone received benefit from data posted on this site.  


To Search:  


In the search box, type : Garland, Tremco, Purchasing Cooperatives, Corruption, School Roofing Scam, etc.  You will find everything you need to know, and more. 



The goal is to remove roofing, and roofing services, from all Purchasing Cooperatives.  Nothing else is acceptable, and I won't quit.


NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit, nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.


Again, much appreciation to friends abroad, and please know how thankful I am for  your time.


Hoping (always) you are both happy, and well.



Respect.


Ron


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

U. S. Communities Roofing Scam. How it works, and who it hurts.

Friends;

This is going to be a long one, but I think you can see, or figure out, the scam between U.S. Communities, and Garland.  It's a full blown scam, and the proof is contained in this post.  

From fake claims of being "competitive", the 5% kickback for County Commission of Cobb County, Georgia, and my favorite:  Public administrators have a "Right" to buy anything they want.  You can't help but wonder why they don't all drive Mercedes 600's.  



Public Procurement in this country is out of control.  When I speak to an administrator, district, and contractors who participate in the scam seem to come at me like locusts.  The only reason I do this research, and publish my findings, is for those of you who are "Excluded" from competition.  No competition is decimating school maintenance budgets throughout all of North America, and the United Kingdom.

Normally, The scam is a Purchasing Cooperative, Tremco or Garland, a willing administrator (who is neither credentialed, experienced, or know a single thing about modern roofing technique).  Subsequently, they are responsible for creating a scam that overcharges by 50% (some higher, some a bit lower).

NOTHING ABOUT THE PURCHASE IS "COMPETITIVE".  Garland was awarded the U.S. Communities contract by submitting 55 pages of blank line items.

I can't grasp the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on absolutely nothing, but a salesman's pocket (25%).  There is nothing Garland or Tremco make, that all mainstream manufacturers can't equal, or exceed.

Sorry for the copious reading, and lack of white space.  


By:  Robert R. Solomon,

Education Resources

U.S. Communities purchasing cooperative has a long history of working with thousands of K-12 public and private schools, community colleges and higher education institutions to save time and money. The U.S. Communities Advisory Board includes several school districts and university representatives. Moreover, U.S. Communities is the only cooperative purchasing program founded by the Association of School Business Officials International, the National Association of Counties, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, the National League of Cities and the United States Conference of Mayors.

All U.S. Communities contracts are competitively solicited by a lead public agency in accordance with its public purchasing rules and regulations. Each solicitation contains language allowing public and private schools and institutes of higher education to piggyback on the contracts.
Save money
Education organizations are qualified to utilize U.S. Communities’ contracts to save significant time and costs while realizing bid competitive pricing. Furthermore, the prices your institution will receive through U.S. Communities are the lowest that will be offered by participating suppliers to government entities nationwide. With no cost to participate and no minimum order requirements, education organizations of any size have the ability to purchase the products, services and solutions they need at volume discount prices that would be nearly impossible to attain individually.
Save Time
Although each school may have different procedures to follow for private or public education procurement, applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive solicitation requirements of most agencies and organizations. By using U.S. Communities suppliers, there is no need to comparison shop. You can buy with confidence knowing you are getting the lowest overall government pricing. You'll be able to leverage our cooperative purchasing standards and supplier commitmentsto deliver v

Today, we will read Garland’s own words, and I’ll tell you what they actually mean.  
My favorite is  “Our customers in the public sector not only have the right to choose the roofing system that best fits their needs, but an obligation to ……”  . 
They are wrong.  Taxpayers have “Rights”, and public sector administrators have responsibility as stewards of taxpayer money.   They are charged with achieving two goals when purchasing a publicly funded structure:   “Serviceability, and Value”.   Neither goal may be achieved when buying through a purchasing cooperative.  Put mildly, it’s stupid.  Okay, let’s get to Garland’s “Claims”, in their words.

Alleged Garland Roofing Scams: What You Should Know About Competitive Bidding in Public Projects

For over 100 years, the Garland Company has focused on building our business around quality products, services and people. Our representatives boast a record for knowledge, service and integrity that speaks for itself. From the ground up, we are owned by our employees, so there is additional incentive by everyone at every level to deliver the best products and services.

Every successful company has its critics and ours claim that Garland scams its roofing customers by engaging in deceitful practices. These claims could not be further from the truth. As part of our company policy of transparency, we would like to set the record straight as these claims about Garland roofing scams have no merit.

By ‘Critics”, they mean “taxpayers”.  They absolutely deceive people, and are therefore “deceitful’.

Garland Roofing Complaints: Over-Built and Over-Charged

Because of our commitment to offering clients the best product possible, Garland roofing materials may initially cost more than the average roofing solution. All of our roofs are designed to provide long-lasting protection, which has resulted in a high demand for our products from customers who need long-term performance the most: public schools and hospitals. Our customers understand the long-term value they get when they choose Garland and know that an investment in our systems and services will result in roofs that last on average 10 years longer than lower priced options. After choosing Garland materials, our customers can rest easy knowing we will be there to support them for the life of their buildings.

Our customers in the public sector not only have the right to choose the roofing system that best fits their needs, but an obligation to community members to choose the system that lasts long and performs well. It is no surprise that when given a choice, they frequently choose a Garland roofing system and we're happy to provide local hospitals and schools with exceptional products and services that last.

Garland ADMITS they are higher priced, and comments regarding other manufacturers are incorrect, and unsubstantiated.

Public administrators DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT to choose anything they want.  Government doesn’t own anything, and it’s the taxpayer who has a “right” to know.  

ALL public projects are subject to oversight.  Notice “Performance Based”.  WHO has determined “Performance”, WHAT credential allows them to address it, and WHICH mainstream manufacturer (GAF, Firestone, Johns Manville, Carlisle Syntec, etc.) were they “compared to”?

Garland Roofing Complaints: Performance Specifications and Spec Writing

Some Garland roofing complaints include accusations that our sales representatives write specifications that require the use of Garland products. We promote performance-based specifications because they ensure a level playing field for competitive bidding. Proprietary specifications are seldom permitted in the public market and are generally discouraged. Our seasoned sales representatives make recommendations based on their years of experience. When followed, these recommendations create long-term performance outcomes.

100% FALSE.   Garland representatives INSIST upon it.  See it on Video:

Actual words published by a Garland representative:

This is directly from an application I received (05-10-2013)
“The Garland Company"

As a consultant for The Garland Company, I developed relationships with high-end, governmental, educational, and municipal clients to assist them in managing their roof assets.

The Garland Company is a premium roofing manufacturer that values the relationship-based sales approach.

After a three week immersive training program, I was charged with completing inspections and forensic roof evaluations for companies and clients like: Lockheed Martin, The Dallas County Community College District, The City of Dallas, The City of Mesquite, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Dell, Air Liquide and others of similar merit.

As part of my duties I worked closely with architects, designers, and specifiers to ensure that The Garland Company’s line of products was the only roofing manufacturer named in the specification or offered to the client.

Upon completing the design phase, I would solicit bids from qualified, local roofing contractors to perform the work under my consult and supervision.

Design Build Solutions - The Garland Company

Design Build Solutions is The Garland Company's design and construction arm. Prior to 2006, it was a vastly underused entity created to control specifications through the bid process. However, once arwarded The US Communities Buying Co-Operative Contract in 2006, I saw a massive opportunity to do much more than control specifications.

I began marketing and actively soliciting projects to be designed and built by DBS all over Texas.

Working mostly on military contracts, I marketed our design capabilities to The Office of The Surgeon General, The Army Core of Engineers, and The Office of Veterans' Affairs.

Most of our projects were small, multi-family base housing and medical center upgrades. As DBS was not "completely" set up to handle large, multi-disciplinary bids, I solicited bids, evaluated sub-contractors, and engaged in buy-out and VE process with subs and owners.

Soon, it became necessary to create budgetary checks and balances. I implemented a customized version of a project management software created for me by Podio and created and managed construction budgets using Quickbooks Contractor Suite.

A change in Garland's Scope of WOrk under The US Communities Contract lead them to stear me away from Design-Build projects. As I had created valuable relationships in the industry, I chose to start XXXXXXXX  with a group of like-minded construction professionals to continue pursuing larger contracts and to branch further into the private sector”.


Garland Roofing Complaints: Cooperative Purchasing

Some Garland roofing complaints involve cooperative purchasing, claiming purchasing co-ops restrict competitive bidding and cost tax payers more. This is simply not the case. Public procurement administrators use cooperative purchasing vehicles to expedite project delivery, simplify contract administration and reduce associated costs. All cooperative purchasing contracts used to purchase Garland materials have been publicly bid on at a national or state basis in full compliance with existing federal and state laws. The popularity of this purchasing option suggests that the public entities who use cooperative purchasing agreements find them beneficial to the communities they serve.
If you still have questions about Garland roofing problems you may have read about, please contact Garland today.”
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Mr. Tommie:

Type “School Roofing Scam” into your browser, and then do the same on YouTube.  You will find no shortage of investigative reports on Garland there.

USC gets very bad press in “Ripoff Report”:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/US-Communities-Government-Purchasing-Alliance/nationwide/Cooperative-Government-Purchasing-US-Communities-the-truth-behind-a-national-scam-All-478352

It is strange that so many intertwined enterprises are located in the same office suite and are run by Stephen (Steve) Hamill and Jerry Burke.

More concerning is the fact the U.S. Communities has a $700 million dollar a year contract with Office Depot for office and classroom supplies.


Office Depot has provided over $20 million in kickbacks to U.S. Communities (read Stephen Hamill and his partner Jerry Burke). 
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WOW!!
For now, I’ll leave you with:
State of New Jersey
Commission of Investigation
I’m sure you’ve read this report, but I am not defending “singular” items, but a fact pattern.
Garland came out with their “we’re not guilty” tour after Tremco took that $61,000,000.00 hit.  After I reported on the videos, Garland took them down.    All that “Honesty”.
I’m paraphrasing, but can provide links to the deleted videos.  Perhaps you have an access code that nobody else has?
Regardless, here is more public record that is easily available:
US Communities News and Events- note sponsorship of events and production of webinars:

US Communities complimentary “Strategic Sourcing Summits”

Cobb County Purchasing Department is listed as “Lead Agency” for roofing on US Communities website and appears to solicit the nationwide roofing contract

US Communities website states “No User Fees – no costs or fees to participate”, but reading the Cobb County/US Communities agreement please note on page 56 of the pdf item 5.1 under Administration Agreement in this contract and share 5% of their fee with Cobb County Purchasing:

“5.1 Administrative Fees. Supplier shall pay to U.S. Communities a monthly administrative fee based upon the total sales price of all purchases shipped and billed pursuant to the Master Agreement, excluding taxes, in the amount of two percent (2%) of aggregate purchases made during each calendar month (individually and collectively, “Administrative Fees”). Supplier’s annual sales shall be measured on a calendar year basis. All Administrative Fees shall be payable in U.S. Dollars and shall be made by wire to U.S. Communities, or its designee or trustee as may be directed in writing by U.S. Communities. Administrative Fees shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days of the end of each calendar month for purchases shipped and billed during such calendar month. U.S. Communities agrees to pay to Lead Public Agency five percent (5%) of all Administrative Fees received from Supplier to help offset Lead Public Agency’s costs incurred in connection with managing the Master Agreement nationally.”

There are also provisions in the vendor agreement that appear to be more applicable to an organization that is trying to maximize sales vs. a cooperative that is trying to save its users money, such as:

“(d) Sales Commitment. Supplier shall market the Master Agreement through Supplier’s sales force or dealer network that is properly trained, engaged and committed to offering the Master Agreement as Supplier’s primary offering to Public Agencies. Supplier’s sales force compensation and incentives shall be greater than or equal to the compensation and incentives earned under other contracts to Public Agencies.”




Cobb County is listed on US Communities Advisory Board:
Imagine that.
 Another whistleblower case involving procurement through cooperative:




 Interesting article about an association that has come out against sole-source contracting due to the above case:


 You might want to ask your friends in Cobb County what to do about Garland, now that I’ve notified you of such an obvious problem.  This is not “isolated” stuff, and CLEARLY outlines your deceptive “for profit” scheme to defraud taxpayers.

This is ONE example of mail I get all the time, and from all across the country:

Brother Ron,
The bid was just awarded for the roofing at the middle school.
Together we saved the taxpayer over 410 k!! Once Garland/ Tremco were exposed,with your great effort,the project award was 719k ,as opposed to 1.29 mil. Just wanted to give you an update. Be well Brother Ron.
All the best”

I’m not asking you to believe a single word I say.  You must believe what I can PROVE.
Eight years of research, and I’m ready to go.  All USC has to say is “give it your best shot”, and I will accommodate you.  If you do not make the call, I’ll make it for you.

I’ve NEVER asked that Garland be removed from a bid list, but they be made to fairly “compete” against MAJOR mainstream manufacturers.  Please don’t give me bullet points of salesmen, as they are committed to memory.
I am concerned about “Measurable Units”, and not hypothesis.
Ron 

Thank you sir. I will email you some specifics. It does not have anything to do with Bluefin. It had to do with Garland cloning their RAMP program and having management level individuals within A/E firms implement he software. The A/E firms even pay for the program, which us genius really. MiRoof is the program I know is a clone. The "owner" Ryan Shultz works for Garland currently. Funny you mention Bluefin. He worked for them as well when it was RoofExpress. There are other clues to a connection there as well. We will probably connect some dots once we share our stories. I will follow this up with an email that includes more info. Have to run right now. Talk soon!

 *****This paper remains unfinished, and unedited.
I have a standing offer of $10,000.00 of my own money for Garland, or Tremco, if they agree to a televised public debate, and prove me wrong.  Money goes to a school of my choice.  8 years, no takers.
 
Tremco and their attorney are now being sued by the SEC.  The SEC is insisting on a jury trial, and it will not end well.  I thought I’d share that with you.

I can help you with RCI, and anything, you might need.

I do not have an “angle” so please don’t try to figure it out. 

You can also check out my friend Janet Campbell, an Architect in San Francisco. Her blog is “School Roofing Scam”   http://schoolroofingscam.blogspot.com/
Public Record is overwhelming, so nobody has to give a meaningless “Opinion”. This should keep you busy for a couple of centuries, but it also took a long time to create.

NOTE;  This paper remains generally unedited, and will glasdly accept constructive criticism.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Florida Roofing Certification 
CCC 1325620

Purchasing Cooperative: How to avoid competition.for public funds.

Friends : Purchasing Cooperatives TEACH you how to avoid competition.  Teaching people how to cheat the government, and taxpayers is wron...