FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Friday, November 22, 2013

Garland Roofing Materials: "Sell by FEAR"

I will take a brief respite from TCPN and their unusually rabid support of Tremco in public works.  They know what they're doing is wrong, and so do I.  The Pechacek name permeates TCPN, and will stun you with how it's all "connected".

So, it's time for more TCPN/Tremco research, and will share the results at a later date. 

In the interim, Garland Co. can "tag out" with them :

Garland Roofing Materials:  "Sell by FEAR"

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

The following information was graciously provided by:

 http://schoolroofingscam.blogspot.com/

If you want to see the damage being done to our schools through "predatory sales models", Ms. Campbell's site is the reference standard.  Once again, I will acknowledge her very long difficult journey to bring truth into light.

There is a HUGE difference between the Private Market versus Public Market.  Procurement laws are in place to PROTECT taxpayers in the Public Market.  The government doesn't own anything. The taxpayers (we the people) own buildings and their contents.  Therefore, great consideration must be given to competition for our taxpayer dollars.  Subject to all local, state, and federal LAW.

All participants in any transaction appear in public record.  They are therefore susceptible to inquiry.

A Private owner is free of such oversight.  They earned that money and right to spend it without oversight.  

Again, thank you to Ms. Campbell.


Garland's view:  (click to enlarge)



  








That's about as "Point Blank" as it gets folks.  "Sell by Fear" damn the taxpayers.

Please note that in 2011, Garland's top salesman (New Jersey) "Sold" $5,400,000.00, and received 25% commission on that number.
 .



If that doesn't grab you, nothing will. 

I know, let's see how a Garland Representative describes his job:

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.
OUTRAGEOUS!

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 awarded 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 steer 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”.

THAT is what Garland thinks of you as taxpayers.  SELL AT ALL COST.

I wonder how much "benefit" the taxpayers, and school districts of New Jersey received to justify paying one man well over $1,000,000.00 in one year?  Keep in mind that Garland also marked up materials, therefore making their profits on top of the $5,400,000.00.

In the roofing discipline, it is rare to mention Garland, where Tremco isn't immediately followed.  The sales models funnel money to purchasing cooperatives and in return they are claimed "competitive".  THEY AREN'T.

My concern is for school districts and administrators, who are being unnecessarily exposed to suit by following promises of a "salesman".  

Please avoid "Exclusionary" or "Preferred Vendor" situations. They are clearly against the law, which may unknowingly include YOU when the topic arises.

"Pre-Compete" is a LIE.  You may "Pre-Compete" on Post-It notes, but not complex construction projects with many variables like "hidden damages".  NO roofer on earth will disagree with that comment.

If one were to include (in my humble opinion) an HONORABLE manufacturer such as GAF, Carlisle Syntec, Johns Manville, or Firestone, you will be assured of a true "Competitive" number.  I stake my reputation on that.

Garland and Tremco despise competition.  If you throw in one of the manufacturers listed above, they will immediately move on to another unsuspecting "target".  I guarantee that GAF, Carlisle Syntec, Johns Manville and Firestone will beat the pants off Garland or Tremco every single time on a competitively bid project. 

Why should the Public (especially schools) suffer as purchasing cooperatives manipulate, interpret, and rearrange local, state, and federal procurement law?

My best suggestion is to write purchase orders to manufacturers who fight hard, but fight FAIR.  For goodness' sake, at least include them on a bid list.  Garland will not compete.  They can't, and even say so on their own website.  Garland says Administrators 'have a right to choose", and that's absurd.

Administrators may not give even the slightest hint of favoritism.

Respect to:








Garland, nor Tremco can compete, nor will compete against mainstream manufacturers and that's a fact.  Don't believe me?  Tell your Garland (or Tremco) Rep you'd like to get a quote from them as well as one of the above.  Sheer panic will set in, and if they can't change your mind, they will walk away from the project.

Remember: they are battling the idea of losing a 25% commission, and to them are in the middle of a nightmare.

Our schools are suffering at the hands of purchasing cooperatives with false claims.

Thank you for spending valuable time with me here . I am humbled that you care.

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

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


Respect,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
(5,000 Members Worldwide)
CCC 1325620 (Florida)






  

















Friday, November 8, 2013

TCPN says "Avoid Bid Process"

Friends:

Part of a Power Point Presentation by TCPN.  I may share the whole presentation in  another post, but this is the mentality.



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
 


 
 I will break down each point, and illustrate most of them to be absolutely false.  Stay tuned.
 
Anyone who deals with schools, administration, facilities management, public roofing purchasing should read this.  I've already illustrated how TCPN is intertwined in their Tremco relationship, the players involve, and how TCPN pushes a "Locked Specification" with them.
 
How can any governmental agency, or government purchasing cooperative, continue such a dangerous, illegal, and "exclusionary" tactic (paid for by the taxpayers)?
 
The  "Exposure" to roofing scams has already been established by the DOJ. 
 
 
 
 
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RPM International Inc. and Tremco Inc. Pay Nearly $61 Million for Failing to Provide Government Discounts Provided to Others

Companies Allegedly Submitted False Claims Under Defectively-priced Roofing Contracts


Ohio-based RPM International Inc. and its subsidiary, Tremco Inc., have paid $60.9 million to resolve allegations that Tremco filed false claims in connection with two multiple award schedule (MAS) contracts with the General Services Administration (GSA) for roofing supplies and services, the Justice Department announced today.  Tremco failed to provide the government with price discounts provided to non-federal government customers.   Tremco also allegedly marketed expensive materials to government purchasers without disclosing the availability of the same materials at lower cost that were manufactured and sold by the company.   Tremco is a manufacturer of construction products and services and is a subsidiary of the RPM Building Solutions Group.  

“Companies that knowingly skirt the rules for securing government business undermine the integrity of the procurement process and create an unfair advantage against companies that are playing by the rules,” said Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.   “We are committed to ensuring a level playing field and protecting taxpayer dollars.”
 
Allegedly, from January 2002 to March 2011, Tremco knowingly violated its contractual obligations to provide GSA with current, accurate and complete information about its commercial sales practices, to report changes in discounts to comparable commercial customers and to pass those discounts on to government customers.  As a result, the government allegedly paid more than it should have for Tremco’s services and products.   In addition, Tremco allegedly improperly marketed generic products as a superior line of the same product and used a defective adhesive formula in its roofing systems.
 
The GSA MAS program provides government purchasers with a streamlined process for procurement of commonly used commercial goods and services.  To be awarded a MAS contract, and thereby gain access to the broad government marketplace and ease of administration that comes from selling to hundreds of government purchasers under one contract, contractors must agree to disclose commercial pricing policies and practices.

GSA Inspector General Brian Miller said, “GSA OIG auditors and investigators worked diligently to make sure the taxpayers got the benefit of required price reductions, and received a fair price for the products and services purchased with taxpayer funds.”  

“These companies are paying the price for trying to cheat the American taxpayer out of a fair deal,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.   “We thank this whistleblower for coming forward to reveal this wrongdoing.   Other contractors who are considering bilking the government should take heed:  false and fraudulent claims on the U.S. Treasury will not be tolerated.”
 
The settlement resolves a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit filed on behalf of the government by former Tremco vice president Gregory Rudolph, who will receive more than $10.9 million as his share of the recovery in the case.  Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring lawsuits on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.   Rudolph’s lawsuit also includes allegations on behalf of several states under their false claims statutes.   The settlement with the federal government does not resolve the state actions.

 
This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and GSA’s Office of Inspector General to investigate the allegations and resolve the case.   The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
 
The case is captioned United States, the States of California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and the City of Chicago, ex rel. Gregory Rudolph v. Tremco Inc. and RPM International Inc. , Case No. 1:10-cv-01192 (D.DC) .

13-968
Civil Division
 
If they got fined 60+ million dollars, imagine how much they got away with?
 
TCPN and Tremco are a ticking time bomb, and I will suggest anyone who reads this to step clear of the heartbreak.
 
I will break down each and every person involved, what they do, the companies they do it for, and you will be astonished.  I have so much documentation and will take time to "connect the dots" for you in a very comprehensive way.
 
You have a CHOICE, and must reject any "mandate" to buy from a "preferred vendor".  Next time they get caught, you may find yourself tangled around the axle of the bus they threw you under.

 
 
 
 
 Friends, I only provide the data, and it is you who are the judge.

Thank you for spending precious time with me here, and am humbled you care what I have to say.

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

Respect,

Robert R. 'Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
CCC 1325620 (Florida)
 
 
 

Friday, November 1, 2013

"TCPN, Tremco, and Taxpayers"


 

 
 

To: Jason Wickel


From: Deborah Bushnell
Re: Determination for RFP

Date: August 31, 2011

Request for Proposal (RFP) for Cooperative Job Order Contracting Services (TX) RFP #11-14

TCPN has determined that the use of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Cooperative Job Order Contracting Services (TX) is more beneficial and advantageous to our members than the use of a Request for Bid.
TCPN contracts are used by public and private schools, colleges and universities, cities, counties, non-profits, and all governmental entities throughout the country
. The use of an RFP will allow vendors to decrease submitted pricing if needed based on quantity and size of projects, as well as the ability to negotiate supplemental agreements. Each purchase made through this contract will be customized to the needs of the purchasing agency. In addition, competitive sealed bidding does not allow the ability to compare offers and determine the best value for our wide range of members.

Therefore, it is our opinion that a Request for Proposal, rather than a Request for Bid, is more advantageous to our members.


**********

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/investigator-lack-of-bidding-cost-miami-county-tax/nTgdy/

 
Posted: 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012

Investigator: Lack of bidding cost Miami County taxpayers

By Andrew J. Tobias

Staff writer
 
Miami County sheriff’s investigators estimate county commissioners wasted about $500,000 by awarding no-bid contracts to a vendor from the Cleveland area while ignoring a local company that offered to do the work for less than half the price.
 
This new allegation came to light during an investigation into Miami County’s government. It was contained within investigative records compiled by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and reviewed by the Dayton Daily News.
 
County commissioners have awarded that preferred vendor, Cleveland-based Tremco, about $2 million in roofing jobs since 2008.
 
For many of those jobs, then-county maintenance director Jarrod Harrah contacted a local company, Don Hubbard Jr. Roofing, to ask for informal quotes. Overall, Hubbard’s quotes were $509,000 less than those offered by Tremco, according to a report from Miami County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Lord.
 
But Hubbard was never allowed to officially compete for any projects because the county awarded the roofing contracts through a purchasing cooperative organization instead of soliciting competitive bids.
 
For one project — roof repair jobs at the Miami County Job and Family Services and Community Action Council buildings — Hubbard offered to do the work for about $130,000.
 
But county commissioners instead hired Tremco to do the work for $380,000 more, awarding a no-bid contract through the State Term Schedule, a cooperative purchasing network run by the State of Ohio.
 
Hubbard’s quote was lower because it didn’t include the cost of removing the roof and replacing it, which Tremco offered to do. But company owner Don Hubbard, Jr. told the Daily News that commissioners never asked about replacing the roof or how much that would cost.
 
“I asked for a spec (specification) for the roofing project, and they said there was no spec,” Hubbard told the Daily News. “I had 1,000 questions and no one wanted to answer them.”
 
Hubbard and his wife, Angie Hubbard, who works for the Miami County court system, brought their concerns to county commissioners and county prosecutor Gary Nasal, investigative records show.
“I just couldn’t understand the amount of money they were spending,” Hubbard said. “I didn’t see how it was justified.”
 
Commissioners disputed the $509,000 figure tabulated by Lord in a written response to a list of questions submitted by the Daily News.
 
“The roofing contracts were purchased through a legally constituted pre-bid purchasing cooperative. The price differential that the Sheriff cites is not for comparable project specifications and thus the figures regarding cost savings are not accurate. The prices were for two distinctly separate scopes of work,” the statement reads.
 
Lord began investigating the Tremco contracts after receiving a call from Carol Morgan, the former director of Miami County Job and Family Services and Don Hubbard Jr.’s mother-in-law.
A MCJFS financial monitor had flagged the roof contract awarded to Tremco, saying that the federal government requires complex construction projects to be competitively bid.
 
County commissioners decided instead to award the contract through The Cooperative Purchasing Network, or TCPN, a different purchasing cooperative operated by a regional school district in Texas.
 
 
Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien told Lord he didn’t even know Hubbard had offered a quote.
 
Commissioner Evans told Lord he knew of the lower quote, but thought Tremco was better suited to handle the contract.
 
Tremco also received a $1.2 million contract through TCPN to replace the roof on the Miami County Hobart Center for County Government.
 
In his investigative report, Lord was critical of the county’s use of purchasing networks to award no-bid contracts to Tremco, saying government entities should fully bid out construction work.
“Group purchasing agencies do not provide transparency, do not ensure that the lowest amount of money will be spent, and do not provide a competitive bid situation,” Lord wrote.

**********

Oh Man, that is BRUTAL!

I have the full pdf file available for you here:

http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/news/documents/2012/12/28/HarrahCaseFile.pdf

I will save you a lot of time, and suggest you start reading on Page 103.

Believe me, this case is not unique, and MANY EXAMPLES of grotesque overspending on purchasing cooperatives, and Tremco exist.  I will continue to furnish those examples, to illustrate the scope, and dereliction of "Competitive Bid" responsibility to the taxpayers.

Here is a purchasing cooperative that does not accept "Bids" on individual, and unique projects.  Tremco WROTE the specifications, acted as the consultant, and specified ONLY their materials.  This is illegal in all 50 states, all territories, and provinces of Canada.

Instead, to use their "Preferred Vendor" Tremco.  TCPN's deceptive method is based solely upon a "Line Item" method to eliminate all competition.

With TCPN, they simply "choose" based upon favoritism, and greed.

THIS IS PUBLIC WORK, AND PUBLIC MONEY!

YOU pay for it.  YOU pay the much higher cost of Tremco, and then pay TCPN an additional 4% for handling the contract.

It seems imbecilic to me.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/imbecilic

**********

It may seem rather harsh of me to categorize Ms. Bushnell's message in that way, but her direction is against all known procurement law.

"Fair, Open, Transparent, and COMPETITIVE" is the LAW of this land, and no amount of jibberish, or "wishful thinking" will change it.

TCPN comes from a fundamentally flawed position which is to me, astonishing in it's arrogance.

I am in discussion with TCPN to bring fairness to the taxpayers, and not illegally push a culture of "favoritism" to preferred vendors, WITHOUT BIDDING.

GSA says this about TCPN:

"Mr. Solomon,


Thank you for your e-mail.  I am the supervisor for the 03FAC Schedule.  Tremco's GSA Schedule 03FAC Contract GS-06F-0047R was cancelled effective May 19, 2013. 

The link provided in the e-mail was to Tremco's GSA Advantage PDF price list file for the cancelled contract, which is no longer active or accessible through GSA eLibrary or GSA Advantage.  We researched several Tremco commercial websites and found no reference to GSA or Ms. Cheryl Sharp.  If you could provide the link to the Tremco website where you saw that information it would be helpful for us.

Thank you,
Janet M. Haynes
Supervisory Contracting Officer (Schedule 03FAC)
Facilities Maintenance & Hardware Acquisition Center (FMHAC)
General Services Administration
816-823-1297

First, I am VERY THANKFUL to Ms. Haynes who acted promptly, and professionally.

I furnished that link to her, and it can be found here:

https://www.gsaadvantage.gov/ref_text/GS06F0047R/0K1DDQ.2DCQFU_GS-06F-0047R_CATALOG0047REV10272011.PDF


That should be abundantly clear to everyone, so I will change direction for a moment.  You will notice I am using HUD as the most difficult challenge of all, and sharing public record.

Please let me share with you what HUD themselves say:

I will suggest you look to HUD as ONE reference: (Section 8, to save time)


"Special Attention of: Transmittal for Handbook No: 7460.8 REV 2

Public Housing Agencies; Issued: March 2, 2007
Public Housing HUB Office Directors;
Public Housing Program Center Coordinators;
Regional Directors;
Field Office Directors; and
Resident Management Corporations

 

3. Brand Name or Equal Specifications (24 CFR 85.36(c)(1)(vi)). Under
this form of specification, clear and accurate product descriptions are
developed. These descriptions shall not contain features that unduly
restrict competition.


It may be necessary to describe technical requirements for materials and equipment by referencing brand name products in order to define performance or other salient requirements.

References to brand names shall be followed by the words “or equal” and a description of the item’s essential characteristics so that competition is not restricted.

 
Specific brand names may be used only for establishing design and quality standards and only if there is no other reasonable method of designating the required quality of the item desired. When brand names or catalog numbers are used, inform the offerors that such references establish only design or quality standard; in fact, any other products that clearly and demonstrably meet the standard are also acceptable.

D. Avoiding Manufacturers Specifications. PHAs should avoid incorporating a particular manufacturer’s specification as the project specification. This may give the appearance of restricting competition and suggest that other manufacturers’ products are at a disadvantage and may not be accepted.

If the PHA specifies a brand name cabinet, the essential key elements or
features of the product should be stated. For example, if specifying kitchen
cabinets with the key features of solid wood doors and plywood frames.

E. Contractor-Developed Specifications (24 CFR 85.36(c)(1)(iv)). In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors funded to develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bid, or requests for proposals shall be excluded from competing in the procurement.

The only exception to this rule is if, prior to the solicitation, all respondents to solicitations are provided with materials and information made available to the contractor involved in matters pertinent to the solicitation."

**********

This is in DIRECT CONFLICT to what Ms. Bushnell suggests to her client, and in DIRECT CONFLICT" to the law, and the spirit of the law.  I am in hopes they will cease in defrauding the taxpayers, but then again, I'm an optimist.

My next post will be Nov. 09, 2013.  I will announce TCPN's position (if any) at that time.

The taxpayers are NOT TCPN's "Piggybank".

The site will become more about "Public Roofing Procurement", as I feel it the best use of my skill set, time, and benefit to administrators, and taxpayers.



Image from washingtontechnology.com

Corrections of fact are welcome, and encouraged.

Friends, I will once again suggest you reject negativity in all forms (it can be done), and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Thank you so much for spending valuable time with me here, and am humbled you care one bit about what I have to say.


Respect,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
CCC 1325620 (Florida)
RobertRSolomon@aol.com



 
 



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