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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"ROOFING and ROOFING SERVICES ABUSED by PURCHASING COOPERATIVES"

Friends:

I do this because it affects YOUR schools, YOUR courthouses, YOUR fire departments, YOUR police stations, and YOUR hospitals and subsequentially, YOUR children.

I do not derive 1 cent of income from this site, from the 3,700 members of Roof Consultant's Alliance, or anywhere else.  It is easy enough for me to produce record confirming my statements.

It's been proven time and again that Purchasing Cooperatives have no business in construction services.  They are non-credentialed, non-supported, without authority to exclude competition as they do.

PURPOSEFULLY, they exclude fair competition, and replace it with a perverted "line item" structure that is contrary to the public's interest.  Most people I believe, would choose the acceptable, "fair competition" theme.  This requires "Invitation to Bid" in the local newspaper, a roofing consultant to determine best method as well as write specifications that are inclusive of at least 4 manufacturers.  That done,  contractors may choose from the manufacturers base then submit their responsible bid.

Fair competition bids are read from a sealed envelope aloud in a public forum, where even YOU are welcome to attend.  Doesn't that seem forthright and transparent?

Does the purchasing cooperative get paid their 4% commission to "Save" money?  Construction money is big, and that 4% can be further increased by choosing "Preferred Vendors" with inflated pricing.  No different than a car salesman (apologies).

The "end around" game is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the roofing discipline.  I won't render an estimate of the overall damage as it pertains to other trades.

IT IS A SCAM. They will even teach you how to get around that nasty "Competition" thing.  The one thing standing in their way, that prohibits them from being more outrageous than they already are?   YOU! 

No matter how hard anyone tries, it will always come down to that, so they must create a "Diversion" which is their "Interpretation" of what FAIR competition means.

The LAW is clear. The spirit of the law is clear.

I may be rambling again but I am also offering support data to back it up, as I always do.

"Miami Today"

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/03/19/taxpayers-businesses-losers-bid-preference-legislation/

"Texas Insider" :

http://www.texasinsider.org/%E2%80%9Cbuyboard%E2%80%9D-official-admits-tasb-administered-agency-allowed-vendors-to-write-own-bid-specs/

"News Channel 4 - Oklahoma City"

http://kfor.com/2013/03/13/allegations-leveled-against-state-roofing-program/

"The GSA needs a top to bottom Gutting".

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/gsa-top-to-bottom-gutting-article-1.1062586

I think you will find this informative piece by the FBI interesting.  In it, they list their "Priorities".

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/march/corruption_032610


Public Corruption
Why It’s Our #1 Criminal Priority
03/26/10

public_corruption.jpgPublic corruption is a breach of trust by federal, state, or local officials—often with the help of private sector accomplices. It’s also the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority. To explain why the Bureau takes public corruption so seriously and how we investigate, we talked with Special Agent Patrick Bohrer, assistant section chief of our Public Corruption/Civil Rights program at FBI Headquarters.
Question: Why is public corruption so high on the FBI’s list of investigative priorities? 
Answer: Because of its impact. Corrupt public officials undermine our country’s national security, our overall safety, the public trust, and confidence in the U.S. government, wasting billions of dollars along the way. This corruption can tarnish virtually every aspect of society. For example, a border official might take a bribe, knowingly or unknowingly letting in a truck containing weapons of mass destruction. Or corrupt state legislators could cast deciding votes on a bill providing funding or other benefits to a company for the wrong reasons. Or at the local level, a building inspector might be paid to overlook some bad wiring, which could cause a deadly fire down the road.
Read the full article:  http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/march/corruption_032610
I am going to break down individual purchasing cooperatives, using their own words, on my next post.  It will include common offenders AEPA, Keystone, TCPN, U.S. Communities, and others.
As you watch the news tonight, you will observe the damage visited upon you by  "closed door" meetings, "no bid" contract awards, and the astonishing waste of your money in other ways.  You will see it as a "culture", rather than a service, or true function on your behalf.
I advise all public administrators, FM departments, schools, fire, police, courthouse, and hospital to conduct a "Fair and Open Bid".  Do not accept an 'interpretation" of a purchasing cooperative. It is against the law, and you are the ones "signing off" on it .  You are betting your career.
Like the person who pretended to be a civilized director of two VA hospitals in the Cleveland area.  WARNING:  If you are having a good day, don't read it.  It is almost too vicious for me to imagine, but here he is:
http://www.durabilityanddesign.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=11089&nl_versionid=3894
Already confessed to more than 20 counts of bribery.
I'll bet that $500,000.00 in kickbacks doesn't seem so appetizing now.  I will work hard to find out who "Business 75" is, and report back.
If anyone wishes to share an experience, you may write to my central address:
RobertRSolomon@aol.com
The sad part is, I can go on with this for days.
Working on a couple of new concepts for this blog, to include audio/video, so I can expose the criminals on "YouTube".
I  bring the data.  You be the judge.
I am overwhelmed with emotion as I see over 40,000 views from across the globe.  Humbled that you care one bit about what I have to say. I am thankful many times over.
Friends, I encourage you to reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to  keep looking "UP".
Respect,
Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
Public Procurement Analyst
CCC 1325620





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Roofing Industry Backlash Against "Purchasing Cooperatives"

Friends:

It is always my intent to provide  the truth, with supporting documentation (public record), and without influence of any kind.  I do not pass judgement, and leave that to your study, and evaluation.

Simply put:  Roofing Industry Leaders, and Roofing Industry Organizations,  DO NOT want to participate in Purchasing Cooperative "Schemes' that bring dishonor to our discipline.  We DO NOT want anything to do with defrauding taxpayers, schools, or any public entity.

We seek FAIR COMPETITION for our own tax dollars.  We promote bidding laws already in place in all 50 states, all territories, and Provinces of Canada.  Our friends and colleagues in Europe suffer as well.

Today, I will feature the wonderful people at VARP (Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals).  



Before reading their "Official Position Paper", I will thank Ms Heather Greenwell, Director of Membership Services for VARP.   This is the "Unity of Message" I often talk about, and illustrates the opposition to "Predatory Sales Models".

ANYONE who diverts money intended for our schools, and our children,  are without "Honor", and may not circulate among us. 

VARP is fighting for fairness, transparency, and a right to "compete' for our own tax dollars.  I admire them, and I admire Hunter Merrill of Mountain Roofing. 

Men like Mr. Merrill LEAD our industry, as the "World's Largest Roofers" sit on their hands, and do NOTHING.  Mr. Merrill promotes honor, and fairness, and I highly recommend him to anyone seeking those traits in a contractor.

Respect to Mr. Merrill, and his honorable firm:






  
"Hi Robert,

You have VARP’s permission to use or post our position paper on cooperative procurement.  Here is the updated link dated February 2014 that we used at our Lobby Day:


As you know, VARP is active on cooperative procurement in Virginia.  As a quick update for you, the Virginia General Assembly has appointed a “Special Subcommittee” to study the Virginia Public Procurement Act in its entirety.  VARP is monitoring this subcommittee closely and our Government Affairs Committee Chair, Hunter Merrill of Mountain Roofing, has been appointed to the subcommittee’s construction work group.  

Here is a link to more information about the procurement subcommittee:  http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_procurement.html.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions related to VARP’s efforts around the use of procurement in Virginia.  Keep up the great work!"

Heather


Heather Greenwell, Director of Member Services
Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals
2415 Westwood Avenue, Suite B, Richmond, VA 23230
----------
804-497-5917 (office)
804-288-3551 (fax)



 February 2014

The Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals (VARP) has developed the following position on theuse of cooperative procurement in construction:

While VARP believes that procurement can offer competitive purchasing of commodities, it
strongly advocates that procurement does not work for construction projects. No two
construction projects are the same. There needs to be a free, open and competitive bidding
system for any capital project or new construction.

VARP believes that the use of procurement for construction projects can often lead to some or all of the following unintended consequences:

• A lack of transparency in the bidding process.

• Improper influence from those that have a contract through a cooperative.

• Proprietary specifications excluding all but one manufacturer of building materials.

• Limited ability to challenge bid awards from excluded bidders.

• Exclusion of third-party consultants to evaluate projects.

• Non-compliance to local building codes.

• Overpriced projects that are passed along to the tax payers.

As an example of the flaw in using procurement for a capital project, a December 8, 2008 Roanoke Times article reported that the Roanoke City School District overpaid for the re-roofs of three schools, costing taxpayers at least $575,000 on a $2.3 million job.

As a direct result of what occurred in Roanoke, VARP lobbied successfully in 2010 to have 2.0-4304 Cooperative Procurement restrictions in place that limits the use of “piggybacking.” That code reads in part:

A public body may purchase from another public body’s contract even if it did not participate in the request for proposal or invitation to bid, if the request for proposal or invitation to bid
specified that the procurement was being conducted on behalf of other public bodies, except for:

1. Contracts for architectural or engineering services; or

2. Construction in excess of $200,000 by a local public body from the contract of another local
public body that is more than a straight distance of 75 miles from the territorial limits of the local public body procuring the construction. 

The installation of artificial turf or other athletic surfaces shall not be subject to the limitations prescribed in this subdivision. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit sole source or emergency procurements awarded pursuant to subsections E and F of § 2.2-4303.

In instances where any authority, department, agency, or institution of the Commonwealth desires to purchase information technology and telecommunications goods and services from another public body’s contract and the procurement was conducted on behalf of other public bodies, such purchase shall be permitted if approved by the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth.

Any public body that enters into a cooperative procurement agreement with a county, city, or
town whose governing body has adopted alternative policies and procedures pursuant to
subdivisions A 9 and A 10 of § 2.2-4343 shall comply with the alternative policies and procedures adopted by the governing body of such county, city, or town.

The $200,000 and 75 mile distance restriction in the current code greatly reduces the Commonwealth’s exposure to misuse of the procurement system, but still leaves Virginia open for abuse.

At a minimum, however, VARP’s position is one that the code not be changed."


THANK YOU to all members of VARP!

I encourage all roofing organizations with honorable intentions to follow suit.

VARP members should be proud of this initiative, and knowing you are protecting taxpayers, our schools, and most of all, our children.

I, and the 3,600 members of Roof Consultant's Alliance stand with you.

Friends, I know how laborious all of this seems, but the premise is not debatable.  Public structures must be competitively bid, and NOT influenced by Purchasing Cooperatives, "Preferred Vendors", "Sole Source", "No Bid", "Proprietary", SCAMS.

Public administrators may not give the slightest hint of "Favoritism".

 Public administrators have no authority to circumvent public purchasing law through the alleged "Pre-Compete" mantra of Purchasing Cooperatives.

These are but a few examples of Purchasing Cooperatives eliminating competition for their preferred vendor, and costing (routinely) 50% MORE.

Note this is a Seattle City purchasing department link that references a Cobb County, Georgia bid document.

http://www.seattle.gov/purchasing/bids2009/ITB095408USCommunities.pdf

Florida project

http://pompanobeachfl.gov/assets/pdfs/commission_backup/2014/2.11.14/3_items/11.pdf


David Kidd - Lobbyist and USC Program Director

http://www.floridaleagueofcities.com/Assets/Files/TarponSprings_USCSeminarFlier_2013_Final.pdf


And:

http://www.dadeschools.net/schoolboard/lobbyist.asp


And:

https://www.uscommunities.org/contact-us/


And:


https://www.uscommunities.org/news-events/customer-appreciation/


And:

https://www.uscommunities.org/fileadmin/hb/usc/Suppliers/Garland/Garland-Price-Increase-Approval-Letters_12_12_12.pdf


And:

http://mm1.co.fulton.ga.us/cache/00010/313/2013-0486.PDF



All you have to do is type "School Roofing Scam' into your browser, or on YouTube.  You will see the two manufacturers (Garland and Tremco) in every investigative report.

Tremco was just fined 61 Million dollars by the DOJ for abusing GSA Contracts.

Garland's top salesman in 2011 made 5.5 million dollars in commissions.  THAT'S where your tax dollars are going!

Purchasing Cooperatives must drop roofing, and roofing services from their offering immediately!

Note:  Retired 2003, do not solicit, nor accept compensation, or personal advancement of any kind.  That includes manufacturers, distributors, consultants, or contractors.

I know your time is precious, and am thankful for every moment you spend with me here.  If I've said anything that is factually wrong, please share thought with me here:

RobertRSolomon@aol.com

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

Respect,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
Public Procurement Analyst
CCC 1325620

Tampa, Florida








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