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 user 2006-08-07 at 11:00:00 am Views: 32
  • #16221

    NC office supply contract thrown out on ambiguity
    – A state agency chief threw out North Carolina state government’s
    office supply contract with Office Depot on Tuesday, saying the rules
    as to whether the bidders offered retail sales were
    ambiguous.Administration Secretary Britt Cobb ordered the state
    Division of Purchase and Contract to issue a new request for office
    supply contract bids and throw out Office Depot’s six-year, $18.2
    million-a-year deal approved last November. The deal, which needs to be
    completed by Dec. 1, should also fix a problem Cobb’s office found in
    grading the bid proposals.
    Now all vendors will be able to rebid,
    the secretary said.”Due to the technical error, we are required to take
    this action,” Cobb said. “More importantly, it is the right thing to
    do.”An administrative law judge in May recommended that Florida-based
    Office Depot shouldn’t be the state’s sole provider of staplers, ink
    cartridges, paper clips and 19,000 other items for orders under
    $200.Judge Beecher “Gus” Gray determined that that contract bid was
    mishandled and appeared unethical and unfair in part because the
    consulting firm North Carolina hired to guide the state on the contract
    had done millions of dollars worth of business for Office Depot in
    recent years.

    State To Seek New Office-Supply Contract

    N.C. — State administration Secretary Britt Cobb on Tuesday terminated
    a more-than $100 million office-supply contract with Office Depot and
    said he will solicit bids for a new one.The decision comes in response
    to a lawsuit and a ruling by an administrative law judge that
    recommended the state make changes to the six-year contract.Corporate
    Express is suing North Carolina claiming that the Department of
    Administration unfairly awarded the office-supply contract to Office
    Depot and cited conflict of interest.After a thorough review of the
    evidence, Cobb cited an ambiguity regarding the e-procurement terms in
    the Request for Proposals to procure office supplies for state
    agencies.”Due to the technical error, we are required to take this
    action,” Cobb said. “More importantly, it is the right thing to do. We
    will rebid the contract with the goal of having a new one in place by
    Dec. 1, 2006.”