OFFICE DEPOT WINS SUPPLY CONTRACT AGAIN

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OFFICE DEPOT WINS SUPPLY CONTRACT AGAIN

 user 2006-12-12 at 2:35:00 pm Views: 49
  • #17102

    Office Depot wins NC supply contract again
    Office Depot wins state supply deal ,Low bidder’s protest spurs $900,000 drop in value of contract
    RALEIGH – State officials awarded a new office supplies contract to Office Depot Thursday, an agreement in which the company dropped its price by about $900,000 a year from its current deal.The discount comes more than eight months after an administrative law judge ruled that the state improperly awarded the current contract to Office Depot. The judge was ruling on a protest by Corporate Express, a lower-bidding company whose bid was $1.8 million a year lower than Office Depot on the current contract.State officials, referring to a “technical ambiguity” in the bidding process for the current contract, said Office Depot provided the lowest cost on the new agreement.Hampton Dellinger, a lawyer for Corporate Express, said the company was reviewing the new contract award but believes its actions helped save taxpayers nearly $1 million a year.”Corporate Express is obviously pleased that its successful protest of the original bid process revealed the problems that led to the re-bid,” said Dellinger, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.The state signed a new two-year deal for essentials such as paper clips and ink cartridges with Office Depot for nearly $17.4 million a year. In the current contract, Office Depot’s bid was about $18.2 million.In last spring’s protest by Corporate Express, Administrative Law Judge Beecher “Gus” Gray said the state could have saved $1.8 million by awarding the contract to Corporate Express. He criticized as “kind of bogus” a point-scoring system the state used that awarded points to Office Depot for operating retail stores without factoring in the cost and liability of employees leaving work to buy supplies.Gray also said the consultant the state hired to help award the contract, Accenture, did not disclose that Office Depot was one of its clients. Office Depot has paid Accenture $30 million over the past three years for software and merchandising help.The Department of Administration was not bound by Gray’s ruling that the state could save money by using Corporate Express. Officials instead re-bid the contract.