*NEWS*O.DEPOT WINS SUPPLY CONTRACT AGAIN

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*NEWS*O.DEPOT WINS SUPPLY CONTRACT AGAIN

 user 2006-12-12 at 2:35:00 pm Views: 59
  • #16859

    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.