Local School Board Delays Expensive Technology Copier Contract

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Local School Board Delays Expensive Technology Copier Contract

 user admin 2014-11-13 at 12:48:33 pm Views: 356
  • #41471

    Local  School Board  Delays Expensive Technology Copier Contract
    East Penn delays copy contract following objection
    By Dan Sullivan,

    The East Penn School Board put off approval of an agreement with a copy machine company this week after a company that bid on the contract took issue with the district's service proposal request and the amount of money the district planned to spend.

    Attorney Michael Prokup, who represents Fraser Advanced Information Systems, which bid on the proposal, said the district's proposal was so narrow and specific that it could only have gone to one bidder — Xerox, which currently provides services to the district.

    Prokup, who also lives in the district, said East Penn would have saved more than $500,000 if it had chosen Fraser over Xerox.

    The school board, on the advice of solicitor Marc Fisher, decided to table a vote on the agreement until he could do a legal review.

    At issue is the district's desire to have an "inline process" whereby booklets of up to 125 pages may be automatically bound, a service that allows the district to avoid having an employee do the work manually.

    A district employee (doing it manually) could provide the same result for $498,800 less? Why is spending this amount then even considered? So it would take the employee or employees more time to do it vs a machine. That kind of savings is worth it. Do these school districts simply have too much…

    Prokup said Xerox holds the patented technology to bind that many pages with tape, "which begs the question, why would you put out [a request for proposals]?"

    He said the school district planned to use the equipment to process about 20,000 pieces of material annually, suggesting only 5 to 10 percent of that would be greater than 100 pages and that "probably far less would hit 125." He said that while his client's technology was not inline, a district employee paid $25 an hour could provide the same function in about 50 hours.

    "As a taxpayer, I would rather have someone doing that and spend $1,200 and have the $500,000."

    Prokup suggested that the district was preparing to award Fraser the contract when it was revealed that Allentown School District had an issue with Canon equipment provided by Fraser. He said Canon representatives were willing to address those issues, but that the district declined that offer.

    Debra Surdoval, East Penn's business manager, said that a group of East Penn officials did visit both Allentown and Souderton school districts, both of which had previously hired Fraser.

    She said there were additional concerns with the Fraser proposal because the company wanted the opportunity to renegotiate the arrangement if job volumes exceeded projections.

    When the matter came up for vote, school director Lynn Donches recommended tabling the issue for further investigation, but her motion was not seconded. The board ultimately chose to delay a vote.