The article by Mary Rotelli, Teichert Inc.’s executive vice president, about the bidding on the Sacramento regional wastewater project is misleading (“Strict bidding rules protect the public,” Another View, March 26). While she is correct that strict bidding rules are important, it is those rules, and their relevance to our lawsuit, that the judge is going to decide.
She neglects to say that California’s Public Contracting Code, which sets forth the basic principles of competitive bidding, states that a contract should be awarded to the lowest, responsive and responsible bidder.
There is no doubt that Steve P. Rados Inc. was the lowest bidder. Its price is nearly $14 million lower than Teichert’s. So it is Teichert that is seeking a “second chance” to be awarded the contract.
Now to the responsive part of the code. The subcontractor that Rados and the second-lowest bidder, Balfour Beatty, planned to use was pre-qualified by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District even though it knew the subcontractor did not have a contractor’s license. Rados did “follow the rules,” which resulted in a much lower bid. The reason the subcontractor did not apply for the license until October 2014 was not because it was non-responsive but because that is when the district informed it that it was pre-qualified and had an opportunity to get the subcontract. It took almost five months for California to issue the license, which the subcontractor received in February, prior to any board action on the contract.
With regard to the responsible-bidder requirement, all seven contractors who submitted bids were pre-qualified by the district and deemed to be responsible, including Rados and Teichert.
In summary, Rotelli would have you believe that because a bidder used a subcontractor pre-qualified by the district, whose license for whatever reason was delayed at the state license board, the contract should be awarded to her company at an additional cost to ratepayers of almost $14 million. It should be mentioned that even if Teichert had planned to use the same subcontractor as Rados, Teichert would still not have had the lowest price for the contract.
I would submit to you that the only benefit in Rotelli’s scenario goes to Teichert, not the ratepayers. Talk about a windfall.
Walter S. Rados is co-president of Steve P. Rados Inc., the Santa Ana contractor suing to block the $114 million contract awarded to Teichert Construction.