Baltimore County Schools in Maryland Engaged in Multiple Conflicts of Interest .....and lost $30 million in 5 years with the use of an AEPA subsidiary
Another TV News Report has come out on the scam, and the use of Purchasing Agencies to steal millions in school roofing projects...
Baltimore County Schools in Maryland has had overcharges over the past 5 years of about $30 million dollars in roofing/reroofing projects, since they began using a susidiary of the AEPA, the Pennsylvania Education Joint Purchaising Council.
GAF, a manufacturer of products that is not engaged in "lock-spec'cing" their products in public and school work - is suing the involved Purchasing Agency.
GAF's Helen Pierce draws the comparison of costs well in the report, as does Mike Ducharme, Products Manager at Carlisle Syntec.
Using a Purchasing Agency violates Licensing Laws, Building Codes, and others regarding fraudulent advertising (manufacturer purporting to be such, while private labeling products from others), and more......
It also violates good common sense - using a Purchasing Agency involves multiple Conflicts of Interests.
What Conflicts of Interest are involved?
Roofing done through a purchasing agency is performed without:
1. Benefit of competitive bidding without possible and known bid rigging activities involved;
2. Required independent, licensed architects or engineers making recommendations and writing real, competitive bid specifications;
3. Independent, Registered Roof Consultants involved with testing and specifications;
4. Independent, Registered Field Observers involved with ensuring the construction is done properly.
Each of the licensed or Registered professionals has a fiduciary and ethical duty to the schools, not the manufacturer, involved.
You can see the TV Report here:http://www.wbaltv.com/video/28678491/detail.html
Carlisle Syntec's Press Release on the News Report is as follows:
Carlisle Featured in Story Highlighting Waste of Taxpayer Funds in School Construction Work
(Carlisle, PA) – Carlisle Construction Materials, a leading supplier of commercial roofing materials nationwide, recently voiced grave concerns with the way many school districts across the country procure roofing work in a WBAL-TV news feature highlighting the issue. The feature focused on Maryland-area schools whose roofing projects are alleged to have cost taxpayers tens of millions more than necessary due to a cooperative procurement model that circumvents the competitive bidding process. To view the WBAL story, please visit http://goo.gl/hibTu.
This story comes on the heels of Pennsylvania Senator Pat Vance’s July 7 bill that aims to eliminate loopholes in the procurement code for roofing contracts in PA. The legislation would require all publicly funded projects over $10,000 to be competitively bid, and would require specifications to be prepared by an independent design professional. Senator Vance’s plan can be viewed at http://goo.gl/5UFr4. [Also copied in below}
“It’s just mind-boggling to me that you’d have individual school districts that would be willing to pay that degree of a premium,” said Mike DuCharme, Director of Product Marketing for Carlisle. DuCharme provided reporters with a market study that found school districts that use the same cooperative procurement model in the state of Pennsylvania pay, on average, double the cost per square foot of roofing material than what is available on the open market. “The costs for Pennsylvania are [the same as] the costs for Maryland,” DuCharme said in the interview.
Carlisle is concerned that the cooperative purchasing model used in Pennsylvania, Maryland and 22other states is unfairly restrictive. For more than a decade only one company, Tremco, has been able to participate in the proprietary qualification process. This bidding model results in inflated prices for both materials and labor.
Senator Vance's Letter: