DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
Why didn’t COD seek RFPs or bids on this project?
As we outlined, it may be that no bidding is required for these bank branches, however, the dollar figures that COD is spending for their end of this deal is still not known as they have yet to respond to my FOIA for that information.
Considering COD is a member of the Illinois Community College Association and has received the ICCA handbook for trustees we felt it appropriate to share an example used by the ICCA during one of its discussions on bidding and what to look out for.
Before diving into that matter, we have informed public officials numerous times that every board member has the same exact power as any other board member and the Chairman is only provided the power to run the meetings and sign the contracts. Something that COD Board Chairman must have failed to read in her ICCA handbook!
"As a community college trustee, you are one member
of an eight-member board. All board members have
equal rights and responsibilities, with one exception —
the student trustee does not have the right to cast a
vote. (Click here to view ICCA Handbook)
What constitutes a legal bid?
"If the vendor were to call the college and say "It just so happen we got an XYZ machine sitting in our show room floor for $30 thousand dollars. And do you want it?" If the college president says "yes" and then publishes a request for bids for XYZ machines (after he made the side deal with the vendor), the president is guilty of a bid rigging violation. That's a felony under Illinois law.
But not if the college then went out for bids for such a machine and the college's request for bids simply described what the machine will be used to do. Then it's not locking into a given vendor's product. And then you wouldn't be guilty of rigging a bid." (Click here to download the ICCA What constitutes a legal bid document")
Let's apply this test to COD and the US Bank situation
What we know:
- US Bank Marketing President is COD Foundation Board member
- No Request for Proposals
- No Bidding notifications
- No bids received
How did US Bank get an exclusive contract to operate on public property?
- 4.2 -"The License Fee shall be payable in equal monthly installments of One Thousand Five Hundred and No/100 Dollars ($1,500.00) in advance on the first day of each month" (Click here and read 4.2 on page 3)
- 4.3.1 - "Bank shall pay, within 90 days of the opening of the On-Site Branch, and annually thereafter, a payment of $2,500 to be used for a U.S. Bank named sponsorship opportunity, to be; mutually agreed upon by the Bank and College."
- 4.3.2 - Bank shall pay, within 90 days of the opening of the On-Site Branch, and annually thereafter, a one time payment of $2,500 to be used for a U.S. Bank named scholarship opportunity, to be mutually agreed upon by the Bank and College. (Click here and read 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 on page 3)