DuPage CO. (ECWd) –
During its October 22, 2019 board meeting, the DuPage County Board approved $1,359,172.00 worth of no-bid Insurance contracts (see pages 3 and 4) with Alliant/Mesirow, the company where Illinois House Speaker Madigan’s son, Andrew Madigan, is an Executive.
We believe, as does the Attorney General, and the Illinois Bar Association lists it on their website (click here or here), that insurance services are not “professional services” and must be let to the lowest responsible bidder.
The Illinois Bar Association website has this Attorney General Opinion:
Informal Opinion No. I-12-006, issued June 14, 2012 – Application of County Competitive Bidding Requirements to the Purchase of Health Care and Liability Insurance
Section 5 1022 of the Counties Code generally requires that all purchases of services, materials, equipment, or supplies in excess of $30,000, other than professional services, must be by a contract let to the lowest, responsible bidder after advertising for bids in a newspaper published within the county. Whether the professional services exception to section 5 1022 applies is determined on the basis of whether the services require a high degree of professional skill or judgment or there is a need for confidence, trust, and belief in the person rendering the services. Neither contracts for insurance coverage nor contracts for insurance broker or agent services involve the provision of services requiring a high degree of professional skill or judgment, nor is there a need for confidence, trust, or belief in the person rendering the services. Accordingly, the competitive bidding requirements of section 5 1022 of the Counties Code apply to securing and renewing health care or liability insurance coverage and the use of designated agents to secure or renew the insurance coverage. 55 ILCS 5/5 1022 (West 2010).
The Counties Code requires bidding in Section 5-1022.
Sec. 5-1022. Competitive bids.
(a) Any purchase by a county with fewer than 2,000,000 inhabitants of services, materials, equipment or supplies in excess of $30,000, other than professional services, shall be contracted for in one of the following ways:
The bidding requirements, coupled with the current political climate in Illinois, demand increased vigilance in situations like this, where huge no-bid contracts are awarded to alleged politically connected companies.
According to today’s published article at WCIA: published reports indicate “the son of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan invited a suburban mayor to a fundraiser for his father around the time he was trying to convince that suburb’s officials to hire his insurance company. The Chicago Sun-Times cites an Aug. 27, 2018, email from Andrew Madigan to Alsip Mayor John Ryan inviting him to a $500-a-ticket “Mayors for Speaker Madigan” event. The email came after yearlong discussions about how Alsip might hire Alliant/Mesirow Insurance Services, where Andrew Madigan is an executive.” and “…several southwest suburbs were recently targeted by federal agents as part of a wide-ranging probe, including the use Alliant/Mesirow.”
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janniePosted at 21:36h, 03 November
Wow! I can’t believe they would even do a no bid contract for this. Wow…
DavePosted at 08:46h, 04 November
JohnPosted at 18:55h, 04 November
In the past Mesirow had the CMS Master Contract for certain types of insurance. Is this a current CMS / DoIT Master Contract? If so, local governments can use it and not obtain bids.
jmkraftPosted at 22:04h, 04 November
The county is trying to use the “Professional Services” clause in the counties code to avoid bidding, which does not apply to insurance services or brokers.
JohnPosted at 11:34h, 13 November
IF there is a CMS Master Contract … IF … local governments don’t have to do bids IF they use it. Under Edgar / Ryan 90% of the vehicles sold using the CMS Master Contracts were purchased by units of local government – no bidding. If there ISN’T a CMS Master Contract, stay on the case.