by Carol Thompson
Following a lengthy and sometimes heated debate, Info Quick Solutions, Inc. was awarded a contract to provide data imaging services to the office of the county clerk.
Despite being the highest priced and receiving the lowest overall rating from a proposal review panel, a majority of Republican legislators supported the company.
For 45 minutes, legislators debated Thursday in the chambers of the Pulaski Court House.
IQS was given the lowest score of the five companies vying for the contract. IQS was given an overall score of 457.25 while Property Info Corp. had the highest score at 649 followed by ACS Systems with a score of 618.25. IMR received a score of 561.25 and New Vision was scored at 516.25.
It was an issue that was referenced several times by legislators who spoke in opposition.
Legislator Jake Mulcahey was the first to speak when the resolution was presented.
He questioned the request for proposal process, followed by the reading of a cost comparison between IQS and the four other bidding companies. He noted that the cost of one map from IQS will cost taxpayers $7 while the top rated vendor would charge 60 cents.
Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said the vote came down to the dollars, cents and the facts.
“This process was put in place to protect our taxpayers from exactly what’s happening today,” he said. “Today you put up a company that cost up to $300,000 or more (over the other bidders),” Kunzwiler said. “These are facts that taxpayers should know.”
Kunzwiler said that the IQS was receiving the contract “for pure political reasons.”
He added, “This is not for the taxpayers. There’s no other way you can spin it.”
He urged legislators to do the right thing for the taxpayers.
Republican Majority Leader Jack Proud explained the protocol of the legislature and the role of the seven oversight committees. He noted that the legislature has been 18 months without being able to award a contract.
“What we’re here to decide is which company provides the best processing and the best service,” he said, adding that IQS was more cost effective. “In other words, we want more bang for our buck.”
Legislator Dan Chalifoux said that the contract award has been discussed many times and that the time had come to make a decision. He called the question to end debate and force a vote.
With legislators Kevin Gardner and Morris Sorbello absent, there were not enough Republicans present to secure the two-thirds majority needed and the call to question failed.
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