The facts behind bids
This letter is to correct misinformation that was reported on Jan. 9 by Stephens Media reporter Tom Callis in the West Hawaii Today (“Council digs on compost”) and Hawaii Tribune Herald (“Councilmembers back composting plan”) newspapers. In the article, Mr. Callis reported “The council passed a similar resolution in 2011 but that stipulated contractors couldn’t charge the county more than $70 per ton. No responding bidders were able to get below that figure.”
EKO Systems, dba Big Island EKO Systems, did submit a bid that was below the $70 per ton rate because of the price cap the council put forward in Resolution 34-11.
All serious bidders should have been aware of this stipulation and ensured their proposal was in compliance with all specifications.
EKO was surprised when the Department of Environmental Management went before the previous council after bids had been received to raise the price cap.
The previous council denied the request to raise the price cap because of concerns that it was unethical and probably illegal to change specifications after all bids had been received.
EKO understands Resolution 31-13, which is currently being considered, states, “Whereas, The county solicited and received proposals for operation of organic waste diversion sites and composting operations via request for proposal No. 2738 but the proposal which the county determined was the best value to the county, taking into consideration price and the evaluation criteria in the RFP, was not priced within the $70 per ton limit recited in Resolution 34-11 (Draft 2), causing the county to cancel RFP No. 2738.”
EKO tailored its proposal to be within the means of the price cap, as set by the council at the time. Without this cap in place, other proposals may have had components more favorable to the department.
Thomas A. Pawlish
EKO Systems, Inc.