Above photo: Comptroller Peter Franchot speaks after being sworn in by Gov. Larry Hogan, left. Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, right, was master of ceremonies. Pic courtesy Maryland Reporter –
At the Board of Public Works, Comptroller Peter Franchot has frequently complained about Maryland’s contracting process. At his swearing-in Monday, he made fixing the procurement process a priority he and Gov. Larry Hogan can accomplish without new legislation.
Hogan will chair his first Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday flanked by Franchot and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp.
Here is an excerpt from Franchot’s speech.
By Peter Franchot
We must make drastic improvements to the manner in which we obtain goods and services as a state. This cuts to the heart of what I do as your independent fiscal watchdog – ensuring that we’re getting the best possible deal for your hard-earned tax dollars.
As Comptroller, I’ve voted on approximately 15,000 contracts worth $80 billion on the Board of Public Works. And I can tell you – our procurement process is broken.
Far too often, I‘ve seen bid solicitations that result in single-bid contracts, and coincidentally or not, these single bids tend to be from incumbent vendors. So the Board of Public Works is forced to award contracts without ever knowing whether we, as a state, are getting the best deal on the market.
Far too often, we’re presented with contracts that practically put a gun to our head, where we don’t have adequate time to fix procedural issues. And instead are faced with an unacceptable choice between agreeing to a bad deal for taxpayers or discontinuing a service they desperately need.