Buildings Trusted Vendor Proposal

Buildings 2018-04-16

Summary:

Buildings will develop and maintain a pool of a minimum of three Trusted Vendors.

Background:

The Buildings Committee has frequently struggled with the three-bid requirement established in our "Getting competitive bids for purchases" agreement (October 2002) for jobs that cost more than $500. For large or complex jobs, it is often difficult to find three vendors willing or able to do the work on the desired schedule; we don't always get apples-to-apples bids; and we are concerned that repeated requests for complicated quotes will alienate potential vendors that don't get the work, making them less likely to want to work with us at all. It can also be difficult for committee members soliciting bids to do all the necessary legwork during their workday.
For the very largest jobs, we still feel it is worthwhile to get multiple bids, and it will be worthwhile to potential vendors to take the time to prepare them for us. The Committee feels that there is an intermediate range of jobs where the administrative overhead of the bid process creates unreasonable headaches for both sides, and this proposal would allow us to avoid those hassles, while still protecting the community's interest in getting competent and fairly-priced maintenance help.
The current bid agreement technically allows committees to contract work without multiple bids:
If there are circumstances which make it appropriate not to ask for more than one bid, the reasons will be recorded in the published minutes of the group authorizing the purchase.
Likewise, if there are good reasons for accepting a bid which is not the lowest received, those reasons will be recorded in the published minutes of the group authorizing the purchase.
Buildings thinks it is better to get community buy-in on the concept of awarding work on a one-bid or no-bid basis (with constraints) rather than habitually exploiting a feature of the 2002 agreement that was clearly intended as an exception to normal practice.
Buildings can, of course, still elect to get multiple bids for work of any amount, even if this or other agreements do not mandate it.

Proposal:

The current vendor agreement is that work can be completed without 3 bids if the total cost is under $500. In the interest of having repairs performed in a more timely manner, Buildings and other Committees are authorized to contract work from a Buildings Trusted Vendors list (defined below) that exceeds $500, up to a value of $5,000, without obtaining multiple bids.

Buildings will develop and maintain a pool of a minimum of three Trusted Vendors based on the following criteria:
- Does good work
- Reliable, attentive service
- Licensed as required by law
- Bonded and insured
- Fair pricing
- Detailed and accurate invoicing
- Has previously performed similar work for GO that met expectations and the above criteria

Buildings will accept referrals from community members for additional vendors to add to the pool at any time, but no other Committees may add a vendor to the Building's Trusted Vendor list. The trusted vendor list will be posted somewhere in community resources -- publicly available to the community.
If a Trusted Vendor fails to remain in good standing with the Buildings Committee, due to failure to meet any of the criteria listed, Buildings will remove them from the pool. The Committee will periodically (at least annually, but ideally near the end of each work season) review and update the list of Trusted Vendors. The Trusted Vendor list will be maintained in a place that is publicly available to the community.

Pros:
- More timely repairs
- Less logistical work for volunteer Buildings Committee members
- We don't repeatedly ask multiple vendors (who we may want to work with later) to give us a quote for work which is never executed
- Contractors may be more responsive if we can give them a more consistent stream of work without requiring so much administrative effort on their part

Cons:
- We may not get the best price for every job
- We could get into a rut by using certain vendors and not explore whether better options are available.

Process Comments:

No stand asides, no blocks, proposal passes. Applause!