Friday, September 17, 2010

13 Million Dollar Questions

Evidently coming up with losing road constructions bids is a lucrative business in this state, who knew? It seems more than a little odd that a fiscally strapped state would be willing to offer up a 13 million dollar pay off to the losing bidder, so they must have had a good reason right? UDOT's version of a good reason is something along the lines of a hunch.

Bid records reviewed by The Salt Lake Tribune show the Selection Recommendation Committee, made up of UDOT managers and budget officials, found enough variances to ultimately swing the contract against Flatiron/Skanska/Zachry (FSZ) and in favor of Provo River Constructors by a single point.

In each case, the several variances the selection committee identified broke in favor of Provo River Constructors, which, UDOT Executive Director John Njord acknowledged, “looked bad” and prompted a $13 million settlement with FSZ, the second-place bidder
And I agree, it does "look bad" but does it look 13 million dollars bad? Not even if the state still had a rainy day fund (remember that?). It looks like we won't be getting any answers from the new home of our tax money, as with all good pay offs, it came with a don't tell anyone about this clause, and it sounds like that's really too bad.
Kent Scott, an attorney for Flatiron, said he could not comment on the settlement, due to a confidentiality agreement.

“I’d love to [talk]. … It’s fascinating,” Scott said, but he respected Njord’s request to stay quiet.
As they say in True Romance, something's rotten in Denmark with this one, but Herbert won't let that slow him down, he's holding a high stakes fundraiser this weekend. I suppose the campaign feels like they need some more corporate money to dig themselves out at this point.

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