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While the Feds are in Jacksonville looking at the JEA sales process, we believe they will stumble upon some unfair business practices…specifically the Request for Proposal process.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) allows our government entities to compare various products and vendors. By receiving multiple proposals, the government entity can do a side-by-side comparison of each vendor’s qualifications, ideas and pricing.

By encouraging open competition through the bidding process, RFPs give everyone who has expertise in that arena an opportunity to participate. Small companies and big companies alike have a chance to win projects and the city wins by finding the best, most cost-effective solution to their problems.

Jacksonville leaders need to stop picking winners and losers and let the marketplace work the way it should. RFP’s are a Win-Win for the city and the vendors. Plus, it’s FAIR.

Unfortunately, in recent years we have heard of way too many No-Bid Contracts awarded and we don’t understand why the RFP process was not used.

The JEA Board has had their share of consultants and lawyers who bypassed the RFP. One of them was a former member of the JEA board.   He jumped off the board and was handed a lucrative contract for legal services.

CBRE has apparently found a way to skirt the RFP process too.  The JEA Headquarters project is but one example. Loophole or not, it is extremely unfair to the other hardworking Commercial Real Estate Brokerage firms and it is unfair to the taxpayers. Without any competition to worry about, CBRE can charge exorbitant fees for services and pass them through to the taxpayers to absorb. A classic example of this was the 2019 JEA Headquarters Competition a/k/a Invitation to Negotiate (ITN).

The Mayor’s office bypassed the RFP when they hired Sam Mousa who retired from the city and 6 weeks later came back for $120,000 no-bid contract.  Nice gig don’t ya think? Double dipping taxpayer money.

The Theme of bypassing the RFP process is this: The Administration is Picking Winners and Losers…and bet your sweet bippy the winners are friends and the losers are not.

We have wonderful readers and followers and we are asking for your help to uncover information you may have regarding unfair practices in our fair city. Our ask:

Do you know of any contracts awarded on behalf of our city or any of the agencies that did not go through the RFP process?

Do you know who may have approved those no-bid contracts?

If you have information, please contact billie@ceoservicebureau.com. Please share as many details as possible so we can research the information and verify the claim. Your name will be anonymous and we will respect your privacy.

Why are we shining a light on this matter? Because handing out No-Bid Contracts and bypassing the fair RFP process is the basis of corruption.  

Let’s clean up this mess and give everyone a chance to be a part of building a better Jacksonville.  It’s only fair!

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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