- Would you get multiple qualified bidders or only one?
- Would you get a fair price for services or an inflated one? Say 70% higher than what you’re currently paying?
If the winner has already been predetermined, how might you ensure the desired outcome while trying to give the impression that the process is open and competitive?
- Would you advertise in a publication with a wide readership or would you limit it to the immediate local area?
- Would you publicize the bid in a forum that would attract attention from people in that particular field or would you put it where few people in that field would know to look for it?
- Would you do some research in advance to find out what qualified entities might be willing to bid or would you just throw up an advertisement all willy-nilly?
If you were a a law enforcement officer who received a complaint regarding suspicious bidding activity how might you investigate that complaint?
- Would you review the circumstances of a suspicious-seeming bid or would you simply ask the procurement officers if they did anything wrong and take their answer at face value?
- Would you ignore the fact that only one qualified bidder bothered to respond?
- Would you ignore the huge price increase?
- Would you try to gloss over the limited advertising by using the same arguments as the government officials responsible for the suspicious bid?
What would the history of a scandal-plagued procurement process look like?
- Would an honest provider who got good results at a fair price be run-off and replaced by a shady outfit that collapses after a few years?
- Would that shady outfit pay one of its own board members an exorbitant amount for services that cost similar operations three times less?
What about the past behavior of the people who run a fraudulent, corrupt bidding process? What might that look like?
- Would they have paid large fines as a result of multiple ethics violations?
- Would they have some serious personal financial troubles?
- Would they have purchased iPhones stolen from their own government agency at a deep discount?
- Would they have misused their government-issued credit cards?
What about funding levels and performance metrics?
- Would a corrupt public official be willing to address poor performance or would they just let it ride? If they are odious enough, would they actually say they are “content” with the substandard services provided?
- Would they dig into factors that would contribute to that poor performance or would they instead lie about them and try to cover them up?
If these same officials mishandle animal control, what’s to stop them from mishandling other public services? Where does it all end? How much of this incompetence and corruption are the taxpayers willing to tolerate?
Lots of questions. No good answers but lots of questions.