Rare bidding tie favors minority firm
A contract bidding process for a maintenance and repair contract with the MARC commuter rail system produced an unusual tie that was resolved by giving the job to the minority-controlled firm.
According to the agenda for the July 6 Board of Public Works meeting, two firms tied for the low bid on the more than $5 million contact while another came within $80. The work consists of maintaining the grounds, fixing public address systems and making repairs to stations on the Penn, Camden and Brunswick lines.
M. Stancliff Construction Co. of Seabrook and Denver-Elek Inc. of Baltimore submitted identical bids of $5,076,200, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. Mercier's Inc. of Harmans offered to do the work for $5,076,280. Two other bidders were higher.
The contract has been awarded to Stancliff because it is a certified "disadvantaged business enterprise" -- a tie-breaker under state procurement regulations.
There's nothing obviously wrong about the award. It's just notable for how close it was. The winning bid came in under the MTA engineer's estimate of $5.4 million, so it looks as if the state got a decent price.
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