Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Contractual Obligations

With all the brouhaha surrounding the LED billboard contract, a URA parking contract, a PWSA consulting contract and several other contracts that Mary Beth Buchanan has not retrieved from the man sized safe in Yarone Zober's office, it seems inevitable that the Ravenstahl administration would announce that the Mayor's Office is undertaking a sweeping revision to the criteria for awarding contracts.

And by "sweeping revision" they, of course, mean "not changing anything, but we needed a press conference."

Perhaps that's unfair; anything can be improved, I suppose. So here are some suggestions from the folks that will be implementing the changes:

(1) Post all Requests for Proposals and Invitations to Bid online. Of course, no one actually looks at anything online, so you're going to actually have to add some sort of content to draw people to the site. I'm thinking pictures of cats or porn.

(2) Post all contracts over a certain amount online. In order to make the contracts more interesting, however, hide suduko games, word searches, or geocaching locations in the online versions. Or, perhaps turn them into online mad-libs.

The mandatory [NOUN] fee will be [VERB] on a [ADJECTIVE] basis, with each [NOUN] period expiring at the end of each Quarterly Period during the [NOUN]
I'm picking "fart," "fart," "farting," "fart," and "spatula."

(3) Mandate that no one who knows anyone in the City of Pittsburgh be allowed to bid on or respond to any contracts. This will become increasingly difficult for winning bidders who will have to interact with City employees in full encounter suits... or not show up at all.

(4) Or at least mandate that Jim Ferlo turn over his Rolodex and prohibit anyone therein, their relatives, friends, college roommates, landlords, or dominatrices from being awarded a contract.

(5) Develop a complex formula taking the lowest bid, and weighting it by (1) experience of the vendor, (2) minority and women participation, (3) local business participation, (4) and public purpose. Rank each submission in order and throw them off of Mount Washington. The one that goes furthest is selected.

(6) Ask Luke Ravenstahl what he thinks. Do the opposite.

and finally

(7) Do everything in-house. This will needlessly increase the size and decrease the efficiency of City Government, probably resulting in thousands of employees hanging out, doing nothing, making clumsy power moves, and generally waiting around until retirement or death.

So that'll be a change right there.

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