First and foremost the basis for our serious concerns surrounding the Request for Proposals (RFP) that has been generated for Custodial Operations all starts with HCPS policy. The policy manual has clear general provisions for RFP definitions and the practicality of the RFP.
It is difficult for parents, employees and the general public to hear how district leaders have explained the rationale for the custodial RFP and then to believe it is only meant to explore options or shop the market for research purposes. Justifiably, serious questions and concerns arise, because the RFP is the most commonly used procurement tactic when our school district wants to select the best candidate for product or service contracts. An understanding of district policy linked below supports these concerns.
Nowhere in HCPS policy 6320 covering Procurement Procedures for the RFP do we see “to research the possibility” or “to look into the benefits” or “to see if it makes sense” or “to be an informed consumer” as factors in determining when an RFP is practical for contracts valuing more than $50,000. Policy clearly states “RFPs are a very time consuming and costly method of procurement” and “An RFP is a competitive method of contracting for goods or services”. The intent of an RFP is to find the best contract for products or services from an outside vendor, not for administrators to check their own knowledge of operations and to see if it makes sense. District administrators should be more cost conscious and use their research capabilities to gather industry data across the state and nation specific to contracting out custodial operations in K-12 public schools, analyze current operations, check the implementation of Gibson Report findings, and survey all stakeholders on this matter all BEFORE an RFP is generated.