Sunday, October 9, 2016

Not All Piggyback Contracts Are Created Equal

Piggybacking off of the solicitation and subsequent contract of another public agency can be an efficient process that saves time and effort.  

What to Look for in a Piggyback Contract?  It is important that the other agency's solicitation meet your agency's competitive requirements, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Was the solicitation advertised at least as long as your agency requires?
  • Did they bid the same product you want to obtain?
  • Did they bid roughly the same quantity you need?
  • Did they include mandated federal requirements, if you will be paying the vendor with federal funds?
  • Was the other agency's solicitation bid recently?
  • Is the other agency's contract still current or has it expired?
  • Did they receive more than one bid?
  • Did they award to the lowest bidder?
Police Body Camera Controversies:  Many police departments across the country are moving quickly to equip their police officers with body cameras to help diffuse tension with the communities they serve and to act as an accountability tool.  Some agencies are using piggybacking to obtain the cameras and related storage of the videos in an expedited manner. 

Chicago Police Department:  The Chicago Police Department is piggybacking off of an older State of New Jersey contract for which it appears that body cameras were added to the contract as an amendment, raising questions about whether it is appropriate to piggyback off of a contract for which prices were not competitively obtained. 

Media Attention:  Not only is the Chicago Police Department under scrutiny for their process in obtaining body cameras through piggybacking, but so are other agencies across the country. Even if your agency is not buying police body cameras, some of the issues that have been raised about piggybacking as a process for these cameras is relevant for other products you may procure.  The following are links to three media sources that I've been interviewed by and quoted in about this hot topic:
Presidential History Blog:  Check out my Presidential History Blog at and sign up for a free email subscription to it.

Presidential History Interviews:  Here is a partial listed of the media I've been interviewed by and quoted in about presidential history and the 2016 presidential campaign (articles in which I'm quoted by Time Magazine and Voice of America should be published soon):

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
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