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
© 2016 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Book on Procurement Methods

A new reference book entitled "Procurement Methods: Effective Techniques" by Lourdes Coss, MPA, CPPO, will be published on April 25, 2016. Ms. Coss is one of the most highly respected and preeminent public procurement professionals in the nation.

About the book:  "I decided to write the book I had been looking for," Coss notes.  "It's a desk reference for procurement professionals."  The book is applicable for both the manager searching for a tool to train procurement staff and professionals seeking to expand their knowledge. The book serves a resource for procurement professionals providing guidance on method selection and techniques. It provides examples to aid in the development of critical sections of the procurement document and explains the logic that should be followed in order to optimize the process. 

Procurement Methods: Effective Techniques by Lourdes Coss
Table of contents:  Here's the table of contents for the book:
  • Bids or Competitive (Sealed) Bids
    • Objective and Application
    • Invitation to Bid (ITB) or Invitation for Bid (IFB) Development
    • Bid Evaluation
    • Summary
  • Request for Qualification (RFQ)
    • Objective and Application
    • RFQ Development
    • RFQ Evaluation Process
    • Summary
  • Request for Proposals (RFP)
    • Objective and Application
    • RFP Development
    • RFP Evaluation Process
    • Summary
  • Alignment & Consistency
    • Achieving Alignment
    • Consistent Terminology
    • Standardization
    • Criteria and Submittal Requirements Alignment
    • High Level View of Evaluations
  • Conclusion
Lourdes Coss, MPA, CPPO
About Lourdes Coss:  In her distinguished career that has spanned more than 25 years, Lourdes Coss has secured support for new procurement legislation, achieved over $150 million in savings in the last several years through strategic sourcing and negotiations, automated routine processes, significantly reduced procurement cycle times, and implemented strategies to maximize available resources.She has has led procurement improvements and transformations for many large public agencies:
  • City of Chicago
  • Public Building Commission of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Cook County, Illinois
  • City of Houston
Buying the book:  The book may be ordered online in paperback or in an electronic edition through either of the links below:
My semi-retirement:  As most of you know, I am not writing regular public contracting blogs now, but I will periodically post when important things come up.  I think the publication of Lourdes Coss' book is one of those important events that people should be aware of.  I know Lourdes and think very highly of her.  I am still doing some consulting and training, but am trying not to take on too many commitments so I can focus on my interest in writing and speaking on presidential history.

In the media:  I've been contacted by the media a lot recently to comment on presidential history and the current campaign.  In addition to being quoted in The Wall Street Journal and by Reuters over the last month or so, last week I had two television interviews that you can watch by clicking the links below:
Presidential History Blog:  If you're interested in presidential history, you can sign up for a free email subscription to my Presidential History Blog at

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2016 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Perils of Piggybacking

I was interviewed by and quoted in The Wall Street Journal on March 7, 2016 about some of the questionable practices that have been used by various public agencies across the country in piggybacking off of contracts for the purchase of police body cameras.  

Click here to read the article: "For Cities After Ferguson, a Body-Camera Dilemma."
Presidential History Blog:  Check out my Presidential History Blog at and sign up for a free email subscription to it.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2016 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC