Council Continues Hearing Appeal of Smart Meters Bid Award

Attorney Wayne Bingham begins questioning County staff in tonight’s Smart Meter bid award protest hearing. Print Screen photo

Assistant County Attorney Dan Gonzales, left, objects to a line of questioning by GEW attorney Wayne Bingham at right. Print Screen photo

Staff Report

Los Alamos County Council tonight is continuing, in its capacity as a quasi-judicial body, the hearing related to the protest appeal by GEW Mechanical (GEW) of a bid award for Smart Meters to Landis + Gyr (“L+G”.)

Council Chair Geoff Rodgers opened this evening’s meeting advising the attorneys that they must wrap up their presentations by 9:45 p.m., because after a short break, the Council will begin its questioning. He since extended the attorney’s time to 10:30 p.m.

The background on this issue began Dec. 2, 2012 when the County issued RFP2013-1864 for the provision of smart meters, including installation and staff training. The proposals were due Dec. 17, 2012. L+G and GEW submitted the only proposals. The evaluation committee for the RFP consisted of Robert Westervelt, Deputy Utilities Manager – Finance & Administration, Steve Cummins, Deputy Utilities Manager – Electric Production, and Rafael de la Torre, Deputy Utilities Manager – Electric Distribution.

The committee determined that L+G was the highest scoring proposer of the two, and made a recommendation to the Board of Public Utilities and Council for award. The Board accepted the recommendation Dec. 19, 2012. The other proposer, GEW, became aware of the recommendation in the Council agenda Dec. 27, 2012. GEW submitted a letter of protest Jan. 3, 2013. The Purchasing Agent issued a decision to GEW denying their protest Feb. 22, 2013. Feb. 26, 2013 Council awarded the contract to L+G. GEW perfected its appeal of the Purchasing Agent’s decision to Council, via a letter to the County Administrator March 11, 2013.

In accordance with Section 31-231(e) of the Code of Ordinances, Council then acts as the deciding body. When Council acts as a quasi-judicial body, witnesses are sworn, each party has the opportunity to question witnesses, and Councilors may ask questions of witnesses after the parties have concluded their examination. At the conclusion of the evidence, Council is entitled by Section 10-15-1 to go into closed session in order to deliberate over the evidence it has heard. However, Council’s decision must be entered in open session.

Council expects to make one of the following motions:

  • Find that the procurement associated with RFP 2013-1864 was in accordance with the Code of ordinances, procedures and the terms and conditions of the solicitation and that the decision of the Purchasing Agent be upheld; or
  • Sustain the protest of GEW and I further move that Council direct staff to determine the action necessary to compensate GEW pursuant to the terms of the Code of Ordinances.

Rafael de la Torre, Deputy Utilities Manager – Electric Distribution, responds to questions from Wayne Bingham, attorney for GEW, the company protesting the Smart Meter bid award to L+G. Print Screen photo

County buyer/planner Jose Carreno fields questions from GEW’s attorney. Print Screen photo

The County’s Chief Purchasing Officer Annalisa Miranda answers questions from attorney Wanye Bingham. Print Screen photo

Robert Westervelt, Deputy Utility Manager – Finance & Administration responds to questions from GEW’s attorney regaring the Smart Meter bid award process. Print Screen photo

Alixis Creuzenet of GEW, the company protesting the County’s selection for the Smart Meter bid, provides background on his company’s proposal. Print Screen photo

 

 

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