Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Prevails in Challenge to Public Bid
Court Formally Recognizes TMG’s Knowledge and Experience in Victory for Client
Since 2001, TMG Consulting has administered and monitored the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). One of our responsibilities is to review the bid documents submitted on federal projects to ensure compliance to the DBE Program. In short, did the bidder meet the DBE project goal and/or make Good Faith Efforts (GFEs) to utilize DBE participation?
This month, TMG participated in a hearing on behalf of the BRMA.
Recently, BRMA solicited sealed bid responses for Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Improvements, a drainage and infrastructure project to eliminate potential attractions to wildlife near the airfield. The apparent low bid was contested by another bidder for a number of reasons, including a DBE-related matter. The bidder filed a temporary restraining order and writ of mandamus on the project in Baton Rouge Civil District Court.
Specifically at question was whether the apparent low bidder made adequate Good Faith Efforts to include DBE participation on the bid.
The Judge ruled in favor of the Airport:
(1) Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims to award the contract to the plaintiff (writ of mandamus); and
(2) Deeming that the burden of proof required for a permanent restraining order trial was not met, thereby removing the temporary restraining order.
Judge Caldwell recognized TMG’s expertise regarding DBE program administration and Federal regulation interpretation on the official record, upholding TMG’s determination of the apparent low bidder’s good faith efforts.
TMG has been involved in public contracting since the firm’s inception and our staff is highly knowledgeable about public contracts and public procurement policies and procedures. From navigating changes in the Louisiana Public Bid Law to drafting contracts that align with federal regulations, we provide our clients with an important measure of security in the knowledge that they are in full compliance with all relevant guidelines.
Since 2007, Ms. Garrigan has administered the BRMA DBE Program with the goal to not only assist and instruct Prime firms on how to comply with the DBE regulations but to coach DBE firms to seize opportunities and expand the pool of DBE firms in the Baton Rouge market area.
Here are some of our principal tenets:
— Understand the forms to avoid technical errors.
— Understand the requirements: meet the Goal or make Good Faith Efforts.
— Document your GFEs: How many DBE firms did you contact? Whom did you speak to? Did you provide the DBE with a copy of the project specs? Did you follow-up for a quote? Did you give the DBE firms enough time to respond prior to the bid deadline?
— Cultivate relationships with DBE firms before bid advertisement.
— Be aware of upcoming projects at the Airport.
— Analyze the project scope and identify where your firm can add value.
— Identify who is bidding on a project by requesting the pre-bid sign-in sheet and reach out to these firms as soon as possible.
— Prepare a quote for the scope of work your firm can perform.
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport has made a commitment to expand the opportunities at the Airport for small, minority and women-owned businesses, and TMG will continue to support their mission through the administration of proactive Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise programs.
For more information about DBE programs or our DBE services, please contact Bonnie Garrigan, 504-569-9239 ext 29.
Bonnie Garrigan, Manager of Economic Analysis
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