CARLSBAD — In a 3-1 vote, the Eddy County Commission voted Tuesday to throw out a previous request for bids for pharmaceutical services for the county detention center and put the contract out for bid again.
Voting in favor of closing out the current request for proposals and issuing a new one were Commissioners Roxanne Lara, Guy Lutman and Lewis Derrick. Commissioner Jack Volpato, whose pharmacy was one of the bidders for the contract, abstained.
Commission Chairman Tony Hernandez was absent from Tuesday’s meeting due to recent surgery.
At the Nov. 1 meeting, the commission was prepared to award the bid to an out-of-town pharmaceutical provider. But when a protest was lodged by the owners of a Carlsbad pharmaceutical provider — that include Volpato — the commission tabled the awarding of the bid, saying it needed to look at the bid document and get more information before making a decision.
County Manager Allen Sartin said after review of the RFP (request for proposals) prepared by key detention staff, it became apparent that there were some deficiencies in the bid document.
“There needs be some changes made to the original RFP. It does not indicate that we want specific information to pricing,” Sartin said. “We also need to add in the document that we need a price on miscellaneous services. There was no intent to leave these out (of the original RFP). It was accidental.”
The pricing of drugs changes on a daily basis, and according to Sartin, the question of price was not included in the RFP document. When the bids were opened, the lowest bidder was contacted by telephone to quote prices for specific drugs that would lock the price based on that day. However, the other five bidders did not have the opportunity to quote drug prices on the same day as the proposed pharmaceutical provider.
Lutman said he was not happy with the errors in the RPF. He said in light of the discrepancies that were pointed out to the commission, throwing out the original RFP and putting out a new one is the right thing to do.
Sartin said that the outcome of the new RFP that will be advertised could still have the same result. However, by closing out the current RFP and rewriting it to fix the discrepancies, it will provide a level playing field for bidders.
In other action by the commission, Lara was elected by fellow commissioners to serve as commission chairman in 2012 and Lutman was elected vice chairman. Their term will begin Jan. 1.
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